Wuhan Three Towns bid farewell to the AFC Champions League after drawing 1:1 with Pohang Ironman
In the final group match of the 2023-2024 AFC Champions League, Wuhan Three Towns drew 1:1 at home with South Korea’s Pohang Ironman, ending their campaign with 6 games, 1 win, 2 draws, and 3 losses. With a total of 5 points, they ranked fourth in the group, marking the end of their journey in the AFC Champions League.
Representing China in the AFC Champions League for the first time as the champions of the Chinese Super League in the 2022 season, Wuhan Three Towns were placed in a group with South Korea’s Pohang Ironman, Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds, and Vietnam’s Hanoi FC. The final round saw them losing 1:2 in a critical match against Urawa Red Diamonds and being eliminated early, making the game against Pohang Ironman a “battle of honor” for the team.
Despite having no impact on their overall qualification, Wuhan Three Towns still aimed to end their season on a high note. In the 50th minute, Jiang Zhipeng made a pass that was inadvertently deflected into the Pohang Ironman’s goal by a defender, giving Wuhan Town an unexpected lead. However, Pohang Ironman managed to score a header off a corner kick in the 76th minute, leveling the score at 1:1.
Despite several missed opportunities from Pohang Ironman in the final stages of the game, Wuhan Three Towns managed to hold on and secure a draw with their opponents. Although they failed to progress further in the AFC Champions League, their 1 win and 2 draws in three home games showcased their resilience.
With the conclusion of this game, Wuhan Three Towns also wrapped up all competitions for the season. As per the regulations of the Chinese Football Association, the Chinese Super League for the next season will commence on March 1, 2024.
Overall, Wuhan Three Towns’ inaugural campaign in the AFC Champions League may not have gone as planned, but it was a valuable experience for the team as they now look ahead to the upcoming domestic season.