Lee Chun Soo was carrying a cold during Saturday’s A3 Champions Cup game but the striker still managed to score a brilliant second-half hat trick in Ulsan Hyundai’s 6-0 win over Gamba Osaka.
Brazilian Leandro also scored twice and Kim Young Sam once as the South Korean champions ran riot against a tired-looking Gamba side at Tokyo’s National Stadium.
Both teams are now on three points each in the four-team tournament after Gamba beat Chinese side Dalian Shide 3-2 in their first game and Ulsan lost 3-2 to JEF United Chiba.
In the later match on Saturday evening, Seiichiro Maki salvaged a 2-2 draw for JEF against Dalian and the Chiba side now sits at the top of the pile on four points.
Ulsan’s South Korean international Lee bamboozled the Gamba defense time and again with a dazzling display of trickery that belied his illness.
“Lee has a cold and I told him it was better to go to hospital for some injections but he refused,”Ulsan coach Kim Jung Nam said.”
He said he wouldn’t be able to play a full game, maybe just part of it, and then he goes and scores a hat trick.
“Coach Kim was relieved at getting three points in the competition that brings together the champions of the K-League, J. League and C-League and Nabisco Cup winners JEF.
“Thank God after our first loss!” Kim said. “After the last match, our motivation was up but we didn’t expect today’s score. I don’t believe there is that much difference between the two teams.
Gamba coach Akira Nishino was as shocked as Kim was delighted.
“I am very embarrassed and the players are, too,” Nishino said. “I felt there was a huge gap between the two teams in the ability. “The players tried to adapt to Ulsan’s game but it proved to be too difficult.”
Kim Young Sam opened the scoring on 24 minutes with brilliant 25-meter strike into the top corner before Leandro made it 2-0 before halftime with a header.
The Lee Chun Soo show got off the ground one minute into the second half when the ex-Spanish League star saw his shot deflected into the net before he made it 4-0 when he controlled the ball neatly with his chest and tucked the ball under Yosuke Fujigaya.
Leandro cracked in the fifth from a tight angle before Lee made a mug of Japan international Tsuneyasu Miyamoto with a delicious bit of skill before stroking the ball home to make it 6-0. The A3 Champions Cup concludes on Tuesday at National Stadium when Gamba plays JEF and Ulsan faces Dalian.
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