KENYA BROWN - Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Mix Diskerud and Ulsan Hyundai lost a narrow one in South Korea's K-League while Jonny Campbell and Svay Rieng gave up their first points of the season in Cambodia's C-League.
Ulsan Hyundai scored early but allowed Pohang Steelers to put away two unanswered goals in their 2-1 come-from-behind win at Steelyard Stadium.
Mix Diskerud started the game for the Tigers, playing 67 minutes, as the team needed to keep him and other regulars fresh for their Asian Champions League game on Tuesday night.
Ulsan had started the season strong as they sat atop the standings. However, they suffered their first loss of the season two weeks ago to Seongnam FC to knock them back a bit.
The visitors opened the scoring just past the half-hour mark when Sin Jin-Ho chested down a cross from teammate Kim Bo-Kyung to blast his shot past Pohang goalkeeper Ryu Won-Woo.
However, Ulsan did not keep the lead for long as the host struck back five minutes later to level the score. Kim Seung-Dae fed the ball to an unmarked Lee Jin-Hyun who slotted his shot in the back of the net.
It was tight game entering the second half, but Pohang would find the eventual game-winner after the hour mark when Kim Seung-Dae pounced on the ball from Ulsan goalkeeper Oh Seung-Hoon put it away.
The visitors pressed for the equalizer, but it would not come as Pohang took all three points on the day.
The loss puts Ulsan in second place in the standings with 20 points.
Svay Rieng put in another strong effort but could not come away with another win as they settled for a 1-1 tie with Angkor Tiger at the Sports Complex Svay Rieng.
Jonny Campbell was in the starting lineup for Svay Rieng in his usual central defense spot and played the full 90 minutes.
Svay Rieng had been on a tear so far in the C-League season going unbeaten in their first five games, and they were looking to keep their good form rolling into this game.
It was quiet in the first half but things would pick in the second half when the visitors shocked the Svay Rieng fans as they broke the scoreless deadlock just past the hour mark when Tang Sopheak got on the end of a cross from teammate Joichiro Sugiyama to steer it past goalkeeper Aim Sovannarath.
The host had to battle to save a point and they got in the end in the 87th minute when Daisuke Kobayashi unleashed a shot from the edge of the area that hit the top left corner of the net.
It was a hard-fought point, but Svay Rieng will certainly wish they could have done more to remain undefeated.
Svay Rieng may have surrendered two points but they remain atop of the standings with 16 points.
What looked like a season of promise for Vissel Kobe has turned to turmoil as the J. League's big spenders continued their tumble down the standings, this time going down to Consadole Sapporo in a 2-1 loss at the Sapporo Dome.
Leo Osaki, who had been starting the previous games for Kobe, came off the bench to play the last 24 minutes as the struggles of the team continue despite having three World Cup winners on their books.
Elsewhere in the J1 League, Ryo Germain started for Vegalta Sendai as their struggles to move up the standings continued with a 3-1 loss to Kawasaki Frontale.
Down in the J2 League, Cayman Togashi started for Machida Zelvia in their 2-0 loss to Mito Hollyhock.
Victor Mansaray started for Binh Duong as they allowed a goal deep into stoppage to share the points with Hanoi following a 2-2 tie.