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scouting

Daejeon Hana Citizen begin 2021 with three points


A goal and an assist in the last 10 minutes from 21-year-old Shin Sang-eun on his professional debut gives Daejeon Hana Citizen a winning start to 2021. But, despite the Lee Min-sung era starting with three points, it wasn't a straight forward victory.

Playing Style

Question marks will remain on what kind of football Daejeon will play this year as it was overtly clear on Sunday against Bucheon. In the lead up to the new season, new Daejeon manager Lee Min-sung said that he would like to emulate Liverpool's style of play, a high intensity pressing game. But on Sunday, the Purples were content to sit back and let Bucheon have possession in their own half for large spells and lacked a bit of intensity. 

Lee Jin-hyun started in a holding midfield role for Daejeon

The performance was a little laboured, too, and Daejeon seemed to run out of ideas relatively early in the game with the likes of Lee Jin-hyun resorting to punting the ball forward. But with nine debutants it was all about the result, the performances will come as well a clear idea of how Lee will set this team up. Furthermore, for a team which is under a lot of pressure to deliver, getting the three points was all that mattered. 

Debutants

No fewer than seven who started the match did so in a Daejeon shirt for the first time and another two came off the bench. Citizen's back four was made up of three debutants alone in right back Lee Ho-in and centre back pairing Kim Min-duk and Lim Dug-keun. Daejeon's new number 10, Lee Jin-hyun, was deployed as a holding midfielder due to the absence of captain Park Jin-seop through injury and the departure of Connor Chapman last week. In the attacking third of the pitch, Lee Hyun-sik and Choi Ik-jin as well as Won Ki-jong as the loan striker made up the remaining debutants in the starting lineup. It was a solid yet unspectacular showing all round.

Injury Problems Persist

Injuries plagued Daejeon in 2020 and, after an extremely tough pre-season, several key names were unavailable due to injury on Sunday. Experienced centre back Lee Woong-hee, Korean U23 international Lee Ji-sol as well as club captain Park Jin-seop were all absent. All three are almost certain to be in the match day 18, certainly one of Lee Ji-sol or Lee Woong-hee would start at centre back while skipper Park Jin-seop would have been the first name on the teamsheet. The Purples are going to have to be careful in this regard as they might not be so lucky against some of the stronger teams in the division. 

Eulji Lewis

Forward Options

Off the bench came Ahn Sang-min and Shin Sang-eun, who was making his professional debut. Shin, a 21-year-old first year professional, was quickest to react to Ahn Sang-min's parried shot from the edge of the area and was able to stab the ball home from close range in the 80th minute. Shin involved in Daejeon's second too - guiding the ball through to Edinho to slot the ball past Jeon Jong-hyeok in the Bucheon goal with just one minute of normal time remaining. 

Edinho celebrates scoring Daejeon's winner in the 89th minute

With plenty of focus on Daejeon's lack of attacking options, Shin made a lasting impression. He looked confident and more than comfortable on the ball. His ample height and awkward frame makes him hard to defend against and, although he played just 13 minutes, his goa land assist will have given Lee Min-sung food for thought ahead of Busan at home next week.

Elsewhere, Bruno Baio wasn't in the match day squad as the Brazilian is quite a bit behind the rest of the team in terms of fitness. The Purples will also have Antonio (Matheus Pato) signing after he has left quarantine. Antonio's return hasn't been officially announced the club but the player arrived in Korea last week. Daejeon can take solacing in knowing that they got the result despite being down the bare bones in attack.

Return of Kim Dong-jun

One major positive was that Kim Dong-jun got through the game unscathed. Daejeon broke the bank to sign Korean international goalkeeper Kim Dong-jun last year but the former Seongnam custodian lasted just a couple of months before dislocating his shoulder last June. Kim was unable to keep a cleansheet but made a key intervention with the score at 0-0 and looked alert. A fit Kim Dong-jun will be a huge asset for the Purples this season, more so with a very able understudy in Park Ju-won to provide competition who also missed the whole of last year through injury.

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