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Yokohama F Marinos
AFC Champions League | Semi-Finals | 2nd Leg
Apr 24, 2024 at 11am UK
Nissan Stadium

3 - 2

Uenaka (13', 30'), Lopes (21')
Kewell (40')
Kamijima (39')
Sales (35'), Bojanic (42' pen.)
Yokohama win 5-4 on penalties

Preview: Yokohama F Marinos vs. Ulsan Hyundai - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's AFC Champions League clash between Yokohama F Marinos and Ulsan Hyundai, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With a place in the final of the AFC Champions League on the line, Yokohama F Marinos will host Ulsan Hyundai in the second leg of that tie on Wednesday at Nissan Stadium in Japan.

A 19th-minute strike in the opening leg was all the South Koreans needed to claim a 1-0 victory last Wednesday in their first semi-final appearance at this tournament since 2021.

Match preview

Yokohama F Marinos' Anderson Lopes celebrates scoring their first goal on July 23, 2023© Reuters

For the first time in the knockout stage of this tournament, Yokohama will have to play catch-up in this deciding match, ending their five-game unbeaten run in the Champions League this season a week ago.

That loss extended their winless run to two matches in all competitions, though they have only suffered one defeat in their last 12 competitive fixtures at home (1-0 versus Avispa Fukuoka in March), while winning four successive Champions League encounters in Yokohama.

Harry Kewell's men have not conceded in any of their previous four encounters at this tournament and have only been behind in one Champions League home contest this season when they suffered a 4-2 defeat to Korean side Incheon United in their opening group fixture.

Yokohama have lost their last two competitive fixtures when conceding the opening goal, having only experienced that twice in all competitions since the beginning of March.

A victory by two or more goals on Wednesday would vault Marinos into the final of this competition for the first time and make them the second J1 League side to reach that stage in the previous two Champions League campaigns.

They have never beaten a side from K League 1 in the knockout portion of this tournament, though their only two Champions League victories against Korean opponents came on home soil versus Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in 2020 (4-1) and 2014 (2-1).

Ulsan Hyundai coach Hong Myung-bo before the match on March 12, 2024© Reuters

Ulsan are beginning to peak at the perfect time, riding a three-match winning run in all competitions heading into this decisive clash, after going winless in their three competitive fixtures before that.

Hong Myung-bo has not seen his side concede in their last three encounters, losing just one of their previous 15 matches in all competitions (2-0 at Deajeon Hana in early April).

Ulsan are unbeaten in their last seven AFC Champions League encounters this season and have yet to lose in the 2024 knockout stage.

Their only two defeats at this tournament in 2023-24 occurred away from home in the group phase, while the Koreans are winless in the Champions League this season when conceding the opening goal.

A win or draw on Wednesday would send them into the final of this tournament for the first time since 2020 when they won it all, and it would make them the first Korean side to advance into that stage since Pohang Steelers in 2021.

Historically, this side have only suffered one defeat in the knockout portion of this tournament versus a Japanese opponent, losing 3-0 at home to Urawa Red Diamonds in the 2019 round of 16 after winning the opening leg of that tie 2-1.

Yokohama F Marinos AFC Champions League form:

Yokohama F Marinos form (all competitions):

Ulsan Hyundai AFC Champions League form:

Ulsan Hyundai form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Yokohama F Marinos coach Harry Kewell before the match on April 17, 2024© Reuters

In the opening leg last week, Yokohama were without vice-captain Eduardo due to a minor knock, while Taiki Watanabe was in the starting 11 for the second time in all competitions after suffering a minor injury earlier this month.

Katsuya Nagato, who missed the opening leg of this tie due to a red card suspension, is eligible to return for this encounter, with Watanabe replacing him last week, while the other new faces included Shinnosuke Hatanaka, Keigo Sakakibara, Ryo Miyaichi and Jun Amano.

Their leading goalscorer at this tournament, Anderson Lopes (five goals), has netted in four of their five home matches in this competition, including the only goal in their previous two knockout fixtures, enabling his side to win 1-0 both times.

Kim Young-gwon was omitted from the Ulsan starting 11 in the opening leg, having sustained a knock in the earlier rounds, Ko Seung-beom was in the lineup after missing time earlier in this competition through injury.

Last Wednesday, Lee Dong-gyeong was the only new face in the opening lineup who was not in the starting 11 in leg two versus Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, as he replaced vice-captain Joo Min-kyu.

Dong-gyeong wound up with the only goal in that encounter, while Jo Hyeon-woo stopped five shots to collect his third successive clean sheet in all competitions and his second consecutive one in the Champions League.

Yokohama F Marinos possible starting lineup:
Popp; Matsubara, Kamijina, Hatanaka, Watanabe; Inoue; Amano, Mizunuma, Uenaka, Tae-hee; Lopes

Ulsan Hyundai possible starting lineup:
Hyeon-woo; Young-woo, Seok-ho, Young-gwon, Myung-jae; Min-hyeok, Kyu-seong; Chung-yong, Dong-gyeong, Ludwigson; Min-kyu

SM words green background

We say: Yokohama F Marinos 1-0 Ulsan Hyundai (Ulsan Hyundai advances on penalties)

There was little difference between these sides in leg one, and we expect to witness another nail-biter this week, which we believe will favour the Koreans, who boast an outstanding shot-stopper between the sticks and should know how to handle a pressure situation like this better than their Japanese opponents.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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