Suwon FC head coach Kim Eun-joong is already thinking about the next game after beating the ‘No. 1’ Pohang Steelers.

Suwon FC defeated the Pohang Steelers 1-0 in the 13th round of the Hana Bank K League 1 2024 at Suwon Sports Complex at 7:00 p.m. on Monday.

With the win, Suwon FC remained in fourth place with 21 points (65 W, 3 D, 4 L). Only two points separate them from third-place Ulsan (23). Pohang lost for the first time since the opening match, ending an 11-match unbeaten run. They remained on 25 points (7 wins, 4 draws, 2 losses), but maintained their lead over second-place Gimcheon on goal difference.

The game was decided in the second half, as expected in a matchup of two teams with strong backs. Suwon FC head coach Kim Eun-joong brought on Kim Joo-yeop at the start of the second half and pulled out his reserve Lee Seung-woo card. At the same time, he took off Kang Sang-yoon and added Jung Seung-won to prepare for a counterattack.

The ‘Lee Seung-woo effect’ exploded immediately, as Lee sent the ball to Andersson, who was penetrating the left side of the box, and Andersson played a cutback pass that Jung Seung-won finished with his right foot to split the goal. It was a thunderbolt goal that came less than a minute after the whistle blew for the second half. In the end, it was the difference between the two teams.

Suwon FC switched to a three-back in the second half with the introduction of Jackson, a ‘long defender’. “We were prepared for Pohang because they have long strikers in Georgi and Lee Ho-jae. We were looking at the timing. They conceded an early goal and switched to a two-man defense, so we put Jackson on early,” Kim explained.

Suwon FC moved four points clear of first-place Pohang and into contention at the top of the table. Despite this, Kim Eun-joong says, “I don’t really look at the standings. We are trying to accumulate points every game, and we are preparing by analyzing our opponents. I’m doing my best for each match,” he said, adding, “The standings are not that important right now. It all depends on how I feel on the day. We have to recover well and prepare well for the next match,” he said, adding that he didn’t put too much importance on it.

Suwon FC goalkeeper Ahn Jun-soo was once again solid in goal. “Ahn Jun-soo is a player I played with at the (Tokyo 2020) Olympics. I knew his ability from then. He made his K League 1 debut with me this year. He’s a very motivated player,” Kim said, adding, “He’s been 바카라 doing well so far. I think the defense line has also found stability thanks to him. If he stays in good shape and plays the rest of the games, it will be a stepping stone for him to grow to the next level.”

Suwon FC’s upset victory over Jeonbuk in the last round and the upset of top-ranked Pohang at home gave them a boost. However, Kim Eun-joong vowed to take it one game at a time and prepare for the next.

“Jeonbuk was last at the time, but it was a very difficult match. The standings don’t mean much now. We had a difficult time last year when we were in the relegation zone, so we are more focused on every game. Today we beat the No. 1 team with the best offense and defense balance. Beating the number one team doesn’t give you more points. I’m proud of the players for overcoming everything. Next up is Jeju away. Jeju is not an easy opponent. We will prepare well and bring a good result.”

He also praised Jung Seung-won, the ‘hero of the final goal’. Kim Eun-joong said, “Jung Seung-won is a player who does his best when he is on the field, regardless of his position. Today, he played the right wing forward role, which is not his main position, but he did a good job and scored a goal. The players who are on the field are giving more than 100 percent. I’m grateful for that.”

Lastly, he talked about the physical condition of Indonesia’s national defender Arhan. “Arhan was in very good shape before the Olympic qualifiers, and we needed him because we had a lot of games during that time. However, coach Shin Tae-yong wanted him to play strongly, so we helped him. I had a lot of fatigue from the playoffs. It’s unfortunate that I was repeatedly called up when I felt better. I need to improve my condition first and then see when I can be used,” he said.


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