Soccer-Rough Pohang have misplaced confidence, says Seoul boss


SEOUL, Aug 26 (Reuters) - FC Seoul boss Choi Yong-soo has criticised Pohang Steelers' rough tactics and queried why the K-League champions were so confident ahead of their AFC Champions League quarter-final second leg on Wednesday.

The South Korean sides meet at the Seoul World Cup Stadium with the tie evenly poised after last week's goalless draw at a wet Steelyard, where Pohang enjoyed the best of the limited attacking action and had an early goal ruled out.

Seoul, who were beaten in the final of Asia's premier club competition last year by Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, are seventh in the 12-team K-League Classic but have won their last three, including a 2-1 success at league leaders Jeonbuk Motors on Saturday.

By contrast, Pohang, who won the Champions League title in 2009, are second in the table but without a win in their last two league games and failed to take advantage of Jeonbuk's slip up.

Pohang boss Hwang Sun-hong was adamant his side would be ready and could claim the win or score draw needed to send them through to the last four on Wednesday but Choi was not so sure.

"I don't know where coach Hwang gets his confidence from," Choi told reporters on Tuesday.

"It's more important for the players to be confident than for the head coach to be so. How much the players want to win on the field will determine the outcome of the match," he added, before criticising their opponents style.

"Pohang is a team that commits a lot of fouls and plays rough football. We could follow suit but we prefer to not play that way."


Hwang spoke first at the joint news conference on Tuesday and was optimistic his side, who are unbeaten in this season's Champions League, would win the clash.

The former Korean international forward believed it would be a tight encounter, however, saying he expected a one-goal game and that "a small mistake could make a big difference.

"FC Seoul has been playing well in the K League Classic of late, but in a one-and-done meeting like this one, we're not really worried about their momentum," Hwang said.

"As long as we stick to our game plan, we should be able to get the desired result.

"Every member on our team understands the importance of tomorrow's match. We're fully prepared for this momentous match."

K-League Classic clubs have enjoyed a strong run in the Champions League in recent seasons with Korean clubs getting to the final in the last five years and three times proving victorious.

The winners of Wednesday's clash will take on either defending champions Guangzhou or Western Sydney Wanderers in the last four with the Australians taking a surprise 1-0 lead to China for the second leg. (Writing by Patrick Johnston; Editing by John O'Brien)

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