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Pohang 0-0 Jeonnam: Recap

On a night when the Jeonnam attack needed to be at their absolute best they instead performed incapably, reverting to the same failed techniques that have plagued the Dragons all season long. The attacking combination of Lee Jong Ho, Stevica Ristic and Mislav Orsic were completely taken out of the game by the physicality of the Pohang defense, the only excitement coming from fits of visible frustration from Lee Jong Ho who spent the majority of the game double marked. Ahn Young Woo had one of his best games of the season and was a real creative force coming down the flank for Jeonnam. He consistently beat his man with impressive displays of skill, pestering the otherwise untroubled Pohang defensive line with inquisitive crosses. Unfortunately, the sloppiness of Ristic and Orsic, both uncharacteristically clumsy on the ball, squandered his efforts.

What the Pohang defense accomplished with brutishness the Jeonnam back four did with reflex and skill. On countless occasions the Jeonnam back four blocked shots, intercepted passes and won challenges. The infrequently used Lee Seul Chan was massive for Jeonnam on the right side. The tiny midfielder turned right back (172cm 65kg) made himself a nuisance to the Pohang attack all night long with fearless, physical play. When Pohang did manage to break through, Jeonnam stalwart, Kim Byeong Ji was ready between the sticks, making several lunging saves over the course of the night. In the 50th minute Pohang was gifted a very questionable offsides no-call creating a one on one challenge between their striker and Byeong Ji which will go down as one of his best saves of the season.

The Jeonnam midfield was utterly incapable of holding possession and ultimately resulted in the subbing off of midfielder Jeong Seok Min in the 56th minute for center back Kim Dong Cheol in a wild attempt to maintain some amount of possession. It initially looked as if this strategy might work for embattled manager No Sang Rae as Dong Cheol partnered with Ahn Young Woo on several determined runs forward before ultimately settling in as a 5th defender.

Both teams seemed to get frustrated by around the 70th minute as Jeonnam hunkered down to save the point. The majority of the final third was played in the Jeonnam half with Pohang settling for a series of long, misguided shots from outside the box. While it may have effectively raised Kim Byeong Ji's heart rate, it proved to be a poor strategy for breaking the stalemate which mercifully ended after 4 minutes of stoppage time. 

The Dragons next game will be Saturday against cellar dwellers Busan as Jeonnam will look to get back in to the top half of the table.  

4 comments

  1. I haven't always stood behind him, but Kim Byung-ji's certainly doing all he can to keep the Dragons in chase for the top half. Hopefully they can start scoring some goals to support him.

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    Replies
    1. I don't usually believe in stuff like this but I can't remember a team that needed a calendar flip more than this dragons squad. What a miserable august.

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    2. Agreed. It was ridiculously true in May as well. This season is kind of the definition of a roller coaster season. Hopefully they can continue to play well in the FA Cup and get a Champions League birth there. Just a bit too inconsistent for me to think they'll finish 3rd in the league and get it that way. But... who knows? Maybe they'll go undefeated in September.

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  2. The table is pretty open aside from Jeonbuk and Suwon. Anything could happen

    ReplyDelete

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