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The #KLeagueFM18 Challenges: Citizens Unite - Season Two Part 11


A return to K League action sees us pitted against Jeju, bottom of the league Asan Mugunghwa and a trip to Seoul World Cup Stadium. Without a loss in 4 and a semi final on the horizon, expect some squad rotation, exciting times for Korean soccer with Italian and German scouts in the K League. Hwang In-Beom isn't going anywhere.


Catch Up On Season Two -  Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10






July 2018 Transfers


With four unbeaten games out of five, our only loss being a Jeonnam smash and grab. Finally I've won some silverware. Manager of the month! Of course I had to dedicate the awards to the players, which was essentially a plea for Hwang In-Beon to stay. Who is now unfortunately getting scouted by Italian teams. If I can somehow convince him to stay till the end of the season that might be worth the lack of transfers next year.

The board have essentially killed all possibilities of a budget next season. With setting a pre estimate of £180k max. Lee Sang-Min our wonder boy who we broke the record for is actually getting the most transfer headlines. With direct links with Porto, Benfica and Stuttgart.

The bids are in the range of £900k-£1.1 million. Considering we paid £775k. It might be worth selling him at the end of the season just purely for the transfers the squad needs. It would be a fairly decent profit especially for only half a season of game time, with rumors of possible profit of next sale this could be a big future financial deal.

Nevertheless we've delayed answering the transfer offers for another two weeks, Lee Sang-Min is only 18. Very hesitant to sell a player of that potential who fits our Korean quota.




Jeju At Home

The transfer news is all the buzz around the Daejeon stadium but, it's quickly shifted to talking about the Jeju match. With Jeju being league leaders, and current champions. This is a big game to prove if this squad actually has ability, or just on a lucky patch of form. Jeju's Mendy has 16 goals out of 22 appearances.



Last time we played Jeju we got crushed a poor 2-0 loss. 


In terms of squad selection, due to transfer issues and fitness issues after the penalty shoot out. The squad is heavily rotated. Lee Sang-Min isn't allowed to play due to Porto's bid. Our left back is out with a cold, Rae-Se and Captain fantastic Kim Chan-Hee are also out due to not passing the fitness tests.

In comes bright spark Park Jae-Woo at center back, Seoul E-land's Lee Yea-Chan and some other rotated U21's.

Starting eleven for 7th verses 1st. Are we contenders or pretenders? 


Kick Off


Cho Suk-Jae! He doesn't score many but when he does it's always pre five minutes. It's 3 minutes and 9 seconds. 1-0 Daejeon. Some wonderful defending by Park Jae-Woo, who intercepts the long ball Jeju style, he chests it down unleashing a through ball that the defence wasn't expecting. Loanee Yea-Chan with an excellent delivery in and Suk-Jae nods it home at the near post.

We aren't just here to make up the numbers! 3,302 in attendance are going wild. We may have financial issues, ownership issues and transfer issues but it's not showing tonight. Early dominance by our youthful side is taking the top of league by storm.

Thirty minutes into the first half and it's been a quite open back and forth game, Jeju go near for the reply goal. Magno Cruz pounced on a bouncing deflection of a clearance, but his spirited effort goes just wide of the goal. Apart from that momentary lapse we are looking great, out passing Jeju 246 to  131.

With the whistle about to go for first half over, Jeju again go close. Giovanny who plagued us last time, has a volley from 30 yards. It's happily saved by Su-Hyun though. Still 1-0 leaders.

Half time changes, Shim Je-Hyeok the Seoul loanee, is performing terribly so Moon Chang-Hyun is going to play on the left hand side of the pitch for 45 minutes. Hopefully his pace will cover his crossing weakness.

Seoul Loanee, might want to wipe the smile off his face after that half time display of a 5.7



Second half is underway, Jeju make some changes as the wingers are now being pushed up further and wider. Mendy with a Marcao like move, gets away with a elbow swing at Park Jae-Woo. He's been marked out the game and he's took down the younger defender. Luckily he's okay but referee? no VAR?.

Who needs VAR when you've got Lee Yea-Chan? The E-Land boy has done great today, with an assist earlier and now a deft finish at the back post it's 2-0 Daejeon. He's been a joy to watch, really great back up to Kim-Chan-Hee. Jeju were pushing for the equalizer but a fast counter attack has resulted in a 2-0 scoreline in the 56th.


It's 2-1, great solo goal by Jeju... might want to watch this one.

Solo effort by the Brazilian Giovanny. 2-1.

Even with the Jeju goal we've still looked great. We're bombarded with efforts by them but just like their real life statistics, most of them are coming from distance. Apart from the solo effort, we seem to be able to last the next 20 minutes. If we can hold on this will be a huge three points in our efforts to not just stay up but to possibly secure a top six.

You can't spell 'Jeonnamed' without Je. 94th minute of 3 added minutes. The ball is bouncing around it's finally cleared by Oh Ban-Suk, or so I thought. Jeju goalkeeper is on the half way line and with a giant of a kick, he puts it back in the mix. Magno Cruz escaping his marker.

The man who should of seen red, scores in the dying seconds to deny us a great victory, 2-2. They were knocking at our goal nearly the whole second half, but to drop points in the last few seconds, is a huge blow to take.

The players are saddened and with new owners watching over the match I'm unsure if this result was positive or negative.


Asan Mugunghwa At Home


Trying to motivate the players has been a big issue, with only 3 days break after the disappointing Jeju result. It's took a full training session to get players morale to average from 'Very Poor'. It doesn't help that every sport media outlet in Korea appears to have an opinion that our players should leave for Europe. While I do agree, it's great to get Asian player exposure, but can they at least wait until the end of the season?

Fortunately the majority of our playing squad is now fit to play verses Asan. Despite Lee Sang-Min who is again transfer blocked from playing in our match squad. Even after complaining to the board to sell at the end of the season, they're not listening to my demands and seem set on selling him now. Park Jae-Woo is stepping up as the new pair with Oh Ban-Suk, with Asan being dead last in the league we can only really settle with a win here.

Oh Ban-Suk isn't pleased with transfer rumors spreading in the pre-match interview

Kick Off

With a strong team, playing at home against an extremely poor Asan team, The result seems all but confirmed before the whistle is even blew for kick off. The players are getting quite relaxed and the opening fifteen minutes can only be described as Asan in the middle. With Daejeon players knocking it around with ease. I'm desperately shouting to try and get some attacking transitions or overlaps but looks like complacency and arrogance right now.

Cho Suk-Jae is down and he is out. A long ball over the top, his energetic sprint see's him clash with the goalkeeper and then go flying over straight into the post. It's a straight emergency injury and he won't be playing any further part in the game Moon Chang-Hyun is on.

The players are looking frightened now after that horrific injury, every player is nervously passing trying to avoid the same fate. Half time can't come soon enough, with both teams having no shots and the only action was a ball boy being handed a cloth to clean the goalpost.

With nervous energy in the dressing room, I give Chan-Hee the team talk duties. We're going to make some tweaks as well with Hwang In-Beon further forward and Moon Chang-Hyun dropping more centrally.

Onside or offside? #DaeSan
You Ho-Jun finds the bottom corner of the net, but VAR has adjudged him to of been standing in a offside position when the ball was passed to him. I think it's very tight from the only angle they had, but bias aside I think he might just be onside.

Asan have scored, a corner in the 70th. Koo Dae-Yung is left unmarked and he's thumped the ball into the net for 1-0. We have dominated the match from the start but look in great danger of dropping points now. I hate VAR.

Hwang In-Beon is down, he's had to be subbed off with a sprained ankle after a dangerous karate kick by the Asan winger. We are unbeaten in 5 games but it's looking likely that Asan are going to break our record.

More controversy, It's a penalty to Daejeon in the 80th. You Ho-Jun appears to run into the Asan defender on the set piece and do a roll? It's been given as a penalty and after waving off VAR, it's Moon Chang-Hyun to settle it. He does! 1-1, I'm unsure if that really should of been given as a penalty but it might be karma. Why don't you judge.

Olympic swimmer You Ho-Jun securing us a penalty with 10 minutes to go, is that a foul? 

With dangerous tackles and angry players from both teams, the match turns into a kicking match. The 10 minutes are quickly eaten up by stoppages and the game finishes 1-1. Yet another draw, marred with controversy but considering the injuries and the luck of the penalty we are grateful just for the points. We remain unbeaten 6 games in a row.

Supermatch

Since now a days the super-match lacks a little bit of what it once was, it's time to re brand. What is a better new super-match than Seoul vs Daejeon Citizens? The powerhouse that is Seoul is finally back after making three foreign striking signings and with them winning 6 of the last 8 they're our toughest opponents yet. 

A huge! 403 away tickets are sold for our trip to Seoul. Seoul will be bringing around 16,321. If those numbers together aren't super-match quality I don't know what is. Lee Sang-Min is finally cleared to play a game. Which more than likely will be his last ever game even though he's only played 19 this year. The 18 year old is on the cusp of joining Porto. 

Cho Suk-Jae is going to be out for 5 weeks, as he has strained his back when colliding with the post. Despite his absence it will be a fully strength roster for the purple boys. 
Last time we played Seoul it was a great historical victory, more of the same? 

Kick Off

The stadium is rocking, players are looking pumped. A victory here will shoot us all the way up to 5th in the table. With ACL still a far off possibility, can we grab some points in the new 'Supermatch'
I really hope so otherwise it's going to be a long journey home after the speech I gave in the tunnel. 

Motivated, smiling and in form. Time to watch a beautiful game of football. 

How much is a train ticket back to Daejeon at 3:07pm. It's 1-0 Seoul within 7 minutes, a corner is lofted into the box and no one can get near Kim Ju-Young who finishes nicely into the roof of the net. The opening exchanges have gone anything but super for Daejeon, we are getting stomped. 

It's 2-0, this is getting ugly like the Jeonbuk match. They're counter attacking us to death, Cessinha formerly of Daegu whips the ball in and West Brom's Rondon heads it down for Lee Myung-Joo to slot home for 2-0 in 12 minutes. 


Counter attacking Seoul make it 2-0. We have real issues. 


This has been possibly the worst first half performance of our season thus far. Our half time statistics read.

Possession- Seoul 68 : 32 Daejeon
Shots- Seoul 13 : 0 Daejeon 
Corners - Seoul 8 : 1 Daejeon
Yellow Cards- Seoul 0 : 3 Daejeon

We simply can't handle the dominance and speed of this Seoul team. They're playing five attackers but with the fluidity of their movement it's reminiscent of Liverpool in the Premier League. All the players are interchanging and we can't even track one of the runs let alone five. I'm completely stumped on what to change, with desperation we are dropping deeper hoping to counter attack them. 

The supermatch is not going how I planned it to go, is this the new Seoul domination starting to come through. These new foreign signing are directly linked with their new Head Scout - Dejan Damjanovic. I don't know if he plans on moving into scouting after football but the ex Seoul legend has some incredible virtual signings. 

Kick Off Second Half

3-0, This Rondon has scored. #SEODAE

The fans are devastated behind the goal, as a third is added for Seoul. It's our weakness again a corner into the box and four Seoul players are free. Yes four. Rondon applies the finish and Su-Hyun is going mad at his defence. 

We have been completely outplayed, outsmarted, out matched. It's 70 minutes on the clock and the fans are starting to walk out and I would be too. We have still yet failed to have a successful shot on goal, this has been horrible. 

Seoul make some late changes and rest players, we finally get some chances in the game but it's too little too late and we lose 3-0 away from home. 

The supermatch was more like the horrormatch, our unbeaten run comes to an end in front of 16,000 fans laughing and making gestures. We will have our vengeance next season when we poach Dejan to be our new Head Scout. If he can bring premier league strikers, Aguero is approaching 32...




TL:DR



No win in three games, positives to take from Jeju. However, Asan and Seoul were major steps backwards on our recent form. Transfers out of the club will be confirmed by the next part, possibilities of further £1 million investment and 7 points from automatic safety. Seoul are a force in the league again and exciting times for Korean talent. 










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