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playoffs

Jeolla Derby Recap: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-0 Jeonnam Dragons

Jeolla Derby Recap: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-0 Jeonnam Dragons [K League 1 2018, Round 7]

With local bragging rights on offer, Jeonnam Dragons had the unenviable task of trying to halt the in-form Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors as both local rivals faced off in the first Jeolla Derby of 2018. In the end though, relentless pressure from the home side, in addition to some self-inflicted errors from the visitors, saw Jeolla remain green as Choi Kang-hee's men left as 3-0 victors.
(image via Hyundai-MotorsFC.com)

Come the final whistle, Jeonbuk Hyundai motors had drummed up a scoreline that managed to both point to a deserved victory, yet fail to tell the whole story as their provincial opponents Jeonnam Dragons proved to be quite obliging come the final ten minutes.

The match saw the home side awarded two penalties for clear and deliberate fouls on their players, scoring and missing one. The resulting red card shown to Lee Seul-chan for causing the second penalty reduced the under-pressure visitors to ten men and led them to suffer further humiliation in the final minutes of the game.

Eventual man of the match Lee Dong-gook took both penalties, and although denied his brace from the spot initially, he did eventually claim it with a well executed header in the 92nd minute, before Lee Jae-sung scored a superb solo effort, dribbling into the box through a disorganised Jeonnam defence and shooting to exacerbate the final scoreline with the final kick of the game.

The match statistics suggested that it was business as usual for Jeonbuk, but up until the opening goal, Jeonnam Dragons had been a test for their neighbours, with solid organisation at the back and even some opportunities to break through a resilient Jeonbuk defence that has now not conceded in five matches.

With usual central attacking midfielders Lee Seung-gi and Lee Jae-sung deployed to the left and right flanks respectively, Jeonbuk seemed to find it difficult to stretch the Dragons' defence, though they did create some opportunities. Both Lee Dong-gook and Adriano were presented chances unmarked in the Jeonnam box within the first thirty minutes, yet both managed to shoot directly at 'keeper Park Dae-han, whereas Lee Jae-sung saw a tame header hit the crossbar in the 35th minute.

The Dragons had an opportunity to take the lead before the interval though, with some direct dribbling along the edge of the box by Kim Young-wook, who had been fielded unusually on the right wing, before laying it off to midfielder Vedran Jugović who saw his shot hit the post.

At half time, Choi Kang-hee opted to make changes to his Jeonbuk squad, removing Park Won-jae who had picked up a slight knock for Lee Yong, in addition to replacing defensive midfielder Jang Yun-ho for right winger Lopes, which saw Lee Jae-sung move into a more familiar role in the centre behind the two attackers.

It was perhaps Lopes' introduction that had the biggest impact on proceedings prior to the red card. The Brazilian was creative with his play and took on the Jeonnam defence on multiple occassions, pulling them open to make space for others.

At the hour mark, Jeonnam's stern resolve finally fell, but it was of their own volition. Left back Choi Jae-hyeon foolishly clambered over Lee Dong-gook in an attempt to beat the veteran striker to a header, and was rightly penalised with a yellow card.

Lee made no mistake from the penalty spot, driving the shot to the goalkeeper's left to score his 205th K League goal of his career.

With just the single attacker on the bench in the form of Wanderson, Jeonnam manager Yoo Sang-cheol had curiously brought little in the way of a plan B in case of his team falling behind. While he played his Wanderson card in response to the goal, it would require his team to push further forward and expose themselves to increasing Jeonbuk pressure.

And so it proved, when in the 86th minute, a moment of madness from Lee Seul-chan saw his side give away their second penalty of the game and have their third player in three consecutive matches sent off. Replays showed that Lee raised his arm to Choi Bo-kyung's face when defending an incoming cross.

Surprisingly, Lee Dong-gook did not score his second penalty, opting to shoot in the same direction as the spot kick prior, with the Jeonnam goalkeeper being wise to it.

Lee did get his second moments later though, as he converted a Lee Yong header in injury time, before Lee Jae-sung capped off the performance with his solo goal on the full time whistle.

Speaking after the game to K League United, man of the match Lee Dong-gook was pleased with his side's performance, also saying that he personally wanted to put on a good performance for the fans with it having been a while since he last started a game in Jeonju.

When asked about playing his first 90 minutes in a while, the striker was pleased to discover he still had the physical strength to do that and elaborated further by saying "Whether I’m playing as a substitute or as a starter, I need to do what the team wants me to do; which means I need to score goals whenever I’m called upon."

"It was my first full-time game in a while but it proved that I have no problem physically so I’m happy."

To catch mine and Ryan Walters' full time thoughts on the first Jeolla Derby of the season, as well as the post match thoughts of Jeonbuk's Lee Dong-gook and Jeonnam Dragons' Vedran Jugović, you can watch the videos below.


 





You can also watch match highlights from SPOTV's YouTube channel here.




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