‘K-League 1 Champions Honked + FA Cup Weekend 7,330’ Jeonnam, Reasons to Go Up to K-League 1

“I’m honored and happy to bring Ulsan Hyundai, the best team in the K League and Asia, to Gwangyang. We will do our best to play an entertaining game without falling apart.”

Jeonnam Dragons head coach Lee Jang-jeon heated up Gwangyang Bay with a luxury match.

Jeonnam took the lead through Hanam’s first goal in the 18th minute of the second half in the fourth round (round of 16) of the 2023 Hana OneQ FA CUP at Gwangyang Football Stadium on April 24 at 7 p.m., but suffered a bitter 1-2 defeat after conceding consecutive goals in the last minute of the second half and in extra time.

Defending K League 1 champions, leaders this season, and on a six-game winning streak. Ulsan proved to be a tough opponent for the 10th-ranked Jeonnam in the K League 2, but a combination of intense pressure, activity, and determination put the Giants away.

As predicted by head coach Lee Jang-jang, Jeonnam tried to press forward from the start. They started with frontline striker Hanam, combining the passivity of Park Sung-gyeol and the finesse of Plana on the second wing. In the center, Jeon Seung-min and Noh Gun-woo battled it out. Defensive midfielder Huh Kwon went up and down to hold the center.

It wasn’t unconditional pressure. When Ulsan pushed forward, the entire line dropped to prepare for an onslaught. We kept a tight defensive gap. Counters were also added. At this time, fullbacks Asnawi (right) and Lee Kyu-hyuk (left) actively tried to overlap and link up with crosses.

In the first half, Jeonnam had more chances than Ulsan. For example, in the 13th minute, when the Ulsan defenders left a gap in the arc, Plana cut in and attempted a left-footed shot. In the 21st minute, Lee emphasized continuous pressure to cause mistakes. Hanam intercepted Boyanic’s ball in the opponent’s zone, broke through and connected with a shot. In the 29th minute, Hanam’s header from a Park Sung-gyeol cross landed in Cho Hyun-woo’s arms, and in the 31st minute, Plana’s shot from a counterattack, and Munjeon’s shot from behind the Ulsan defense in the 38th minute, Hanam completely controlled and dominated the opponent for 45 minutes.

In the fifth minute of the second half, Jeonnam substituted Valdivia for Park Sung-gyeol. It was a game-changer. Ulsan was the more urgent side. Ulsan pushed forward and Jeonnam responded. It was a back-and-forth affair.

Coach Lee Jang-jang’s substitution was spot on. Substitute Valdivia sent in an exquisite cross in the 18th minute of the second half. Hanam split the goal with a header.

From then on, Ulsan’s offense was unstoppable. They sent on Bako and In-Ju-gyu for a total offense. Jeonnam stuck to their preparations, maintaining line spacing and protecting their positions, and building a cohesive defense through cooperative play. The defense seemed to be a perfect shield against Ulsan’s spear, which boasts the highest firepower in K League 1. Unfortunately, they couldn’t survive the second half of extra time.

In the end, it was the overtime that took its toll. In the middle of the second half, players complained of muscle cramps. Asnawi and Huh-kwon were stretchered off. We were outnumbered. They fought hard, but couldn’t create a miracle. That was it.

Two years ago, Jeonnam had good memories of Ulsan. They reached the FA Cup final with a 2-1 victory in their own backyard. In the final, they defeated Daegu FC to lift the trophy. There’s a reason why head coach Hong Myung-bo said, “Giant killing happens in competitions like this. It’s not easy to play a game like this.”메이저놀이터

Despite the game being played on a weekday, Jeonnam had 7,330 fans in attendance. There were various events, and the stadium was packed with people for the match against Ulsan, a rarely-seen star team in K League 2. A win would have been great, but it was still enough to capture the hearts of the fans. It was the kind of performance and commitment that makes you wonder why they are still ranked 10th in K League 2.

Coach Lee Jang-soo was proud of his players and said, “We had a lot of fans, but we conceded in the last minute. When I saw the players falling down one by one, I actually wanted to give up. I wanted to protect them because we have a more important league in a few days.” “I thought it would be impolite to get off in front of so many fans. I tried to keep them on the field as much as possible. I understand the players’ desire to grit their teeth and play. It was painful to have to tell them not to play. Even if I’m a mouse, I keep getting up and doing my best, which is what Jeon pursued. I will do my best to continue this spirit.”

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