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Recap: Daegu FC 3-1 Gangwon FC

Beating Gangwon FC 3-1 at home this past Saturday means that Daegu FC finally have restored 4th place in the table since they let the place slip from their grasp through in the midst of sluggish performances and injuries this summer. Daegu FC Correspondent Muyeol Jung have a look in depth at what has been improved in Daegu’s performances through a match between Daegu FC and Gangwon FC.

What Happened?

Daegu FC manager Andre played the same side out again like last time when they recorded a 1-0 home win over Gyeongnam, while Gangwon FC Kim Byungsoo set up the team in their usual 4-3-3- formation with two noticeable changes; Cho Jihoon and Oh Beomseok for Lee Hyunsik and suspended Kim Ohkyu.

As expected, from the beginning, possession-based Kim Byungsoo’s side took control of the game in Daegu’s own half, while Daegu were sitting deep on counterattack. Just ten minutes into the first half, Daegu had the first chance which led to open the scoring. Cesinha received the ball from Edgar and clinically finished it. The second goal of the night came only six minutes from the restart. This time, the scorer Cesinha looked for Korea U22 national team forward Kim Daewon on his left who curled the ball into the net inside the box.

After the game went 2-0 down to Gangwon, the visitors even pushed much harder for a goal and Cho Jaewan immediately pulled one back, but the goal was disallowed for the hand ball by the attacker. With Gangwon’s constant possession, on 27 minutes Cesinha had an encounter with Gangwon’s shot stopper and killed off the game with a brace. After 3-0, something unexpected happened to Daegu; former Asan Mugunghwa wingback Kim Dongjin was shown a direct red card after the VAR review showed him stamping on Kang Jihoon’s ankle before the half time.

From the second half, Gangwon FC went more aggressive with substitute on Kim Jihyun for defensive midfielder Cho Jihoon, while a 10 man side Daegu remained very defensive. Gangwon continued to attack for a goal by constantly putting the ball into the box or making occasional shots from distances but their efforts were not near around passing through Daegu’s guardian until substitute Lee Hyunsik got one back three minutes after he came on. Afterwards, however, Daegu FC never let their two-goal lead slip away and it finished 3-1 to the hosts.


What Went Well?

Successive positives triggered by the join of Edgar and Kim Sunmin

Daegu FC playmaker Cesinha had been under a lot of pressure and burden on the pitch until former Brazil U20 National team forward Edgar and creative midfielder Kim Sunmin re-joined the club from the injury and military service, respectively. In spite of the commitments from the attacker, his solo play wasn’t sufficient to get the results. However, the addition of the two have brought what had been missing to the team; creativity and vitality.

Since Edgar (L) and Kim Sunmin's return Daegu have been unbeaten with two wins and a draw.
Compared to the period before the two re-entered the fold, having Edgar upfront and Kim in the midfield let Cesinha move freely with less restrictions to contribute to attack. The Korean screens the defence ahead of the back three and moves the ball quickly upfront, while the towering forward holds up the ball to let his teammats move forward. Thanks to Edgar’s return, young forward Kim Daewon also looks much more agile on the left side with his pace.

On the night, Gangwon FC excessively raised their defence line and remained in the Daegu’s own half with only two centre backs and the rest of outfielders near Daegu’s penalty box, which subsequently resulting in themselves allowing too much space for Edgar and Cesinha. As a result, Daegu FC were able to exploit the space between the two centre backs and midfielders with simple, but fast passing.

The attack immediately starts from Kim Sunmin after Daegu take the ball back. Kim finds Cesinha or Edgar in the middle, while young forward Kim Daewon, stayed back, making a run down the line, expecting the ball to come through Cesinha or Edgar. Particularly, the second and third goals of the night perfectly showed how effectively the Andre’s lads played on counterattack.

Solid performances from Jo Hyeonwoo between the sticks

Jo Hyeonwoo has achieved 11 clean sheets with 24 goals conceded from 27 games in K League
Attacking wise, Cesinha, who has been directly involved with all three goals Daegu scored on that night with two goals and one assist, whilst all the defensive plaudits should fall up to Korea international goalkeeper Jo Hyeonwoo, who held back Gangwon scoring only one goal from 14 shots on targets. In a postmatch interview, Daegu FC manager Andre spoke to the press that:

“Jo Hyeonwoo proved why he is eligible to represent Korea”. He also added “even if the defence is solid enough, eventually we have some shots on target by the opponent, but when it looks like an obvious goal, Jo’s consistent saves gives us [Daegu] strong belief, while psychologically gives the opponent despair and makes them nervy”. Gangwon FC gaffer Kim Byungsoo also admitted that “Jo clearly showed how a good goalkeeper makes a difference on the game. We [Gangwon] created a lot of chances, but Jo’s critical saves at the right time stopped us turning the flow of the game around”.

What Didn't Go Well?

Everything went smooth for Daegu until when left wingback Kim Dongjin was shown a direct red card after the VAR pointed to a foul on Gangwon’s Kang Jihoon. The replay clearly showed that Kim attempted to step his foot on the ground after passing the ball into the box, but unfortunately, his foot stamped the defender’s ankle no matter what his intentions were. The decision looked very harsh for him and Daegu, but this was the point that completely changed the flow of the game and it could have been very different unless Daegu had three-goal cushion.

What Do They Need To Do Now?

Despite all the positives articulated, there are a few things to improve. First of all, Daegu need much stronger backup from the bench. Ahead of this season, there were questions raised about the depth in the squad for Daegu competing in three different campaigns and those concerns became a reality after a hectic first three months when the Sky Blues had 23 games in all competitions in 94 days including Australia, Japan, and China away trips. The lack of rotation in the squad and following accumulated fatigue, both from a hectic schedule and adverse weather conditions, which both attributed to the injuries to key players such as Hong Jungwoon and Tsubasa, both ended this season with ACL injuries. Moreover, one of Daegu’s summer signings, new Brazilian Rildo needs to quickly adapt to Korean football and Daegu’s tactics for more minutes.

Secondly, regardless of the controversy on the referee’s decision, Andre’s lads have to be wary of discipline issue. This season, they have lost a player five times due to a second yellow card or direct red card in all competitions (Kim Wooseok, twice; Kim Daewon, Choi Youngeun and Kim Dongjin, once) and this significantly could affect the team’s performance and morale. Finally, with full strength in the squad, the citizen club have to build up this momentum for ACL spot.

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