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The #KLeagueFM18 Challenges: Citizens Unite - Season Two Part 4

With three different results in three different games last part, we now put our wits against Gangwon, Suwon Bluewings and Sangju with hopes of more consistency. First up is a home game to middle of the table Gangwon, we have a chance of already separating ourselves from the pack of relegation candidates with a big win. Hopes are high for our band of misfit Korean players.

Catch Up On Season Two -  Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 

K league 1 

With only 4 games of the season played and no real indication of how well we are performing, or if we are going to be able to maintain our inconsistently average performances. It's already that time for the press to be making wild claims about our final position. At least the editors here wait till twelve games into the season. (Which you can watch here). 

The media have somehow gone from predicting us to be 1000-1 to winning the title to now being only 500-1, I don't know if that's showing we've been underestimated or just the fact Jeonbuk and Jeju are under performing. We sit 7th in the table and if they were to offer me top 10 I'd bite their hand off now for it. 

Although, we have started reasonably brightly for a team just promoted. The constant transfer rumors of Hwang In-Beon leaving and our defense being about as solid as Germany's I can sense a downturn coming. With a fixture list of Jeju, Jeonbuk and Seoul coming up my fears might be confirmed soon enough. 

Gangwon At Home

Before this game the appointment of ex Gyeongnam manager Kim Jong-Boo who we battled against last year, having a record of just one loss to him in four games. Was music to our injury/fitness dying ears. 

Something I've noticed this season is that although player wise we have stepped up, our backroom staff, especially physio is in dire need of upgrades. Players like Kang Yun-Seong 'The kid' is even struggling with training fitness, so our quite old team members are even worse. With 7 days rest between this and the Jeonnam game, we split the training into half set pieces and half rest in hopes it'll pay off with extra legs. 

The usual suspects for the Gangwon clash only slight changes of formation and personnel. 
With the return of ex club captain Kim Jin-Kyu the banners from the home support are made and a first league start of the season for Kang Yun-Seong is murmured around. He will be playing a more deeper role than our normal midfield trio. This is an attempt to match the Gangwon formation and try and use our wider players pace to steal a victory. The players are pretty tired but luckily so are Gangwon's and with Suwon Bluewings up next it's a case of don't lose more than try to win for this game.

Kick off 

The heavy rain isn't helping either teams passing, with even my view being basically just the colour of the players boots. Gangwon seem to be playing a very counter attack approach, of winning the ball high and trying to use their foreign players dribbling skills. So far it's been useless, as when they get the ball they can't even see where they're going let alone their markers.

16th minute into the game and Gangwon strike first, but it's hit right onto the post. The foreigner Cedriek, escapes Hwang In-Beon on a set piece and it bobbles to his feet for a laces shot that cannons off the post, and gets taken away by the wind and rain for a goal kick.

We're dominating this game in terms of possession or at least I think we are, Gwan-Pyo the ex Gyeongnam player is dictating the tempo. After a few outside of the box passes he let's fly and just skims his shot over the crossbar. The game has had very few real chances, both teams look set to play this out for a draw, only 4 shots in 37 minutes.

The attendance figures were approaching record highs but after the last few home games they're starting to dwindle, as half time draws a close on what is so far a very dull wet match between two equally poor attacking teams.

Changes are happening but only for fitness reasons, Hwang In-Beon golden boy is being brought off for the Suwon game and Suk-Jae whose pace is useless in a muddy field get's switched with Moon Chang-Hyun.

Last years encounter with this manager were high scorers with, 3-1, 2-2 and 2-1 but this game has been anything but. Only three shots on target in 72 minutes, we've both played from the draw from the off and with the conditions we're restricted to random skipping shots. A late sub of Ho-Jun is made just in case we get a freekick but it's looking like our first 0-0 of the season.

Match stats from one of the worst quality football games of the season. If this was K League game of the week I can only apologize. No quality, no creativity but hey at least 3,450 home fans.  

Suwon Bluewings - The first Big Bird trip

After our incredibly poor quality game against Gangwon, the fans are slightly angry-supportive. They want to see goals and I guarantee they will see them today. We are going for blood today, with Suwon playing in the ACL they're incredibly thin squad wise, with 6 rest sessions and the slow paced last match we look fit and prepared.

We revert back to our old system and formation for this clash, but with a big philosophy change. We are going to attack. Now before you think I'm crazy for changing it for going away to Suwon. Last time we played our normal system against Jeonbuk we lost 7-1, Ulsan 4-1, it's clear that the better team have a quality advantage. By getting in the Suwon players faces and attacking from the off I believe we have a better chance of maybe nabbing a draw.

Suwon are playing a very different looking line up than usual, with Jeonbuk's Kim Min-Jae, Pohang's Sang-Ki, Muralha and Jeju's Lee Chang min. It's hard to see how we will get a point away here with such talent as opposition. However, after watching them in the warm up they're completely knackered. Lee Chang-Min is starting with a condition lower than 70%, that wouldn't even make most benches. We've got a chance!

Our normal K-2 Line up is playing apart from Suk-Jae starting, and with 1,182 Daejeon fans making the trip trying to out scream 17,453 of the Suwon home support. We are quietly confident, even the players seem up for it. The last minute instructions are handed out of trying to close down Sang-Ki whenever we can we head out for the biggest game of the season so far.

Kick Off

15 seconds in and I thought we had made the best start possible, Chan-Hee beats his man for pace. Drills his cross low and fast but it's just met by Kim Min-Jae who clears with his face at the near post. I believe in miracles at the blue bird!.

What a save, it's all action the opposite of the Gangwon game. Again it's Chan-Hee who is causing big problems for Suwon in the 15th, his trickery leads to a shot which is terribly cleared by Min-Jae who flick it at his own goal. A perfect reaction save see's it still 0-0 but the goal is coming.

Hee-Hee-Hee, Get him on the plane to Qatar. 1-0 Daejeon!

Lovely passing sequence and dragging of defenders see's Chan-Hee with time space and ability to slot home for 1-0. We have looked electric when we venture forwards, hope it doesn't follow the trends of other big teams we score one they score 4 or 7...

Suwon look to get immediate revenge, it's Min-Woo from distance who shoots low and powerful into the corner, but with Cho Hyun-Woo like reflexes he's denied a great goal. We have looked pretty weak defensively after that goal, but with attack being our sole focus today we are not going to let up.

Time is passing by with just wave after wave of Suwon attacks, we have some how managed to not concede after another effort by the boys in blue is directed at our goal. With the second half about to start and switching ends to the one with the 1,000 odd Daejeon fans behind it, it might just be the lift we need to survive till the whistle.

The only casualty from the first half was Lee Sang-Min, the 17 year old has a slight cut on his eye so 19 year old Park Jae-Woo comes in to replace him. Another slight tweak sees Ho-Jun dropped into the Defensive Midfield role, we did it against Gangwon and it really improved our defence.

Guess where Muralha's shot went?

With time and space just outside of the box after some incredibly deft passing by the Suwon players, a rocket of a shot was sent hurtling towards our goal. It's the post again, his effort is diverted by the outstretched palm of Su-Hyun right onto the frame of the goal. It's 1-0 Daejeon in the 81st! We are holding!

They think it's all over it is now, the on loan Seoul player Je-Hyeok runs his heart out on the left skips a sliding challenge and ducks a elbow, to finally get the ball into the box for Suk-Jae to poke into the goal for 2-0. It's over now a big big win on the road for the purple guys. What a commanding defensive performance, we can't fault a players effort or ability in this game we really performed against a tired Bluewings team.

That see's us edge closer to top 6 in the league and with a trip to Sangju in 3 days, we could have our first ever back to back K league 1 victory. The boys are being sent of a 2 day rest, incredible performance one of the best since I've been at the club. I'm a master tactician, watch me go and lose to lowly performing Sangju now..

Away At Sangju 

My first ever competitive match against Sangju is finally here, after crushing the other army team in Korean football even the media are predicting us to win the first encounter. Sangju have a fairly poor crop of players this year, with their best players ironically being our player Jeon Je-Woon at CB. With high potential and a decent average rating, it'll be interesting to face our future CB captain.

The team look slightly tired but more than capable of playing, we head up to the Sangju Civic Stadium with 323 Daejeon fans in tow. Moon Chang-Hyun is getting a rare start, although he hasn't seemed to cut it at K1 level he deserves a chance after carrying last season..plus maybe Suk-Jae has mild concussion.

Kick Off

The dreams of a easy game are quickly squashed as in the first 15 minutes, Sangju have 4 shots on target. They're looking incredibly lively, we haven't been able to settle into the game in our normal passing style with their 3 strikers disturbing the passing channels. 

We are carved open defensively, Byong-Oh set free onto goal. I've already started swearing in broken Korean as Su-Hyun makes a spectacular save one on one. We have really not been looking good so far in this game with 40 minutes played. We can't seem to get any rhythm or any chances.

Half time comes and goes with Rae-Se being thrown on just incase he can shake his laziness and score another worldie like last year. Rae-Se interestingly ran the 2nd lowest Km last season only beating the goalkeeper, it's a huge risk putting him on but with 13 goal last season he might be our only hope. Still without a single chance.

The team that I described in the press as poor and average, has made us look like poor and average. The ricochet off our own defenders ankle, didn't help us but Sangju are 1-0 up in the 80th. We can't get out of our own half and with the over the top balls by Sangju, one fortunately bounced for them right into the path of Byong-Oh to redeem himself for 1-0.

Football is a cruel game, it gives great moments like Korea beating Germany and then moments of great sadness when Kim Byong-Oh makes it 2-0 for Sangju. The game is over now but truthfully it was over in the 15th minute, we have looked like boys verses men, they were stronger faster and we couldn't cope with the long ball pressure. 

We've lost to the worst form team in the league, never again will I compliment our team as perfect and consider back to back wins without even playing the match again. We might of just started our own downturn after this woeful performance. 


We hoped to find consistency in games against Gangwon, Suwon and Sangju and to a degree we have, with a draw a win and a loss, we have the same record we did in the last part. We looked more defensively solid with only 2 goals conceded in 3 games, but with the same as goals scored. It's clear where our problems are, we need to recruit some attackers in the next window. Lee Dong-Gook maybe? 

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