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Gwangju 3-2 Jeonnam: Recap

In a match that was never really as close as the score indicates, the Dragons fell victim to the trap game and gave Gwangju their first win of the season. 

Even though they could see the rather large box tied to a string above the cheese, the Jeonnam Dragons couldn't help themselves. They just had to have that snack. One meaningless bite into the cheddar and they found themselves the only team on the losing side to Gwangju FC in 2015 and squarely under the trap they laid for themselves.

As semi-predicted here on Thursday, the Dragons came into the game riding high on their mighty Jeonbuk killing and forgot Gwangju is a real life professional team that needs to be defended against. Much like their earlier ill-fated road trip to Pohang, Jeonnam just forgot how to play football for the first half and it was their undoing.

From the first whistle Gwangju took the ball and never thought about sharing. Jeonnam simply couldn't maintain possession whatsoever through the first fifteen minutes and eventually conceded a corner that Kim Young-Bin easily headed home to give the home side a 1-0 lead. All of five minutes later Fábio Neves made a fool of not one, not two, but three defenders on a dance through the box and around Kim Byung Ji to quickly make it 2-0 to the underdogs.

Apparently Gwangju goalkeeper Kwon Jung-Hyuk felt guilty about this two goal lead and absolutely gifted one to Kim Young Wook for his second of the season. A soft, otherwise useless through ball that meandered into the box was inexplicably spilled by the 36-year-old keeper and rolled directly onto a grateful feet of Young Wook who buried it to bring the Dragons within one. The teams then swapped chances to end the half, but neither was able to convert.

Things seemed relatively hopeful at the half. Slow start aside, the Dragons clawed their way back into the game and were well positioned to at least get a point out of this mess. After a few decent looks to start the second, Stevica Ristić had a golden opportunity to tie it in the 65th minute on a beauty of a cross from Kim Young-Wook. Sent in on a frozen rope, the cross cleared five defenders and found a wide open Ristić, who unfortunately couldn't get enough purchase on the header and it was easily saved by Kwon.

And then the other shoe dropped.

In the 67th minute Lim Sun Young put a weakling shot on net that somehow made its way by the mulleted hero of Jeonnam. Perhaps Kim Byung Ji felt guilty for not equaling the blunder of Kwon Jung-Hyuk on the other end? Perhaps his ancient old man bones couldn't get down quickly enough? Whatever the case may be, the third and final goal for Gwangju proved to be the game winner. Jeon Hyeon-Chul added a goal for Jeonnam in stoppage time, but it was far too little too late and the game ended 3-2.

Perhaps what's most disappointing is that the seemingly easy road win would have catapulted the Dragons into second place with 16 points. It could've been three wins in a row, second place in the standings, and cellar dwellers Daejeon coming up next at home. However, with four teams set to play tomorrow, Jeonnam still find themselves in 5th place. Sixth place Jeju will take on second place Ulsan, while fourth place Pohang takes on bottom feeding Busan (11th). There are a few scenarios that can slightly shake the standings now, but nothing quite as drastic as could have happened had Jeonnam just done their damn job.

The good news is that cellar dwellers Daejeon are still required to play here in Gwangyang on May 9th. Much like last week, the Dragons will have some emotions heading into this game, but they likely won't be the bubbly/inflated ego kind that they had heading into Gwangju. They're likely to be a bit pissed. So, if you're a Dragons fan, root for Jeju and Busan tomorrow for Children's Day and hope they stay on 14 points, allowing another opportunity for some angry Dragons to vault up the standings next weekend.


  1. Dammit. The Jeonbuk game was so inspired and 7 days later we get this dreck. Talk about a team that plays to the competition

  2. Playing to the opponent indeed. It was the same crap they pulled against Pohang a few weeks back where they simply weren't there for the vast majority of the first half. Had Kwon Jung-Hyuk not gifted us that goal, there really wouldn't have been anything positive going on for the first 45. Really upset with the dropped opportunity to significantly move up the table. Not that I think anyone will be challenging the Korean Chelsea anytime soon, but it would've been nice to report on the 2nd place Jeonnam Dragons for one week... or more.

  3. On third thought, let's just blame those damn white jerseys.


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