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The #KLeagueFM18 Challenges: Citizens Unite - Season Two Part 3



After last week's utter humiliation at the hands of Kim Shin-Wook's Jeonbuk, we hope to put the result behind us with three K League one matches in the space of two weeks. First up is Gwangju the only team closest to us in form with one win out of the last four. Can we secure our first win in the K1, or will we lose 7-1 to a Niall McGinn forward line.


Catch Up On Season Two -  Part 1 Part 2


Aftermath


The Daejeon netizens are being about as rude as they would be if the Korean national team lost in the world cup. The press are helping to fan the flame by describing us as "The worst Korean league 1 team to ever play", bit harsh after only one game but, after breaking the record for biggest loss and biggest opening day scoreline I can't particularly blame them.

We couldn't handle the Jeonbuk counter attacks, their ability to pass through our either slow or poor positioned defensive line, and with my own mistakes of offside trap we didn't have a hope. Possibly the worst affect of that loss was the damage to morale. With a lot of the new defensive players losing all confidence and worst of all Su-Hyun's hammering in the press had led to him having 'Abysmal morale'.

With Gwangju in 7 days it's my job to pick them up for our first home game of the season. 3,600 Daejeon home tickets are sold, which by my reckoning is the biggest home attendance since I've took charge. They're hoping for a good performance and with rumors floating around that I'm going to be playing the same formation and defensive line, some fan's might have made a rush for a refund. The 7-1 could of just been a blip, or at least that's what I tell myself after writing down the team sheet.

Gwangju first home match 


As I've said the defensive live remains the same, the only changes are offensively with Moon Chang-Hyun dropped for the speed of Suk-Jae and Je-Hyeok for the same reason. Our new tactical scout spotted that the Gwangju defense is even slower than ours, so by playing a high press system with speed demons. We might have a chance of nabbing a first home victory. 

A complete tactical overhaul for this game see's all three midfielders change roles to being box to box and both wingers switched to inside forwards in hopes of springing a counter attack. After a speech about redemption and winning back some face, the players line up for the kick off. 

The Daejeon Citizen's shape for the first home game of the season, shooting left to right. 

Kick off is about to start and a nervous looking LB Lee Ji-Min is already shouted at by our captain to get back into line. The week of defensive training will be rewarded today, we will not be humiliated at home...hopefully.

The whistle goes and immediately it's like a Klopp Gegenpress as our attacking players run at the Gwangju ball. Which results in a panic and a quick throw in for us, the system is working!

Commentators curse, managers curse or just overall curse, but five minutes into the game and it's 1-0 Gwangju, a freekick for us on the edge of their box get's cleared up to a high line of three Gwangju players. With it being 3 against 2 the skills of McGinn is enough to put Im Seon-Young through on goal to neatly tuck away for 1-0. Our defense is causing us problems but I'm not helping them with leaving only two back.

We are 100 minutes into our K League 1 season and we have a goal difference of minus 8. Another great press by us results in a Suk-Jae shot which is caught spectacularly at the Gwangju near post, with all players seemingly distracted by the wonder save. The defense switches off again and a long ball up to Je-Heon catches them napping and it's 2-0.

The best defense of the K2 is really getting hammered with the step up, maybe playing a 17 year old wasn't the best move. Although things are looking doom and gloom, we have looked great going forwards just lack any real defensive ability.

An amazing ball in by Chan-Hee meets the foot of Suk-Jae he's two yards from goal he must score! he doesn't with all 3,600 Daejeon fans already celebrating the goal he somehow skies his effort over the bar. Playing well even 2-0 I can sense a comeback goal.




The gegenpress works and we finally get our just rewards for 20 minutes of dominance, the being higher up the pitch causes a mistake and Suk-Jae power finish means it's game back on! The stadium is bouncing they smell blood. Gwangju blood.

The faithful have been rewarded, Suk-Jae hanging off the shoulder of the last man, get's a long pump of a ball aimed at him, he chests it down from just past the half way line and runs the length of the pitch to round past Bo-Sang in goal for 2-2. Suspicions of offside by Suk-Jae but we don't care no VAR this time around. Three points are coming home, it's coming home. No throwing away here.

Half time  

A ragged Je-Hyeok is coming off for Rae-Se but with spirits high and tactical advantage of the press seemingly working we head out to the second half early to loud cheers. I could get used to this level of home support, Gwangju just managed to hang onto the 2-2 before the half time whistle and they're heading out looking shaky to say the least.

A sucker punch a misplaced back pass by Chan-Hee sees Seon-Young set free. He coolly finishes and we can't believe it, a match we have dominated looks set to slip through our fingers. Drastic changes now of Sung-Su and Chang-Hyun on, we can't lose after this performance. Time is dwindling down after that goal our players look deflated and some am I, a quick shout of motivation and a few tweaks in the 70th, but nothing seems to be working at the moment with park the bus Gwangju.

Oh lord what a calamity, but this time it's in our favor! 85th minute and a terrible Gwangju goalkeeping means Chang-Hyun pokes past into the free net, 3-3! 6 minutes left pump it up lads!
The Gwangju goalkeeper injured and his replacement is coming on. Can the replacement play every week? I can't believe what I've just witnessed and neither can the team, you just have to watch and see.

What was going through his mind here. 4-3 Daejeon we have won it!

It's game over and we have run out deserved but lucky 4-3 winners, It's my first ever K League 1 victory and it feels sweet, the players are jubilant and with only 3,600 people watching not many have questioned bribery after that winner.


Ulsan Hyundai at home

Those precious three points from the win see's us fly up the table to 8th. It's a solid start for a team predicted relegation and conceding 10 goals in 2 games. Let's hope for more solidity today, with Su-Hyun out with a hand sprain in comes back up Seok-Min but the rest of the eleven stay the same.

Being that we only had three days between this game out players look tired and no real tactics could be prepared, but with the same high press system we get ready to go out and play infront of a 3,900 Daejeon home crowd, at the rate of gaining 10% attendance a match we could be 30k by Christmas...one can dream.

The first 20 minutes of this match are about as entertaining as our K2 games last year, we have looked defensively sharp but with no attacking threat what so ever, Orsic is scary upfront for Ulsan but so far we've tamed him.

23rd minute and my joke about taming Orsic has come back and bitten me as 'Gwangyang's Rooney' has fired the visitors 1-0 up. I wish I could say some positives but we have looked very poor and very tired. Our squad depth might not be up to scratch this year.

Caption this! Suk-Jae rises highest for a poor ball and nods home for 1-1! What a shock.

We have pulled one back with that header, but we have really not been at the races today, squad fitness and tactical unawareness is present again as 'Rooney' burst past our tired defence and scores again in the 43rd. I'm praying for half time as I have no idea how we're only 2-1 down, some player rotation is needed if he's out running us.

Half time see's three substitutions and a rotation of some player roles, but all in all we don't look ready to go out for 5 minutes let alone 45 minutes. We've changed to a counter attack approach with hopes of grabbing a late equalizer.

It hasn't been a good debut for Seok-Min who concedes another 3-1 Ulsan, I'd love to report some highlights of ours but we just haven't had anything today and the game has well and truly slipped away from us. Our 13th goal conceded in 3 matches we might be near the record soon. 

It's dead and buried now, those 3,900 fans won't come again after watching this performance. The game is capped off with a hat trick for Jong-Ho who again runs past our cardiac arrest CB's and scores in the corner. The only positives to take out of this game is that we are really giving Korean strikers confidence for the Asian games. 

Game is called to a close and it's 4-1 Ulsan. We were poor very, very poor. In some ways it feels worse than Jeonbuk because we didn't even create a clear cut chance. With 7 days till fellow struggles Jeonnam, we need at least a point. 

Jeonnam Away

The reviews of that last game have not been positive, with even the Ulsan manager calling me out for playing 'Negative football', with plans now formulating of stealing Orsic if he turns Korean we head onto planning for Jeonnam. Jeonnam have a worse record than us with only getting 1 point out of the first three games. That being a 2-2 with Gwangju.

My scout informs me that they're weak to the crosses so it's Chan-Hee's time to shine the talisman has been poor so far with only 1 assist to his name in 3 games, but he has my full support. With Lee Ji-Min dropped for Sang-Hoon at LB like last year and Su-Hyun back in goal we have a chance to secure one step forwards to survival.

The starting eleven for Jeonnam but with Lee Ji-Min dropped. 
The players look fully rested after having 2 days of no training in the 7 day period, confidence is relatively high with how bad Jeonnam are as well. Players are given their individual instructions and Chan-Hee is told he has free reign. The cheerleaders and cheering and the 600 away support are singing, last time we were in Jeolla region we lost 7-1 so fingers crossed. 

Kick Off 

It's a cagey opener that's got me screaming at the fourth official making random box shapes with my hands, VAR giveth and VAR taketh. Jeonnam in the 15th minute having a decent attack on the left side, the ball in goes to Feczsin who in my mind and the 600 fans minds, pushes our young kid over to easily score for 1-0. 

We've been hard done by after an okay spell of the ball but with a mountain to climb now after that 'unjustified' goal. I'm raging at the referee but the players look motivated to get some vindication. Before this game I really liked Jeonnam, but 30 minutes into this one they look dead set on injuring out players. The chances aren't coming as simply when we get in their half we hacked down by a horde of yellow bee like players. A switch from playing mixed passing to short passing might help relieve the pressure of the tackles as they can't keep up this fitness all game.

Call me Shin Tae-Yong because I'm a tactical genius, the short passing is causing the Jeonnam players to be dead on the feet in the 44th minute. The man the myth the legend Hee-Hee-Hee is found free inside the box and when he's given that much time and space it's only one thing 1-1.

We go into the second half 1-1, the players are happy and my hatred for the referee has subsided into mild dislike, we should be 1-0 up but it's acceptable considering our domination. Chan-Hee is causing all sorts of problems averaging a rating of 7.3 in 45 minutes. The second half can't come soon enough as we look back to our K2 form with the rest time.

I'm seeing Deja-vu as Chan-Hee is again given free space in the box just like last time and he makes no mistake again to bury it for 2-1 in the 70th! We haven't been perfect second half but with captain fantastic we might not need to be. 

With some changes ringing out and only 20 minutes left to play, we look set to hold onto three points with Jeonnam posing no real threat apart from long shots and poor low crosses to their big men. 

I take back everything I said about VAR, it's a perfect system. An 88th minute freekick is crossed in and slotted away by Yun II-Lok for Jeonnam but it's called back for offside, great spot referee. They're really pushing forwards going for the last minute draw here, we are struggling to hold the pressure. 

A soul crushing worldie by Seong-Jae in the 94th that curves over the whole team for 2-2.

We have been well and truly Daejeon'ed, we did this to Gyeongnam last season. Jeonnam looked poor all game but with 10 minutes left they chucked everything forward and got a last minute wonder goal for the draw. The referee immediately blows his whistle and we are left wondering what happened. 

Kim Chan-Hee getting man of the match is a slight bonus to what can only be described as a devastating point. 


TL:DR 


We got 4 points out of our first four games, with a last minute winner against Gwangju to a last minute equalizer for Jeonnam compounded within a shocker to Ulsan. We're trying to adapt to the faster paced world of K League 1 but with 16 goals conceded in four games thing's are not going well. Next up is Gangwon, Suwon and Sangju. Send help for Dejan time.








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