Did these players do this well?”
There was admiration among the reporters who watched the Hana One Q K League 1 2023 29th round match between Gwangju FC and Ulsan Hyundai held at Ulsan Munsu Soccer Stadium on the 3rd.
Gwangju, a promoted team that competed in the second division until last season, won 2-0 after pushing Ulsan, the defending champion and season leader, on this day.
Gwangju, who applied intense forward pressure as coach Lee Jeong-hyo declared, “We will put pressure,” showed off a clean transition between offense and defense and was already ahead by two goals in the early part of the second half.
Ulsan launched an ‘all-out war’. At the start of the second half, Eom Won-sang, who had just returned from injury, was brought in, and later Joo Min-gyu, Lee Chung-yong, Kim Tae-hwan, and Boyanic also took the field and launched a strong offensive. However, the opponent’s goal did not open.
Compared to these ‘candidate players’ who came in in the second half, the name value of the Gwangju squad that has been on the field drops significantly.
Um Ji-seong, who plays as an ace in Gwangju, was drafted to the under-23 national team and could not play on this day. Warnings have piled up for Heo Yul and Asani, and ‘defensive core’ Timo is also recovering from injury.
The lineup on this day, with a large number of key players leaving, was virtually no different from last season when they competed in the second division. Despite this, the team performed well enough to completely defeat the team considered to be the best in the league.
In particular, Gwangju’s defensive line consisting of Lee Soon-min, Ahn Young-gyu, Aaron, and Du Hyun-seok was the same lineup that faced the second division team last season.
The secret was the ‘growth’ of the players. Lee Kun-hee, who immediately scored the first goal, is showing the same level of performance as last season in the first division, where the level has become even higher.
Lee Kun-hee, who scored 6 goals in 15 games in the 2022 season, scored 4 goals in 17 games this season. He recorded 12 shots, 4 of which hit the net.
Lee Sun-min, born in 1994, is approaching 30 and is performing the best performance of his career.
In the 2022 season, he showed great activity in the midfield and was evaluated as a key player in Gwangju’s promotion, but this season, he expanded his activity radius to the entire back area and became a ‘different player’.
He often plays as a defender rather than as a midfielder, which is his main position.
On this day, he played as a fullback. He changed his position to the point where it was confusing whether he was a left fullback or a right fullback, blocking the opponent’s attacking line, which boasted firepower.
In particular, Ulsan’s Kim Min-hyuk, who was on a counterattack in extra time in the first half, had a chance to shoot with his right foot in the penalty area, but Lee Soon-min, who gritted his teeth and followed him before he knew it, blocked it with his body, which was the highlight.
In the 35th minute of the second half, he kept up with Eom Won-sang, the ‘representative Junjok’ of the K-League, who penetrated the back space following Bako’s roving pass, and kept up with him in a speed competition, ultimately rendering the attack ineffective.
Soon-min Lee, who was recently selected as a national representative for the first time in his life, attributed his growth to Gwangju.
Thanks to Gwangju’s tight tactical organization, their strengths are demonstrated on the field.
Soon-min Lee said, “There are a lot of preparations and promised movements as a team. No matter what position I enter, I just have to focus on my role in an organized situation. All players say that. Even in unfamiliar positions, good results can be achieved.” “This is why we can create it,” he said.
Coach Lee Jeong-hyo cited ‘tactical execution ability’ as a key factor in growth.
Coach Lee said, “Doo Hyun-seok and Lee Soon-min moved to the center and played various roles. Our team often plays in a different position (compared to before), so I think they naturally know what to do the moment they move to that position.” He added, “They also understand tactics. “It’s getting better,” he said.
He added, “No matter which team we play, the soccer we want to play is always the same. In order to score, the entire team brings out their fighting spirit and all their strength and shows it on the ground.”
Gwangju captain Ahn Young-gyu’s ‘pledge’ is gradually turning into reality. Ahn Young-gyu predicted a season of ‘breaking the seal’ through the club last January, saying, “We will meet a team that thinks we are a weak team and show it to them.”바카라사이트
At the time, Ulsan was chosen by Ahn Young-gyu as the team he most wanted to face. Young-gyu Ahn said, “Ulsan won the first division, and we won the second division. I want to feel like we have become a better team by facing each other.”
Gwangju won the K-League 2 title last season and also conceded the fewest points (32 points). There were not many expectations that Gwangju’s defense, centered around Ahn Young-gyu, would show the same ‘salty defense’ as before in the first division.
Gwangju, which has conceded 28 goals in 29 games this season, ranks second in least goals conceded after Jeonbuk Hyundai (25 goals).
The current ranking, which is mid-to-late season, is 3rd (12 wins, 9 draws, 8 losses, 45 points).
Gwangju, which recorded its 12th win, also wrote a new history for the club under the ‘Lee Jeong-hyo system’. They broke the record for the most wins in the first division, surpassing 2016 (11 wins) during the K League Classic era.