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The K League Coach: Jeonbuk Hyundai Scouting Report

As the season begins to pick up rhythm coaches will have begun compiling scout reports of their upcoming opposition. Ideally a coach would like to see three or four match reports on an opponent, along with video highlights, to pick out any trends and to spot potential weaknesses that can be exploited. If K League United were preparing to face Jeonbuk in the coming weeks, here's what a scouts report may look like based upon their game against Sangju Sangmu. 
(image via Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors)

Game Information

Team: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Opposition: Sangju Sangmu
Date: March 31st 2018
Competition: K League 1 Round 4
Number of report: No. 1

Match Overview

A tight game with few chances. Jeonbuk scored early and seemed happy to play out the game to secure a 1-0 victory. There was a late chance for Jeonbuk to add to their lead, but Sangju can have a reasonable argument that they deserved a point. Opportunities were limited and both teams saw a good amount of the ball. Sangju had a late strike from the edge of the box saved excellently.

Starting Line up

Jeonbuk made three substitutions during the game but stuck to the same shape and style of play throughout. Veteran striker Lee Donggook replaced winger Tiago Alves on 54 minutes, Ricardo Lopes replaced Hahn Kyowon on 58 minutes, and Lee Jaesung came on for Adriano on 77 minutes. 

Offensive Organisation

  • When in possession Jeonbuk push their full backs Lee Yong (no.2) and Park Wonjae (no.19) into midfield to offer width. A central midfielder, Shin Hyungmin (no. 4), drops in to control play while the other two central midfielders, Lee Seungki (no.14) and Son Junho (no. 28), advance beyond the ball. The two wingers, Hahn Kyowon (no.7) and Tiago Alves (no.11) get tight in and around the striker Adriano (no.32).

  • Jeonbuk ideally looked to hit Sangju on the counter with three players, their striker Adriano (no.32) and two wingers Hahn Kyowon (no.7) and Tiago Alves (no.11). When the midfielders or defenders won the ball they would look to hit those three early and get two runners beyond immediately. This led to Jeonbuk's goal. 

  • When Sangju were sitting deep, the two centre backs, Kim Minjae (no.3) and Choi Bokyung (no.6) and one central midfielder, Shin Hyungmin (no.4) would control possession.

  • After a few passes one of the two centre backs would often try to play long balls into the channel over the heads of the Sangju full backs. 

  • They struggled to find passes into the feet of their two more attacking central midfielders, Lee Seungki (no.14) and Son Junho (no.28).

  • These long balls were easily dealt with as Jeonbuk had no aerial target man. This would have been very different had Kim Shinwook have been playing. 

  • The deep central midfielder Shin Hyungmin (no. 4) would look to switch play, however he is far more comfortable steering long balls to his right, often looking to play over and behind the Sangju left back. When playing to his left he often played short and to feet.

  • Goalkeeper Song Beomkeun would often look to play short to defenders but was never put under any pressure.

Defensive Organisation

  • Jeonbuk would drop deep into their own half whenever Sangju secured possession of the ball. 

  • This denied Sangju passing options to the feet of their attacking players but also helped set up counter-attack opportunities.

  • They did not confront Sangju until around the halfway line. 

  • They would arrange two deep sitting lines leaving any pressing to their striker Adriano (no.32) or wingers Hahn Kyowon (no.7) and Tiago Alves (no.11). 

  • Both centre backs, Kim Minjae (no.3) and Choi Bokyung (no.6), are very strong in the air. When Sangju could not counter and had to build play they often restored to long diagonal balls towards the box. This was easily dealt with by the Jeonbuk centre backs. 

Offensive Corners

There were not many corners in the game and Jeonbuk ran the same corner on a few occasions. A total of five men in the box, one player takes the front of the six-yard box for flick-ons, one stays around the penalty spot and three others start within the width of the goal on the six-yard line. Another two players stay just outside on the edge of the box to pick up any clearances

Defensive Corners

Jeonbuk took the set piece threat of Sangju seriously and continued the tactic of defending in numbers. All 11 players would be back within their defensive third, no player was left forward to counter to. Two zonal markers cover the front of the six-yard box and another two players covered the middle of the goal around the penalty spot. Four other players were tasked with man marking and disrupting runners.

Key Players

  • 4. Shin Hyungmin - Shin controls the tempo of the team in possession and works hard to break up opposition play and will look to switch play from one flank to the other. When playing to his right-hand side he can switch the ball long and accurately in the air but is unable to do the same with his left foot so tends to play short to feet.

  • 7. Hahn Kyowon - Energetic wide midfielder, lots of runs off the ball and always looking for flick-ons or knockdowns. Can carry the ball well at speed to initiate counter-attacks and will work back to defend and help the fullback behind him.

  • 32. Adriano - The sharp end of Jeonbuk attacks and offers creativity on the ball as well as a goal threat. Stays relatively central but occasionally comes into the channel for long balls over the top. Not too involved in build-up play but always looking for balls behind the defense.


  • Jeonbuk counter-attacked very quickly in a coordinated manner. 

  • There were three players attacking at speed from the halfway line with central midfielders running from deep

  • Adriano offered creativity in one-on-ones and can be unpredictable on the ball. He was the focus of Jeonbuk's attacking play.

  • Jeonbuk organised quickly in transition and formed a very effective low block in their own half.

  • Both centre backs are very strong in the air and dealt with any long balls well.


  • This line up offers little aerial threat going forward. 

  • Centre backs Kim Minjae (no.3 and Cho Bokyung (no. 6) struggled to find penetrating passes between lines and resorted to long balls.

  • Right back Lee Yong (no. 2) also often looked to play long direct balls over the top with little success.

  • The two more attacking central midfielders, Lee Seungki (no. 14) and Son Junho (no. 28) found it hard to find space against the Sangju midfield.

  • Little central penetration against an organised low block.

Defensive Reccomendations

  • We must react quickly in transition when we lose possession to stop Jeonbuk counters.

  • Press no.4 Shin Hyungmin using an attacking midfielder or striker to disrupt Jeonbuk's rhythm and to force Shin to play to his left whenever possible.

  • Allow centre backs to have possession of the ball at the halfway line, they will look to play long and we can win the ball then.

  • Remain compact centrally and their central midfielders will be starved of possession.

  • Mark the striker Adriano closely, denying him the opportunity to turn. However, do not dive in as he has the ability to evade defenders quickly.

Offensive Reccomendations

  • Be patient when in possession, any long balls will be easily dealt with by their back line.

  • Try to switch play across midfield, their wingers are asked to press at the halfway line so opportunities to take on the full backs will come up.

  • When opportunities to counter from deep arise, look to play into wide areas as Jeonbuk's full backs will be pushed higher up, while their centre backs and deep central midfielder protect the middle

  • Play short balls out from our goalkeeper to try and tempt Jeonbuk out of their defensive shape.

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