thumbnail Hello,
Seongnam Ilhwa boss Shin Tae-Yong blames 'tight schedule' for failure to seal top spot

Seongnam Ilhwa boss Shin Tae-Yong blames 'tight schedule' for failure to seal top spot

The Asian Champions League's Group G is wide open with three teams battling it out for top spot with one game to go and Shin Tae-Yong rued that situation

Seongnam Ilhwa boss Shin Tae-Yong has blamed his side's busy schedule for their failure to go on and win Tuesday's 1-1 AFC Champions League draw with Nagoya Grampus.

The draw leaves Group G wide open, with Seongnam and Nagoya locked on seven points at the top of the standings, with Central Coast - who beat Tianjin 5-1 on Tuesday - third on six points.

“Han scored the goal and, overall, our attack did well. But the balance between our attack and defence collapsed because of our tight schedule and that is something we have to overcome,” Shin told reporters.

He added: “I am a bit frustrated by the result. If we won, we would have won the group. But now we have to at least draw at Tianjin and I am a bit worried about our K-League schedule."

Seongnam, who are 10th in the K-League, must go to eliminated Tianjin in their final group game, behind closed doors after the Chinese side received an Asian Football Confederation ban. Shin told reporters after the Grampus draw, he was desperate to claim a win as he wants top spot in the group to ensure a home Round of 16 match.

“My intention was to seal the top spot in the group by winning this match so that we wouldn’t have to worry about the final match, but unfortunately we now have to think about the next game,” he said.

“We will try our best to win the group because second place has to play away in the Round of 16."

Meanwhile, Grampus boss Dragan Stojkovic bemoaned his side's bad luck but was content with a point.

“In the first half, Seongnam led the game but we took control in the second half. It’s unfortunate we could not score again with the many good chances we had in the last five minute," he said.

“But the game was similar to the first leg in Japan. And just like that game we had no luck."

Ahead of Nagoya's final group game where they host Central Coast, Stojkovic added: "The situation is interesting because three teams are competing for the two places in the Round of 16 until the final group match.

“I think we were lucky enough to gain one point in this away match."

Follow Ben Somerford on

Follow Asia on and for the latest in Asian footballing news, features, and analysis