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Review: Gyeongnam FC 2-1 Daejeon Citizen

On a wet and blustery Sunday afternoon, Daejeon Citizen made the three hour journey south to pit their wits against a boyant Gyeongnam eleven still yet to be beaten in the league this season.  The Gyeongsan-namdo outfit unbeaten record was to remain intact, albeit in dramatic circumstances (Picture credit: Gyeongnam FC Facebook page).

Gyeongnam made just two changes to the side that gained a valuable point away at Busasn IPark last Sunday.  Giving an instant debut to our new signing Park Myeong-soo from Incheon United at left back and bringing back our captain Ki Jeong Bae on the right hand side of the midfield. Daejeon came here also in relatively good form after beating Seoul Eland in their last game 2-1 with strikers Christian and Heo Seok both in good form.

The game started quite stale with both teams knocking it around nicely but with no real penetration in the final third.  However a misplaced pass in the early stages did give the impressive youngster for the purples Hwang In Beom a clear cut chance one on one with the keeper, in which he pulled wide of the right hand post.  Guilt edged chance wasted for an early lead.

This spurred Gyeongnam on and we started to get stuck in, putting in tackles and letting Daejeon know we are no roll overs.  Bruno our Brazilian midfielder was in the thick of the action appearing to elbow Daejeons experienced defender Kim Jin Kyu off the ball, unseen by all the officials which riled up the boys in purple and in particular ex Gyeongnam player Christian, who ran the full length of the pitch to remonstrate with the man in the middle.  He caught him for sure and it was on purpose. I saw it with my own eyes, it had been brewing for a while on the pitch.  Chances were few and far between and both teams went into the break with a goaless scoreline.  Fair on the reflection of play.

The second half was a much better half.  Gyeongnam made a half time substitute, bringing off our captain Ki Jeong Bae (injury) and bringing on experienced campaigner Ahn sung nam to steady up the right hand side of midfield.  It made an instant difference and we started to hurt Daejeon down their left hand side.  Marcao, who was very quiet in the first half was becoming more of a threat in the air and he was making his presence known, wasted a few half chances.  Then against the run of play and with time running out Daejeon took the lead on the 80th minute mark.  Of course it had to come from Christian who peeled away from his marker in the 6 yard box and smashed the ball into the roof of the net, via a slight deflection from a great cut back from the left hand byline.  1-0 and with only 10 minutes remaining, things weren't looking promising for the reds.

Then literally a minute later Gyeongnam broke up the other end and levelled through big man Marcao.  He recieved a ball into his feet in the 18 yard box and whilst backing into the defender using his immense strength, in one motion the Brazilian span and shot in one movement.  The ball clipped the heel of the Daejeon defender Kim Jin Kyu on it's way to the goal and looped over the hapless goalkeeper into the corner of the net.  1-1 and well and truely game on!

The drama was not done yet.  Gyeongnam FC managed to muster up the energy to grab a dramatic winner just 3 minutes later and it was a glorious goal to win it from super sub Kim Do Hyeop.  Cutting in from the right onto his favoured left foot, he weaved his way past a few players, dropped his shoulder past another and curled a fantastic shot into the right hand corner.  The crowd went nuts, myself included.  All 11 players on the pitch jumping around for joy and the whole bench was up running down the line to join in the celebrations.  Great scenes.

(Picture credit: Gyeongnam FC Facebook page)
They was still 7 minutes remaining and Daejeon threw on another striker to try and get a point which in truth they did deserve.  We have our keeper Lee Bum Soo to thank for taking home all three points as he saved from point blank range from Daejeon Striker Lee Heo Seok with the time running down.  It was a breath taking save in the last minute of normal time.  Gyeongnam players were throwing themselves at everything Daejeon had in their locker.  The sound of the final whistle was greeted with obvious sounds of jubilation and joy.  Gyeongnam are top of the league, as Suwon lost at home to Asan the same afternoon.  A great day to be a Gyeongnam supporter.

In conclusion, looking at the stats, Daejeon will feel aggreived going back up north with nothing to show for their efforts.  On another day, they could have been 2 or 3 up by the time we got back into the game. A 2-1 win for Gyeongnam and the way in which it was won can only have a positive effect on the players and staff alike.

(Picture credit: Gyeongnam FC Facebook page)
Next up for Gyeongnam is a tricky away FA Cup tie against Kleague 4th tier team Hwaseong FC on Wednesday the 29th of March with a 7:30pm kick off.
For Daejeon an away trip to National League side Cheonan City FC on the same night with a 7pm kick off.

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