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1st-year K League coach demands more from undefeated club

Lee Dong-jun of Ulsan Hyundai FC (R) celebrate his goal against Incheon United during a K League 1 match at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, 415 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Tuesday, in this photo provided by the Korea Professional Football League. (Yonhap)
Lee Dong-jun of Ulsan Hyundai FC (R) celebrate his goal against Incheon United during a K League 1 match at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, 415 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Tuesday, in this photo provided by the Korea Professional Football League. (Yonhap)
Ulsan Hyundai FC's first-year head coach Hong Myung-bo isn't yet 100 percent satisfied, not even after his K League 1 club won their third straight match of the 2021 season in convincing fashion.

Ulsan beat Incheon United 3-1 Tuesday night at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, 415 kilometers southeast of Seoul. They're the only team this season to win three straight matches out of the gate, with Suwon Samsung Bluewings having a chance to join them later Wednesday.

Ulsan have scored nine goals and conceded just one, and it's the way that Ulsan allowed that lone goal against Incheon that irked Hong afterward.

Incheon scored their only goal in the loss on a set piece, as Kim Kwang-suk headed in a corner taken by Elias Aguilar early in the second half.

"We can't keep giving up goals like that, and it's something we have to address moving forward," Hong said. "If we get into poor positions on defense, opposing teams will exploit that. Our players have to develop a better understanding of their roles. We have worked some new faces into the system, and I think things will only get better with time."

Ulsan last won three matches in a row to open a season in 2014. They're trying to win their first title since 2005, after finishing runners-up to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in each of the past two years.

They've been getting balanced scoring and excellent work from goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo, for whom Hong reserved his highest praise.

"He is a lot more talented than I thought before I took over the team," Hong said. "Having now worked with him closely, I think he's the best goalkeeper I've seen in recent years. It's all thanks to him that we've given up so few goals." (Yonhap)

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