Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors have arrived in Japan ahead of their FIFA Club World Cup second round meeting with Mexican side Club America. The AFC Champions League winners had the shortest journey of all visiting teams, with the Jeollabuk-do based side making the brief trip from Korea Republic.
Jeonbuk, crowned kings of Asia just last month, will face CONCACAF Champions League winners Club America on 11 December – ten years to the day since the two sides met in the competition. Ahead of the second round meeting, manager Choi Kanghee voiced the club’s injury concerns, with captain and goalkeeper Kwon Suntae – who played in the Club World Cup fixture with Club America a decade ago – the most notable absentee.
“There are a lot of injuries and especially the injury of our goalkeeper and captain [Kwon Suntae] is painful. However, our other goalkeeper will be prepared, as well as the rest of the players,” said coach Choi. “We will try to be fully prepared for the first match. We're not thinking of losing, we are ready.”
The winner of Jeonbuk-Club America, who face off in Osaka, will meet UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid at the International Stadium Yokohama on 15 December.
“Of course, we would like to play against Real Madrid,” said veteran striker Lee Donggook. “But we are preparing for our first match and are only focused on that for now.”