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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Korean Joga Bonito, Part IX: Ulsan Hyundai FC - May the Tiger Force be with you.


The Ulsan Hyundai Football Club (Hangul/Hanja: 울산현대FC/蔚山現代FC) is a South Korean professional football club, owned by Korean corporation Hyundai Heavy Industries, they entered the K League in 1984 as Hyundai Horang-i a.k.a Hyundai Tigers. Home ground of this team is Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium, located at Okdong, Ulsan Nam-gu.

Ulsan Hyundai was established in Incheon on 6 December 1983, as Hyundai Football Club, with Horang-i (Horang-i means tiger in archaic Korean) as its mascot. They entered the league in 1984 and finished the season in 3rd place. In 1986, the club expanded their franchise from Incheon, Gyeonggi to Gangwon. But In 1987, the club was based solely in Gangwon. In the early 1990s, the club moved to Ulsan, becoming Ulsan Hyundai. The club became the league champion in 1996, but then entered a long dry-spell. Korean football legend Cha Bum-kun a.k.a Tscha Boom managed the club from 1991 to 1994.

They finished runners-up in 2002 and 2003, and started to emerge as a strong force. In 2005, they qualified for the Championship Play-off. In the play-off semi-final, they beat Seongnam Ilhwa 2–1, and in the final, they beat Incheon United 6–3 aggregate, with a hat-trick from Lee Chun-soo in the first leg. The club also went on to win the A3 Champions Cup in 2006.

In 2012, the club won the AFC Champions League, defeating Al-Ahli 3–0 on 10 November. In the run up to the final, Ulsan went unbeaten in all 12 games, winning nine consecutive and scored 27 goals.


Ulsan Hyundai FC's Home Pitch: Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium
Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium (Hanja: 蔚山文殊蹴球競技場), nicknamed Big Crown Stadium, is a football-specific stadium at 44 Munsu Avenue/Munsu-ro, Okdong san 5-beonji, Ulsan Nam-gu. It is home to the Ulsan Hyundai FC. The stadium was built from 18 December 1998 to 28 April 2001 and its total cost was 151.4 billion won (US$116.5 million).

Located in a major industrial city, the Ulsan Munsu football Stadium contains both mechanical and environment-friendly imagery. The overall shape of the stadium is in the shape of skull crown that symbolizes Silla Kingdom and Bangudae Petroglyphs. The stadium has three floors and 2 basement floors and a seating capacity of 44,466. There is also an auxiliary stadium with 2,590 seats. Next to the stadium is Munsu Park with a lake, a fountain and bicycle courses, lakeside square. It replaced Ulsan Complex Stadium. The venue hosted several 2002 FIFA World Cup matches.