“I never thought I would watch an English Premier League (EPL) game in the K League…”
Professional soccer K League 1 is attracting crowds with ‘attack soccer’ comparable to the English Premier League (EPL), which is said to be the best among European soccer leagues. . It is giving the beauty of ‘intuition’ with a quick counterattack through forward pressure. At the center are Daejeon Hana Citizen and Gwangju FC, who were promoted from the second division. On the other hand, the prestigious K-League 1 clubs, Suwon Samsung and Jeonbuk Hyundai, were struggling and worried about relegation.
On the 18th, the Korea Professional Football먹튀검증 Federation announced that it selected Daejeon as the ‘K League 1 Best Team’ with Lee Jin-hyun (26, Daejeon) as the 7th round MVP of the ‘Hana One Q K League 1 2023’. Also, the match between Gwangju FC and Daegu FC (on the 16th) was chosen as the ‘Best Match’. Daejeon and Gwangju, the ‘promoted team storm’, were named together.
Lee Jin-hyun is the main character who created a stir in defeating Ulsan Hyundai (2-1 win), who had been running for 6 consecutive victories, with a wonderful wonder goal at the World Cup Stadium in Daejeon on the 16th. He was noted for his high amount of activity, not only attacking for 90 minutes, but also being involved in defense in midfield. Commentator Han Joon-hee, who was broadcasting the game that day, praised Park Ji-sung, saying, “It’s like watching Park Ji-sung.”
The match on this day was full of excitement, just like the EPL. Daejeon led the game with strong forward pressure throughout the first half. In particular, Lee Jin-hyun’s first goal, which broke out in the 9th minute of the first half, was a left-footed kick that was stolen through forward pressure. It was exhilarating as if watching Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham)’s proprietary kick, a kick. Even in the situation of winning the second half, the performance that continued the forward pressure instead of the down defense left a strong impression on soccer fans. Daejeon, which was promoted after 8 years and showed a hot performance, jumped to 3rd place (4 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss, 14 points).
Gwangju is the same. In the opening game, they defeated Suwon Samsung (1-0 win) and then defeated Incheon United (5-0 win), showing off spectacular attacking football. Last weekend’s away game against Daegu (4-3 win) was a slugfest. As usual, Gwangju started with an aggressive tactic from the beginning of the first half, scoring two goals each in the first and second half to calm Daegu (3 goals). In particular, after leading 3-0 until the beginning of the second half, Daegu showed their backing by making up for one goal after conceding three goals. In addition to attacking soccer, there is no reason for soccer fans not to fall in love with persistent fighting spirit.
Prestigious clubs in the K-League 1 went on a path of asceticism. They are in the relegation zone after 7 rounds, raising concerns.
After losing to Jeju last weekend, Suwon Samsung, which was ‘unbeaten’, eventually sacked coach Lee Byeong-geun. Suwon Samsung said on the 18th, “We decided to sack coach Lee by taking responsibility for poor performance. For the time being, head coach Choi Sung-yong plans to lead the team as acting coach.” Manager Lee left the team after one year as head coach. Suwon is currently in 12th place in the league (2 draws, 5 losses, 2 points), and is desperate for one win along with Gangwon FC (11th place, 3 draws, 4 losses). In addition, difficulties are expected with a ‘super match’ with FC Seoul (4th place, 13 points) on the 22nd.
Jeonbuk Hyundai is also uneasy. Last year’s runner-up team is struggling to the point of being colorless. The ranking also remains at 9th place (2 wins, 1 draw, 4 losses, 7 points). Jeonbuk is unable to use its offensive power even though it has national team players such as Cho Kyu-sung, Song Min-gyu, and Baek Seung-ho.
Jeonbuk is in an atmosphere of being shunned by fans as they have lost their former reputation, such as the absence of bold attacks. Director Kim Sang-shik recently received strong protests from fans, and CEO Heo Byung-gil is also having a harsh time by posting an apology to fans on the official social network service (SNS). From Suwon’s point of view, the away game against Jeju, which is on a two-game winning streak on the 23rd, is inevitable.