Ulsan Hyundai’s defense nucleus Kim Young-kwon, 33, has gone down. Kim Young-kwon, who has played full-time in every game in the K League this season and has led Ulsan to a commanding lead in the league, injured his right hamstring (muscle behind the thigh).
He felt something wrong with his hamstring in the first 20 minutes of the home game against Daejeon Hana Citizens in the 15th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at Ulsan World Cup Stadium on Aug. 28. He returned to try to force his way back into the game, but went down again. His streak of playing full-time in all matches came to a halt. Kim will be examined on the 29th as it is a public holiday. The hamstring needs ‘absolute stability’. If he pushes himself too hard, he could be out even longer.
For Ulsan and the A team, it’s a “major setback. Ulsan has already felt the impact of Kim Young-kwon’s absence. After scoring the first goal in the 20th minute on an own goal, Ulsan was shaken when Kim left the field. They conceded three goals in the first half. After conceding the equalizer to Leandro in the 24th minute during the substitution process, they conceded back-to-back goals to Masa in the 32nd and 42nd minutes.
Daejeon was the first time Ulsan conceded more than three goals this season. Fortunately, Lee In-gyu scored relay goals in the 32nd and 43rd minutes to make it 3-3, but Hong Myung-bo was not smiling. He was half angry, half disappointed.
“The first half was our worst performance of the season. We didn’t recognize how the other players should react when a player was missing. “It’s obvious that Kim Young-kwon is the leader of the team and helps us on the field, but when he’s out, other players have to step up to the plate. We can’t rely on just one person, everyone has to take leadership in their role.” He added: “Three wins are better than 10 draws. We can take comfort in a point, but a draw doesn’t really mean anything. We can’t continue like this.” 안전놀이터
Ulsan’s six-game winning streak was halted by Daejeon once again. The first six consecutive wins were followed by defeats, and this time it was a draw. However, this does not mean that the status of the ‘absolute number one’ has been shaken. With 12 wins, two draws and one loss, they lead the table with 38 points. However, the gap between them and the next three teams in the standings – FC Seoul, Jeju United, and Pohang Steelers (all on 27 points) – has narrowed to 11 points. The aftermath of Kim Young-kwon’s injury is also a factor.