Dejected Jeonbuk coach Choi: Football doesn’t always go as planned

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Jeonbuk Motors manager identified his side’s scoreless draw against Gamba Osaka as a turning point in the series following their exit on Wednesday night.

The defending champions took an early lead through Leonardo’s penalty kick in the 13th minute, but allowed an equaliser to Gamba striker Patric just one minute later and eventually fell 3-2 after a thrilling final 20 minutes of play.

“We spent a lot of time preparing for this match,” Choi said in his post-match press conference. “Today’s result was disappointing in many ways. We were disappointed to not win at home [in the first leg], and the mood changed when we gave up that goal. But my players gave it everything they have and I’m not disappointed in their performance.”

“[The draw at home] wasn’t a bad result. We were confident that we could win away and that’s what we came to do. We scored the first goal and the players were excited; after we gave away the equaliser we weren’t able to use that momentum.

The former coach was especially focused on the failed offside trap that allowed the J-League representatives back into the match.

“We’ve allowed goals like that a couple of times in the K-League and told our defenders to drop back further, but they were excited [following Leonardo’s goal] and didn’t listen,” Choi reflected.

“Sometimes in football, things don’t go as you imagine they will.”