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The #KLeagueFM18 Challenges: Citizens Unite - Part 10


Our lucky run in the last part of eight points in four games will be put to the test with important trips to Busan and Asan followed by the goal scoring machines of Gyeongnam. Our recent form has been patchy at best, after a one week break from competitions hopefully we have finally recovered from the cup hangover. With 10 games left of the season it's not the time for a slump in form.


Previous Installments: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9


The Last 10 Fixtures

With only 10 games of the regular season left we look set for playoff's at least, currently sitting in 2nd place in the league with 50 points. Behind the incredibly strong Gyeongnam team despite losing to us twice seem to just be firing on all cylinders. If we have any chance of catching up with them a strong end to the season will be required.

Ansan Greeners on the other hand are having a horrid season with only 12 points from 26 games. After selling Raul to Bucheon they really started to fall apart only getting 1 point out of 17 straight games. Unluckily for us we only have one game left of the ten against them, heading into the Busan game we've got four players out with flu or concussions so it'll be another bit part team hoping to gather precious road points.


Busan Away 1st of the final 10

In comes the three amigos again and the army returning Oh Seung-Hoon makes his start in goal because of a 2 day hand injury to our long standing Su-Hyun. The team talk went terribly, by telling them that getting five wins guarantees playoffs they seemed to get incredibly nervous and look very negative. An emergency look at my assistant to give them a pat on the back picked up the spirits slightly. 

Kick Off


Even the kick off showed our nervousness as we somehow managed to do that incorrectly giving the ball immediately to the opposing team. Fortunately the breakaway was stopped by Ho-Jun kicking them in the shins. The first attack of the game goes the way of Busan who break along the left side and with our untested goal keeper left flapping for the ball, it luckily bounces onto the crossbar. Hopefully two years of army training hasn't caused him to forget he can use his hands. 

We have controlled the first half masterfully with 70% possession but lacking any real attacking threat, Suk-Jae playing as a poacher isn't able to spin off the back line and make runs and with Ho-Suk playing we are missing our normal right sided threat. The first real chance of the game goes to Busan in the 41st when a looping ball over the top is neatly tucked away only to be chalked off, by the grace of god that is VAR. 

Romelu the feisty Brazilian in his efforts to change the referee's opinion gets himself sent off so we're now playing against the ten men of Busan. With half time looming and only possession being shown changes are coming. Sung-Su and Chang-Hyun our second top goalscorer are coming in for the second half and with only ten men, we are pushing our defence forwards to apply more pressure. 

Who needs eleven men to beat us?, apparently not Busan as in the 56th minute, a freekick is floated into the box and Sung-Su is at fault for pushing over a player in the scramble to clear, the resulting penalty is scored. Busan leading even with ten men really shows how much of an attacking threat we are missing. 

After watching Busan put all their men behind the ball for 20 minutes we finally managed to grab a equalizer, a terrible back pass is picked up by Suk-Jae's pace and he unselfishly lays it to Chang-Hyun to score. 1-1 Hopefully we can keep relying on mistakes because we look poor from our own decisions. 



Well my comments about lacking attacking threat have been well and truly silenced as an outside of the box effort, smashes home into the corner of the net. Chang-Hyun has silenced those Busan fans with that one. 

With hopes up from that stunning goal, we look set to close out the game holding the 2-1 lead. Time is running out for the Busan equalizer, with only 2 minutes of extra time left remaining. I shouldn't of spoken. I cursed us, a innocent weak long shot from outside the box is dropped into our net. He's back from army service but he will never play again. 2-2 and that's the whistle gone. Terrible 2 points dropped against a team in the bottom half.


Asan Mugunghwa Away 2nd of the final 10

The original eleven players who have played the majority of the season are back, even Kim Chan-Hee makes a albeit nearly full recovery for this game. After the disappointing drop last game we are looking for a turn around performance, showcasing our early season creative form. My assistant manager gives me another slideshow of Dong-Sub goals again, after our last game against Asan resulting in a 3-4 loss. Hopefully we can learn from our mistakes and keep them quiet this time around.

With a massive roar of the 234 away faithful, we head out opposite the army team for what the media is billing as the match of the Korean football week. We haven't changed much of the tactics for this match apart from individual instructions to tackle harder on every player in a green shirt.

Seems as though those instructions were taken too literally when in the 18th minute, Lee Gwan-Pyo gets stretched off the pitch with a head injury, after rugby tackling a player. He's lucky hes bleeding from the head otherwise he would of seen red a different way. Sung-Su comes on earlier than expected but despite that, the opening quarter has been mostly just long shots and failed crosses.

Another game and another slow start for Daejeon, even with our full strength team being in the line up. Our midfield and attackers seem completely isolated, with lacking any real attack of note in the entire first half. Just as I thought the first half had come to a close it's the combination that plagued us in the last game Ji-Ho crosses for a tap in for Dong-Sub to carry on his red hot form.

That last minute goal has completely changed my half time team talk from 'You can do better than this I have faith in you' to, 'This is not good enough' aggressively shouted at them in Kor-english. I don't know where our creativity and attacking team play went but it seems like my tactics have been figured out.

The second half sees changes with Suk-Jae coming on again for his pace hoping to unlock something or at least create a highlight chance for us. Even the Daejeon loyal are getting restless with our current form.

We start the second half exactly the way we finished the first half with an immediate, lack of concentration on a set piece. The corner is whipped in low and it alludes our first man falling into the path of three Asan players waiting to easily score for 2-0.

Terrible defending on this set piece. Expect a K League Coach blog on this performance.

I'd like to say we improved after the second goal for Asan, but we remained completely lackluster and void of any ideas to get back into the game. I tried changing the formation, the shape and the players with the introduction of Jin-Ho and Ho-Suk but we were beaten easily by a much better Asan team.

The game of the week looked more of a practice match than a game between two K-League 1 contenders. We embarrassingly walk out 2-0 losers in a game we failed to even create a shot.


Aftermath


In the review of our terrible, worst of the season loss to Asan. We hire three new coaches to revitalize our attacking fortunes, we also change the weekly training session to attacking movement. In hopes this will somehow create more chances for us than our measly 4 goals in 4 games.

Also in an attempt to give us a tactical advantage I'll be spending some time reviewing the statistics and reasons for our recent form. With specific focus on the upcoming title clash of 1st and 2nd against Gyeongnam.
Gyeongnam.png
With Chan-Hee leading the 3 of 4 categories it's clear to see the impact he has on the sides performance.
With only 7 games of the regular season left to play it is hotting up in the race for playoffs, our current form is sadly making us seem like the most likely to drop out over the 7 games. With spirits low and performances even lower, all hopes are on our tactics change creating a new attacking style for a vital 6 pointer.

League leaders Gyeongnam have lots of goals in their team, with the likes of Marcao, Alex Bruno and Jung Won-Jin all sharing the spoils. We are more lopsided with only Chan-Hee and Chang-Hyun predominantly holding our attack a float. I've managed to pump the players up for this home game by pinning up the match stats from the last game. We will shoot today or heads will roll.

Gyeongnam Home 3rd of the final 10





Safe to say recent performances have had an affect on attendance, with only 1,700 turning up for the title clash. In fairness it is very cold in Daejeon.


The opening 30 minutes of the match is a very cagey affair with both teams, clearly desperate not to lose this game and the top two positions. With only 3 points separating us this game might require a spark of talent to break the deadlock. The only real chance fall to Gyeongnam's Bong-Jae who was immediately misses with a shot wide.

It's a goal! a goal for Daejeon citizens. It's that man again Mr Stat pack Kim Chan-Hee who caps off a brilliant passing sequence to slide the ball under the keepers body. 40 minutes into the match and those who braved the cold are rewarded with a rendition of Hee-Hee-Hee coming from the managers bench.

With the half time whistle coming shortly after the celebrations have died down, we head in for the half time oranges. We haven't looked amazing but a clinical finish means we hold the slender lead. A couple of players have tiny knocks and cuts but nothing for substitutions just yet, after my assistants inspirational Al Pacino like speech is over we walk out with 45 minutes of season defining football to be played.

Hwang In-Beon it will be a sad day when he finally realizes he's too good for the club, I said we needed a spark to open this game up. He played a hand in the first goal but he's played both hands in this one. His deceptive run off the ball puts him in the perfect position to thread through Chang-Hyun to easily score at the near post. 2-0 Daejeon in the 52nd minute.

Incredible instant reply goal by Gyeongnam adds to my nerves. Our RB is dragged out of position being overloaded and a simple looking cross is decided not to be gathered by Su-Hyun and the opposing striker nips in to score past his indecision. 2-1.

The week of attacking movement should have been defensive positioning, as another set piece goal is conceded. Picture perfect to the Asan goal of last week it's met in the center and prodded home for 2-2, in the space of five minutes our two to nil lead has been reduced to a draw.

With Suk-Jae being thrown on to try and get the knock out punch for 3-2, our defensive frailty is shown yet again. A moment for us to score gets wonderfully saved by the Gyeongnam keeper and his goal kick is sent high over our defensive line.

Su-Hyun runs out to try and meet him before he scores but he's not quick enough. He get's rounded by Bong-Jae to dispatch into the net for his third of the game and the lead for the number one team in the K2. With only 7 minutes left of the game to try and salvage a point that we lost when 2-0 up, it's looking like a mountain that we can't climb especially with Chan-Hee off the pitch with a injured knee. The rest of the game is played out till the 97th but nothing is going our way.

2-3 Gyeongnam final score, 3 in the second half. Probably blown all title chances. We look despondent and confused, and I can't say I blame them after being 2-0 up and then going on to lose, what can I say to pick them up from the depression.

With Asan being the late kick off if they win we drop to third in the league for the first time in 2 months. However, Asan lose to 9th placed Anyang 3-1! It's a miracle. We have to hope other teams can keep doing the business for us because we are in downward spiral that I simply don't have the answer for.

TL:DR


Our terrible form continues with only getting 1 point from three huge games. Thanks to the teams around us losing we are still left clinging onto 2nd place in the league, but if we remain the way we are it's going to be another year of K League 2 football. Major changes will be happening in the next part. I'm starting to wonder if we should of just got knocked out in the cup first round... 



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