Ulsan put on a goal-fest to defeat Jeju United 5-1 in the 18th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Munsu Football Stadium. With the win, Ulsan extended its lead at the top of the table with 44 points after two consecutive victories.
Ataru scored his first goal in eight games in a Ulsan jersey to give the club three valuable points.
Ataru was an ambitious signing for Ulsan, replacing Jun Amano, who left for Jeonbuk Hyundai after last season. He struggled to adapt and had injuries, but coach Hong Myung-bo had faith in him.
On June 6 against Suwon FC (3-1 win), Ataru took the field like a pro. He was now fully acclimatized and came on as a substitute for Hwang Jae-hwan, who had an U-22 card, in the first 20 minutes. He played between the first and second lines, linking up with his teammates and sparking the offense. In total, he attempted four shots, two of which were on goal. In the 24th minute of the second half, he assisted Martin Adam’s first goal. 메이저놀이터
“I’ve had injuries and acclimatization issues, but I knew I had a role to play in the preparation for Suwon FC,” said Hong Myung-bo at the time. It was my best performance so far,” he praised.
Ataru was used again against Jeju before the A-Match break. His body was light. He would find space when Lee In-gyu would drag the defense down, and he would link up with Bako and Uhm Won-sang in the opponent’s half to create chances.
Before this game against Jeju, he had only one assist in seven games. We needed a goal more than anything. Ataru delivered. In the seventh minute of the second half, Uhm Won-sang sent in a sharp cross. Ataru peeled off a defender and connected with a fantastic diving header in the box that rattled the net. He smiled as he lay on the ground, as if he had gotten all of his pain out. His teammates hugged him, and the Ulsan fans cheered and applauded.
In the 22nd minute of the second half, Ataru completed his mission and was substituted by Rubiksson and walked off the field. With Ataru back on the field, Ulsan had more cards to play in attack, and their teamplay became fluid and sharp.