There will be an all-Asian encounter in the match for fifth place at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012 when Ulsan Hyundai FC and Sanfrecce Hiroshima do battle at the Toyota Stadium. After missing out on a semi-final berth, both sides are out to end their tournament participation on a high.
Ulsan Hyundai FC - Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Toyota Stadium
Wednesday 12 December 2012, 16:30 (local time)
Ulsan arrived in Japan buoyed by their triumph in the AFC Asian Champions League, but fell behind early on in their quarter-final against Monterrey and ultimately lost 3-1. Lee Keunho, the 2012 Asian player of the year, netted a late consolation for the so-called Tigers, who are now determined to return to the Korean peninsula with a win under their belts.
Their opponents, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, who beat Auckland City FC 1-0 in their opening match, went closer to earning a ticket to the last four. The Japanese champions put in a strong performance in the quarter-finals against Al-Ahly, but ultimately paid the price for squandering numerous chances. Against their South Korean neighbours, captain Hisato Sato and co are now out to demonstrate the clinical finishing that won them a first J-League title earlier this year.
3 - Ulsan’s 3-1 defeat to Monterrey was the third consecutive loss for a team from Korea Republic at the FIFA Club World Cup. The nation’s last tournament victory came at United Arab Emirates 2010 when Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma FC beat Al-Wahda SC 4-1 in the quarter-finals.
“We’re lacking a bit of experience on the international stage. In the match for fifth place we want to represent Asian football in a positive light. We’ll prepare for the game accordingly and obviously we want to play better than we did in the quarter-finals,” Ulsan Hyundai FC coach Kim Ho Gon.
“My players are very tired and on top of that we have several injuries. Nevertheless, we’re preparing as best we can for the next game. We want to play well against Ulsan Hyundai. This match in international competition is also good preparation for the AFC Champions League next year,” Sanfrecce Hiroshima coach Hajime Moriyasu.