Ulsan Hyundai’s six-game winning streak since the opening of the K-League 1 was played by multi-goal Rubikson (Sweden), but the supporting role was by far the national team goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo.
Cho Hyun-woo played the role of a savior by performing a splendid save show by starting in the K-League 1 Round 6 home match against Suwon Samsung (Ulsan won 2-1) held at Ulsan Munsu Stadium on the 8th.
Even Ulsan coach Hong Myung-bo praised his performance immediately after the game, saying, “If it wasn’t for Cho Hyun-woo, we would have been defeated.” It is also true that Ulsan led with Rubiksson scoring two goals in the first half alone. However, in the second half, they were confused for a while in the midst of changing defensive personnel, and suffered from the offensive of Suwon, who was desperate to win the season.
Ulsan fell behind Suwon by 10-15 in the number of shots and 377-419 in the number of successful passes. There were also 5 key passes, fewer than Suwon (9). All of these figures were overturned in the second half. Suwon launched an onslaught with foreign strikers such as Mulich and Bassani.
However, Ulsan had Jo Hyun-woo, the ‘last bastion’. In the 12th minute of the second half, he threw his body to block Basani’s shot from Suwon’s penalty kick opportunity. Although he conceded a comeback goal to Kim Gyeong-joong in the 4th minute of the second half, he saved 3 out of 4 decisive shots against the opponent that day. The save rate is 75%. In particular, he was praised as ‘as expected Cho Hyun-woo’ as he blocked Mulich’s right-footed shot, which was no different from a last-minute goal, with an animalistic sense.
Cho Hyun-woo, who is fully trusted by coach Hong, has a new motivation through the A national team, which was recently appointed by coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Five years ago, during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, he was active as the main gatekeeper. In last year’s Qatar World Cup finals, he kept the bench.
However, under Klinsman’s managerial system, the starting point is again the starting point. In the two consecutive A-matches (Colombia and Uruguay), which he played for the first time under the Klinsman system last month, he split with Kim Seung-gyu and played as a starter.
After the match against Uruguay (Korea lost 1-2), Cho Hyun-woo received various advice from Klinsmann’s goalkeeper coach,안전놀이터 former German national team member Andreas Köpke, who joked, “Did you block all German shots (at the time of the Russia World Cup)?” Disclosed.
Köpke coached famous goalkeepers such as Oliver Kahn and Manuel Neuer while serving as goalkeeper coach for nearly 17 years in the German national team alone.
Coach Köpke is ordering Cho Hyeon-woo and the national team goalkeeper to play more boldly and with variety.
Cho Hyun-woo, born in 1991, can fully challenge the 2026 World Cup finals in North and Central America. He is determined to play a more mature role in good faith competition with Kim Seung-gyu. His team, Ulsan, is the proof.