The sensational Gwangju FC caught a big fish. Even in adverse conditions with four key players missing, they defeated Ulsan Hyundai, the ‘absolute leader’.
Gwangju won 2-0 in the 29th round of ‘Hana One Q K League 1 2023’ against Ulsan held at Ulsan World Cup Stadium on the 3rd, led by relay goals from top two, Lee Kun-hee and Beka. It has been eight years since Gwangju, who were promoted to Division 1 this year, defeated Ulsan.
Ulsan went undefeated in 16 games (11 wins, 5 draws) over 8 years against Gwangju, starting with a 1-0 win on August 29, 2015. That jinx has been broken. Gwangju lost both matches this season, but turned the tide perfectly on this day.
Gwangju was the ‘trend’. Gwangju forgot the loss after losing 0-1 to Ulsan on July 2. They went undefeated for 9 consecutive games (4 wins, 5 draws) and climbed back to 3rd place (45 points).
On the other hand, Ulsan completely lost its power as an ‘absolute powerhouse’. Ulsan, who remained at 61 points, has reduced the point gap with second-place Pohang Steelers (53 points), who defeated Incheon United 2-0 the previous day, to a single-digit point of 8 points.
Ulsan coach Hong Myung-bo brought out the 4-2-3-1 system. Martin Adam was positioned at the top, while Bako, Minhyuk Kim, and Rubiksson were positioned in the second line. The defensive midfielders included Lee Dong-kyung and Lee Gyu-seong, while Lee Myung-jae, Kim Young-kwon, Jeong Seung-hyun, and Seol Young-woo took charge of the defense. The goal was guarded by Jo Hyun-woo.
Gwangju coach Lee Jeong-hyo counters with the 4-4-2 card. Bekah and Lee Kun-hee lined up as the top two, while Ha Seung-woon, Lee Hee-gyun, Jeong Ho-yeon, and Kim Han-gil stood in midfield. Lee Min-ki, Lee Soon-min, Ahn Young-gyu, and Doo Hyun-seok formed the back four, and Kim Gyeong-min wore the goalkeeper gloves.
Gwangju was in crisis. Ahsani, Heo Yul, Um Ji-seong, and Timo were absent due to accumulated warnings, injuries, and selection for the U-22 (under 22) representative team.
Still, Director Lee said there was no ‘backward progression’. He said, “There is a lot of pressure. During the preparation stage, a ‘striking hit’ came 4 days in advance. Fortunately, the players prepared well,” and added, “It is important to continue to maintain our color. Even though the opponent is Ulsan, we will ‘match’ aggressively. He expressed confidence, saying, “If we keep beating and not conceding goals, we will have a chance.”
It was literally like that. The door opened with Lee Hee-gyun’s first shot in the 3rd minute of the first half. For Ulsan, Lee Dong-kyung recorded the first shot three minutes later. Ulsan seemed to be taking the lead with its signature high ball possession soccer, but it was not enough to break through Gwangju’s strong pressure and fighting spirit.
The first goal was scored in the 17th minute of the first half. It was Gwangju, not Ulsan. Ha Seung-woon made a pass through three defenders in a contested situation in a narrow area, and Lee Kun-hee passed Cho Hyun-woo and calmly connected with a left-footed shot. Kim Young-kwon threw his body, but the ball passed the goal line. 바카라
In the 35th minute of the first half, Gwangju Lee Min-ki was replaced by Aaron due to injury. Ulsan was unable to find a way out. In the 38th minute of the first half, Kim Young-kwon managed to get the ball out of Beka’s cross and avoid a crisis.
Lee Sun-min, who wore the Taegeuk symbol for the first time in his life, received a warm applause from Gwangju away fans when he made a close defense against Kim Min-hyuk’s shot in extra time in the first half. On this day, he played as a center back, defensive midfielder, and left full back, and roamed all over the field.