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Youngsters earn Gwangju first win at new home

The long wait is over for Gwangju fans! 291 days since their last home victory, a 2-1 home win over Incheon United in June 2020, they've claimed another three points on home soil with... a 2-1 home win over Incheon. K League United Assistant Editor Peter Hampshire looks at how Kim Ho-young's side earned their first home points of the season.

First Professional Goals x2

With Lee Han-saim, Aleksandar Andrejević and Isnairo Reis making their debuts for Gwangju there was a much-changed feel to the Yellows starting eleven. Reis took over set piece duty and interchanged regularly with Eom Ji-sung on the wings while the other two newcomers formed a partnership at centre back that consigned Han Hee-hoon and Lee Han-do to the bench.

Kim Jun-bum gave Jo Sung-hwan's side the lead on 15 minutes as his 25-yard shot took a decisive deflection off Lee Han-saim to beat Yoon Bo-sang. A huge turning point in the game was Min Ji-hwan's sending off on 20 minutes. After VAR consultation, Mun's elbow on Felipe was adjudged to have been sufficiently reckless. Lee Hui-gyun came on for the injured Lee Chang-dong on the half four before Andrejević's wild lash over received hearty round of applause from Gwangju fans. Perhaps generosity was being shown to a debutant but it did demonstrate the player's and home fans frustration at the lack of options ahead of him.
Step forward 18-year-old Eom Ji-sung on his seventh appearance of the fledgling season, breaking into the box on the right he netted a composed finish on the stroke of half time and Gwangju dominated proceedings from then on. Lee Eu-ddeum's introduction at half time showed Kim Ho-young's intention to whip balls into the box for Felipe to contend for and after agonising pressure they finally found a way through in the 94th minute. The ball broke for Lee Hui-gyun who joined Eom in scoring his first career K League goal in front of the delirious rain-soaked Gwangju hardcore.

Eom Ji-sung


Much has been made of K League managers use of substitutions this season with many taking off their young talents around the 20-minute mark to bypass U-22 stipulations. With regular U-22 Eom Won-sang out injured, his namesake grasped the opportunity with both hands, looking a threat from the off. Possessing a great touch, Eom's calm finish in first-half stoppage time showed the maturity of a player beyond his years. After a successful spell with the Korean National Team youth setup in the international break, Eom is certainly one to keep an eye on this season. Eventually succumbing to cramp on 83 minutes and being replaced by Song Seung-min, Eom even attempted an audacious overhead-kick in the second half, which sailed wide.

Home Hoodoo Dissolved

After claiming four points on the road of late in impressive performances at Daegu and Jeju United, boss Kim will have been relieved to see the VAR check on Eom's equaliser cleared to confirm Gwangju's first home goal of the season. The relief around the ground was palpable at the full time whistle with elated substitutes joining in the celebrations in front of those hardy few jumping unsheltered behind the goal. 

Suwon FC visit Gwangju on Wednesday night with the Yellows hoping to make it six points in four days and pull away from the pack at the bottom. A bumper crowd should be in attendance on a warm spring evening, with many fans not attending today due to the persistent rain.

FNR

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