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Review: Daejeon Citizen 4-3 Suwon FC


In a seven-goal thriller at Purple Arena, Daejeon Citizen saw off the challenge of Suwon FC ensure that the Purples pick up all three points for the first time since March, thanks to a 93rd minute winner from Romanian striker Cristian Danalache (above centre).

Image courtesy of Facebook.com/DCFC





After a run of seven straight defeats, a much improved Daejeon dug in to come from behind twice to earn just their second league win of 2017, and subsequently send Suwon FC back up to Gyeonggi Province still in search of a win.

There were improved performances all round for Citizen, no less from Georgian winger Levan Shengelia, who put his his best performance in a Daejeon shirt, whilst the Purple Arena faithful saw the Hwang Inbeom of old; the Hwang Inbeom who can effortlessly control the tempo with cunning and graceful midfield play.

Both deservedly got on the score sheet, with defender Jang Junyoung and striker Cristian Danalache rounding up the scoring for Citizen, whilst Australian centre forward Bruce Djite bagged a brace upon his return to the Suwon FC starting eleven before substitute Choi Woncheol added Suwon's third.

The win was Daejeon's first victory since round three and subsequently ended a losing streak that spanned for eight games in all competitions.

But, despite such a poor run of form heading into Monday's game, Daejeon started the brightest and could have been one or two goals up had it not have been for some sterling goalkeeping from Suwon's Lee Sangwook.

As thus, when the deadlock was eventually broken on 39 minutes, it could be argued that it was done so against the run of play as it was the visitors who drew first blood.

Bruce Djite, who was back in the starting eleven after finding himself on the bench for Suwon's last two matches, put the visitors ahead with just six minutes to go until half-time.

The former Adelaide United man actually started the move himself, playing the ball out towards Bae Jihoon on the left flank for Suwon, who in turn played the ball back to Bruce on the edge of the Daejeon penalty area.

Djite, who was a thorn in Daejeon's side all evening, then, with the help of a fortuitous ricochet,  took the ball past Jang Junyoung before prodding the ball past the advancing Kim Kiyong in the Daejeon goal.

Daejeon had the chance to peg Suwon back immediately through Lee Hoseok but the winger spurned a glorious opportunity from just six yards out.

The former Gyeongnam man was picked out by his former teammate at the Changwon Football Center, Cristian Danalache, but the Daejeon number 17's first time shot was blazed over and, as thus, the score remained 1-0 to the visitors at the interval.

But, just 10 minutes in to the second period, Daejeon did find themselves level thanks to another well-taken left-footed strike from Levan Shengelia, his second in as many games.

Lee Hoseok, atoning for his miss in the first period, picked the ball up in midfield before releasing Levan 10 yards ahead.

The 21-year-old took one touch to beat the defender before assertively slotting the ball into the bottom right corner - the goal was no more than Daejeon nor indeed Levan himself deserved.

After the equaliser Daejeon began to turn the screw and had a number of half chances before Hwang Inbeom hit the woodwork from inside the area.

But undeterred, Citizen persevered and took the lead on 63 minutes thanks to a header from defender Jang Junyoung, his first league goal of the campaign.

The Purples were awarded a free kick deep into Suwon's half after Cristian Danalache was brought down preying upon a loose throw-in.

The resulting free kick, taken by Jo Sangbeom with his left foot, was lofted towards the six yard box where an unopposed Jang Jungyoung glanced the ball home.

However, Daejeon's lead lasted little over two minutes as, as soon as the smoke from the celebratory pyrotechnics had cleared, Suwon were level thanks to another Bruce Djite goal.

Netting his second of the night and fourth of the season, Suwon's number 11 powered a header past Kim Kiyong from 18 yards out, getting on the end of a dangerous cross from Jung Hoon; a tremendous feat in itself but more so because the visitors had pegged Citizen back almost immediately.

On eighty minutes, Suwon took the lead through Choi Woncheol who came off the bench to score a header of his own, glancing the ball past the Citizen goalkeeper at the back post after Citizen full back Park Jaewoo allowed Choi to get the wrong side of him.

The goal kicked off a frenzied last 10 minutes which saw three goals scored in a blockbuster finish, with the next goal going to Daejeon who once again clawed themselves back into the game.

Starlet Hwang Inbeom showed exactly why he has been touted as heading to Europe this summer by adding a classy third goal for Daejeon on 84 minutes.

Hwang picked the ball up from Levan and after seeing his first shot blocked, the youngster steadied himself, took another touch before arrowing the ball into the bottom corner, and with the keeper rooted to the spot, Citizen level once again.

Daejeon eventually sealed all three points when Romanian striker Cristian Danalache headed home from six yards out deep into stoppage time, much to the disbelief and indeed delight of the Daejeon supporters.

Scorer turned provider when Levan, for his second assist of the evening, picked the ball up on the left-hand touchline, looked up and sent in a dangerous ball into the path of Danalache who, with strikers' instinct, guided the ball past the goalkeeper to see Daejeon lead with just second remaining.

Daejeon's fight was commendable and instead of collapsing, Lee Youngik's side kept going and in doing so they got their just rewards.

The same can be said for Danalache himself who was relieved to finally score another winning goal for Daejeon Citizen after his last three proved to be mere scant consolation for the Purples.

Speaking to the television media immediately following the 4-3 win, the Romanian striker said:

“It feels good when you score but for a striker it is our job to score goals. But the most important thing is that in the end we win. So after eight, or nine games, finally we win so this is this most important for our team.

“You cannot play good or you cannot score every game but what is important is for the team to win. Also, today it is easy to see that we don’t have confidence, after so many games we didn’t win.

"All the players are a little afraid to play what they know, we made many mistakes, easy mistakes so I hope that after this victory to start to play better and for our confidence to grow.

“We are happy that the fans still come to the games, even if we didn’t play so good in the last games.  We hope that in the games that we still have to play that we have more victories, and more for the fans to come to the game. It is important to us that the fans feel close to the team.”



Man of the Match: Levan Shengelia (Daejeon Citizen), one goal and two assists.





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