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The #KLeagueFM18 Challenges: Citizens Unite - Part 14



A slice of luck of in the 94th granted us a place in the relegation play-offs against Daegu, with the first game being at home in front of the highest sold Daejeon game all year. Can we return to the first division since the 2015 season? Will my first year of management end in a failure at the last step or can I lead the team to the K League promised land.



Previous Installments: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 
Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13


Team News Heading into Daegu Leg 1



With the celebrations still raging on from the last gasp winner, the players don't notice that nearly all of them are carrying knocks and fitness issues. It's been a long season of nearly 40 games, with a squad of around 20 players it's starting to take a toll. Gwan-Pyo is ruled out for the rest of the season and every single defender is carrying slight injuries making them go below 80% fitness. With two important games left I'm going to have to make them play every single game.

The hero of Busan, Park Dae-Hoon is ruled out for the first leg after he got a concussion after scoring his 94th minute goal. I'm starting to think the players jumping on him might not be a good thing if we get knocked out not having his goals off the bench.

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Daegu's possible line up 

With a one week break we managed to get a hold of the possible opposition line up, it's no wonder Daegu have suffered so much in the K-League 1. They seem to have no attacking options at all going forwards and with 2 of their 3 import slots being Brazilian defenders. This might of been the best team for us to play in the playoff.


The Big Match Leg 1 - Home to Daegu 


The biggest headache of the week, was who was going to play on the right side of the three center midfielders. With Gwan-Pyo out of the picture, it falls on the in-form youngster of Kang or the super sub Sung-Su from Suwon. Being that Sung-Su has came on in 22 sub appearances, he get's handed a start in a really important game against a team who is going to try and dominate the possession. 

The Chosen 11 for Daegu Leg 1

The normal line up of the season is out with Chang-Hyun preferred up front over Suk-Jae, he has been really improving recently in training and being that he's our top goal scorer he deserves his chance.


Kick Off

The fans have arrived in droves with 3,004 Daejeon fans coming and 199 Daegu fans making the trip. The highest attendance at home all season, hopefully we can finally turn the stadium into a fortress that we need. The Daegu team line up is exactly as scouted, I don't see how they're going to score goals with only 1 lone striker against our tightest defence of the K 2. 

With 180 minutes separating us from promotion, we start off nervelessly with a misplaced pass going out for a throw in from kick off. At least we start as we have all season, consistency is key I guess. 

What a goal! Cometh the hour cometh the man as the old man Ho-Jun first time smashes the ball into the goal from just outside of the box. A lovely weighted pass by Sung-Su must be added, but it's all Ho-Jun who deserves the plaudits. 

The wonder strike by Ho-Jun for 1-0.

We settle into the game after that great goal, with possession stats that were unprecedented in the K-2, with thirty minutes into the game we have 76% possession and a overwhelming stats lead of 7 shots to 0. Daegu don't look like they've traveled well and could get easily destroyed if we can keep this momentum up.

The stadium is erupting with laughter and cheers, as the Daegu keeper plucks the ball out of the air by a poor cross from Chan-Hee. Only to drop the ball on his landing into the path of Chang-Hyun who sweeps the ball into the net for 2-0.

Daegu look really poor and are in danger of slipping out of this game after that goal, not only have we got skill advantage we look like we have the luck advantage too. Terrible goalkeeping by Daegu, where is Cho Hyun-Woo when you need him...oh yeah Jeonbuk.

Daegu are fading without a trace in this leg as a ball into the box is handled by one of the 7 defenders and a penalty is awarded. A small fight breaks out over who is taking it but, Chang-Hyun has got the ball and he's putting it down to take it. Chang-Hyun smashes the ball into the corner of the net, it's 3-0.

Half time is here and it's probably the only match when we don't want it, we are thrashing this poor Daegu team. We send them out with the same mantra of more of the same, one more goal and we might be able to start printing K League 1 kits.

Daegu make some changes, with two strikers now playing. We respond by dropping a defense deeper, it's nearly a mistake as Yong-Jin rounds our keeper and before placing it into the net he hits the post.
It's still 3-0 but with warning signs starting to come from the higher league team. The game is well and truly over now as a determined Chang-Hyun runs for his life for a through ball, he meets the ball with a perfect touch and slots it under the keeper for 4-0. He's got a hat-trick and probably the leg winner.  We look set for the K league 1!!!! First season promotion here we come.

Full time whistle blows not much long after, with Daegu looking all but dead and out. They have such little upfront that I can't see them coming back from 4 goals down.

The Big Match Leg 2 - Away to Daegu 

Three days after our stomping of a 4-0 victory, we head down to Daegu with confidence high of promotion chances. The team are flying high after that game and Chang-Hyun is getting all the applause for his hat trick. Reports of Suwon Bluewings being interested in buying him too, hopefully that doesn't happen till after our game we need his influence.

As long as we don't concede 4 we are promoted, with that in mind three days of defensive training is on the cards. The same starting eleven are going to be playing in the return leg, we completely dominated the game. Dae-Hoon makes way onto the bench after recovering from his concussion.

A pre match conference is called in which Chan-Hee rallies the fans to travel to Daegu to support us, they must of heard the call as 623 fans buy tickets for our leg 2.

Kick Off

The motivational speech is in full flow today, every single player looks pumped up. We will not let this slip mark my words. The whole team look tired after having only 3 days of rest. Especially captain Chan-Hee who is only fit for 70 minutes.

We head out to the Daegu stadium with 3,627 people in attendance. The madness and confusion on all mine and the coaching staff as the exact same formation and players line up for Daegu. If they play anything like last time then it's a guaranteed win.

Ho-Jun looks to recreate his marvelous last goal, but his attempt is well saved with a great acrobatic save. Rae-Se tests the keeper again with another effort from outside of the box, it's well met but that's worrying signs for a Daegu side who have only 31% possession at home.

It's that combination again that's been prevalent all season, 30 minutes into the game and Chan-Hee works his magic on the right side and lays it onto the penalty spot for Chang-Hyun who slots it past the goalkeeper for 1-0. We are now 5-0 up over the two legs. I can't see a world that we would concede 5 goals, we are destined for promotion. The 623 fans are going mental, next stop the ACL!

The 5th goal of the leg, it's over we are all but promoted.

Trying to contain the excitement after that goal went in, it took 30 minutes but any nerves of being beaten have gone. Managing to get the team promoted with 4 of the 5 goals being scored by a player I personally signed is a great feeling. I should buy more Seongnam players...


Half time, the players are all jubilant. Every single player is rating over 7.1, I couldn't of asked for more in this final. We have looked a solid team in every department, Kang Yun-Seong is going to come on at CM. Sung-Su is nearly collapsing he hasn't started two games in a row since his Suwon Reserves days.

We are playing very arrogant, passing the ball around with style. Rae-Se has tried a volley from 40 yards he's that happy, unfortunately it's gone sailing into the home crowd and they look reluctant to give it back. I can't blame them having 30% possession 60 minutes into a game that decides your relegation is an embarrassment. I shouldn't judge though because that might be me next year.

The home team have got themselves back into this leg at least, with a terrible utterly embarrassing defensive melt down. Which led to Yong-Soo scoring for Daegu. 1-1 79 minutes into the game, they've finally put another striker on but with only 10 minutes left surely we can't concede 4 goals.

Jae-Woo is being brought on and switching to a 5 at the back for the last few minutes, we wasting time and just dragging down the clock. We are almost there the fans can taste it!

We've done it! Promotion to the K-League 1 in my first season after a 5-1 aggregate score against Daegu. Every player deserves a individual talking to after that win, we really proved our value verses a poor team.

Post Match - Promotion 

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There it is confirmation, we have done it! With Kim Chan-Hee being our key player of the season and I can't argue. With 14 goals and 15 assists he has been outstanding in a team full of outstanding players, the pivotal match being a 2-1 victory over Busan. I would argue that it should be 3-3 last minute winner to even get us this far but we will take it.

The next part will break down the season and cover transfers for next season and our aims, but for now get yourself down to Daejeon for the party bus and excitement! We are K-League 1 official now.


TL:DR

It's official, one season one promotion. It wasn't easy and we had luck on our side but had enough over the season to grind out the results. We head into the first division with high spirits and a talented group of players. Mark my words FA Cup 18-19 will be ours and we will stay up in the K-League 1. Two great performances against with Chang-Hyun and Chan-Hee proving the difference makers. Daejeon are back in the big time. 





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