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Incheon United 3-3 Daejeon Hana Citizen Recap: Points shared as Incheon and Daejeon play out six-goal thriller

Incheon United and Daejeon Hana Citizen shared the spoils on Saturday following a pulsating and enthralling 3-3 draw in Round 2 of the 2023 Hana 1Q K League 1. Incheon thought they'd found their first win over the new campaign but a controversial VAR decision in Daejeon's favour late on saw substitute Kim In-gyun seal his brace to make it 3-3. The game also saw Incheon reduced to 10 men with defender Kim Dong-min shown as straight red following a nasty-looking collision with Daejeon captain Ju Se-jong.


Daejeon Hana Citizen winger Kim In-gyun, on as a substitute and having already found a 67th-minute goal that turned the game on its head for the Purles, was awarded a second of the afternoon on 89 minutes after a VAR review.

Kim had swept home Tiago Orobó's pass in the box from two yards out but the referee's assistant on the far side raised his flag immediately. It was then deemed that Harrison Delbridge's trailing leg on the other side of the box had played Kim onside.

It was a double VAR review, too, as the referee had a look at Kim Dong-min's challenge on Ju Se-jong. Both went for a high ball but Ju came off worse for wear and was sent to hospital after the game.

The game was very much the six-goal thriller the scoreline suggested. It ebbed and flowed with each team trading blows and Daejeon will have headed back down the motorway to Purple Arena unsure of what they just experienced. 

An error led to Incheon's first goal just eight minutes on the clock with Lee Myung-joo rolling the ball into an empty net after Daejeon 'keeper Lee Chang-geun had made a mess of his clearance.

Incheon had a hatful of chances and could have scored six on another day while Daejeon rode their luck and some goal-line clearances from Anton Kryvotsyuk and Kim Min-duk, not to mention a last-gasp, point-earning save from Lee Chang-geun to atone for an earlier error, meant that Daejeon came away unbeaten.

Daejeon drew level through Tiago on 22 minutes, guiding the ball past Kim Dong-heon with a side-footed half-volley before substitute Kim In-gyun drilled in from close range on 67 minutes for what was his first goal in K League 1.

The score remained that way heading into the last 15 minutes when all hell seemed to break loose and Daejeon were 3-2 down with little more than injury time remaining.

The scorer of Daejeon's second goal, Kim In-gyun, gave the ball away on the halfway line towards the touchline and allowed Hernandes to break down the right with frightening levels of pace. The Brazilian then buried the ball into the far corner to draw Incheon back level.

Paul-José M'Poku prodded home what he thought was the winner from close range but VAR saved the day for Daejeon.

Daejeon will head back down the motorway slightly unsure of what they had just experienced having somehow found themselves 2-1 up despite a less-than-composed first 45 minutes.

It was a temperate and bright early spring day at Sungui Arena Park where the hosts Incheon United were looking to get their first points of the season.

Incheon United boss Jo Seung-hwan made just one change from the Gyeongin Derby loss to FC Seoul last time out, Hernandes preferred in attack to Paul-José M'Poku. 

Jo's opposite number Lee Min-sung, meanwhile, made two changes with Leandro injured and Yu Kang-hyun starting in attack and Lee Hyun-sik making way for Kim Young-wook in midfield. 

Both managers began, on paper at least, with the same setup as last time out with Incheon in a 4-3-3 and Daejeon in a 4-3-3 but more like a 5-3-2 with three centre backs and two wingbacks, one of course being former Incheon man Oh Jae-suk.

First Half

The game began at a frenzied pace, Gerso Fernandes causing problems in the opening couple of minutes down the left-hand side.

His hard work led to the first corner of the game four minutes in, taken by Shin Jin-ho and played short to Gerso before sending a lofted cross to the far post but Lee Chang-geun was able to collect the tame header.

Incheon controlled the opening five to seven minutes or so with Daejeon unable to get much of a foothold in the game.

GOAL!! 7' | The deadlock was broken in bizarre circumstances, though, with Lee Chang-geun's tame clearance towards the left-hand side of his box landing straight to Lee Myung-joo who sent the ball goalward first time - a costly error from the usually dependable Daejeon goalkeeper.

Daejeon were unable to cope with Incheon who, just a couple of minutes later, came close to making it 2-0. Hernandes drove forward on the counterattack before squaring it to Gerso who took a touch and tried to steer the ball into the far corner but Lee Chang-geun was able to produce a save.

On 14 minutes, Hernandes fizzed the ball just wide after another dangerous venture forward. Incheon looked like they could hurt Daejeon any time they advanced into the final third.

Another glorious chance presented itself in the 18th minute when Kim Bo-seop seemingly thought he was offside before despatching a right-footed half volley but his effort went wide. His teammates might have been wondering why the man they call "Wonderboy" didn't take a touch before having a go.

GOAL!! 19' | It proved costly as Daejeon went up the other end and drew level through Tiago, who was able to get a touch and steer the ball home from six yards out. A free-kick from the left that was lofted in by Lee Jin-hyun made its way to Tiago who was most alert and prodded it beyond Kim Dong-heon - Incheon 1-1 Daejeon.

Daejeon came close to finding another after a string of corners from the left, taken right-footed by Ju Se-jong but Incheon were able to clear their lines.
Now with their tails up following the equaliser, Daejeon were beginning to look more confident and assertive. 

Incheon came very close to retaking the lead on 30 minutes, though, and had it not been for a goal-saving clearance on the line from Kim Min-duk they would have done so. A short corner was sent in by Gerso, the knockdown fell to Shin Jin-who but his shot was swept off the line.

Daejeon went up the other end and came fairly close to finding a second, Lee Jin-hyun burst forward down the right-hand side, sent in a teasing cross but Yu Kang-hyun's header across goal was wayward.

Soon after and a quick Incheon transition caught Daejeon off guard and led to a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the D. Shin Jin-ho's wonderfully volleyed pass found Gerso who got the better of Daejeon defender Anton, the Azerbaijan international brought his man down and was shown a yellow card by the referee.

Shin Jin-ho grabbed hold of the ball, placed the ball down and had a go himself but his shot hit the wall.

Daejeon weren't out of the woods yet though with Kim Bo-seop sliding in Gerso whose cut-back found Hernandes but pressure from Anton saw the ball go wide. Anton was one of the busier centre backs in the first half and was embroiled in an interesting battle with Hernandes.

Another Incheon corner on 41 minutes provided another chance for the hosts, Oh Ban-suk's header struck the upright. Daejeon were riding their luck somewhat with half time needed to reset and regroup.

Daejeon survived another scare with Gerso testing Lee Chang-geun to win a corner on the stroke of halftime. The resulting corner from Shin Jin-ho was headed back towards goal but the goalkeeper collected calmly.

At the break, it was Incheon United 1-1 Daejeon Hana Citizen. The visitors will have been the happiest going in at half time.


Second Half

Neither manager made any changes at half time personnel-wise and the second half began in the same manner as the first with Incheon straight out of the traps.

The hosts thought they should have had a penalty when Jung Dong-yoon went down in the box under pressure from Daejeon captain Ju Se-jong but Ju protested furiously and gesticulated that Jung should be shown a yellow card for simulation. The referee waved play on.

Daejeon were on the ropes already just four minutes into the second half. Hernandes a constant nuisance left Cho Yu-min for dust, got in behind down the right and sent the ball into the box. The resulting shot was cleared off the line by Anton. At this point, it was Incheon's fault they weren't ahead. 

This point was hammered home further when Ko Do-hyeok sent Kim Bo-seop's clipped cross wide from six yards out. Somehow, the score remained level. 

Yu Kang-hyun wasn't having the best full debuts for Daejeon, feeding off scraps and unable to impose himself on the game. With Tiago dropping deep, Yu was tasked with leading the press with Lee Jin-hyun when out of possession.

Daejeon, though, started to pass the ball a bit better and looked a bit like the team fans saw last weekend and Tiago's willingness to drop deep and link play up will prove key for the Purples away from home this term.

Wingers Kim In-gyun and Shin Sang-eun both came on for Daejeon in the 58th minute with Lee Min-sing having seen enough, Kim Young-wook and Yu Kang-hyun off.

Both made positive contributions too, Kim in particular who got to the touchline in the box and tried to square the ball across but to no avail.

Incheon made a change shortly after with Jung Dong-yoon going off and Paul-José M'Poku coming on - Kim Bo-sop shifted to wingback.

M'Poku very nearly provided an assist with what can't have been much more than his second touch, threading the ball through to Gero following an exchange of passes with Hernandes but Daejeon lived to fight another day.

GOAL!! 65' | Daejeon turned the game on its head in the 67th minute through substitute Kim In-gyun. The former Chungnam Asan winger pounced on a loose ball in the box before drilling it through the legs of Kim Dong-heon to complete the comeback - cue delirium in the away end right behind the goal.

Incheon, undeterred, had another chance, this time Kim Bo-seop finding himself unmarked in the box to head goalward but Lee Chang-geun was able to bring the ball into his chest and relieve the danger.

Incheon were beginning to look a bit frustrated, for all their hard work and pressure in the first half the Blue-Black had somehow found themselves behind.

Incheon made a chance in the 74th minute with Gerso coming off and Song Si-woo coming on.

GOAL!! 77' | Incheon drew level in emphatic fashion with Hernandes drilling the ball into the bottom corner on the counterattack. Daejeon's goalscorer Kim In-gyun gave the ball away, helping the hosts break quickly and the devastating pace of Hernandes and his emphatic right-footed drive meant it was Incheon 2-2 Daejeon. The roar from the Incheon fans very nearly blew the roof off the stadium.

GOAL!! 81' | With 10 minutes of normal time remaining, Incheon made it 3-2 through Paul-José M'Poku. It was pinball wizard stuff on the line with the post being struck then Daejeon's Lee Chang-geun called into action but eventually, the ball was prodded home by M'Poku and Sungui Arena erupted once more. 

Daejeon were rattled and all defensive composure was lost but what a game this turned out to be. Even with little over five minutes left, there was still the impression that there were more goals and that either team could win - especially given the way Daejeon had somehow found themselves 2-1 up.

But Daejeon found an equaliser thanks, in some way to VAR. Kim In-gyun had converted from point-blank range, latching onto a Tiago pass in the box, but the linesman had flagged for offside. 

GOAL!! 90' | The referee went over to look at the monitor and after a short review, deemed it to be a goal with Incheon defender Harrison Delbridge adjudged to have played him onside.

The referee also produced a red card for Incheon's Kim Dong-min for a dangerous foul on Ju Se-jong while the two were going for the ball in the air.

The game wasn't done there, though, and allowed Lee Chang-geun to atone for his earlier error. The former Jeju and Busan stopper produced a huge, huge save deep into time added on with Incheon letting it be known they were not giving up.

The game was well into the 100th minute before the referee finally blew for full time and the spoils were shared - Incheon United 3-3 Daejeon Hana Citizen.

Post-match Comments

Listen to what Paul-José M'Poku and Anton Kryvotsyuk had to say post-match on KLU Patreon.

Read what Anton had to say here


Incheon United (3-4-3)

1 Kim Dong-heon, 4 Oh Ban-suk (c), 20 Harrison Delbridge, 47 Kim Dong-min, 14 Jung Dong-yoon, 5 Lee Myung-joo, 8 Shin Jin-ho, 7 Kim Do-hyeok, 27 Kim Bo-seop, 10 Hernandes, 11 Gerso Fernandes

Substitutes: 21 Lee Tae-hui, 55 Kwon Han-jin, 17 Kim Jun-yeop (Kim Bo-seop 89'), 18 Yeo Reum (Lee Myung-joo 89'), 37 Hong Si-woo (Hernandes 89'), 19 Song Si-woo (Gerso Fernandes 75'), 40 Paul-José M'Poku (Jung Dong-yoon 62')

Daejeon Hana Citizen (4-3-3)

1 Lee Chang-geun, 22 Oh Jae-suk, 3 Kim Min-duk, 20 Cho Yu-min, 98 Anton Kryvotsyuk, 14 Kim Young-wook, 8 Ju Se-jong (c), 2 Seo Young-jae, 97 Lee Jin-hyun, 28 Tiago Orobó, 10 Yu Kang-hyun
Substitutes: 23 Jeong San, 5 Lim Dug-keun (Seo Young-jae 86'), 13 Jeon Byeong-kwan, 9 Gong Min-hyun (Ju Se-jong 90+3'), 11 Kim In-gyun (Kim Young-wook 58'), 19 Shin Sang-eun (Yu Kang-hyun 58'), 15 Byun Jun-soo

Attendance: 10,011

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