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Recap: Sangju Sangmu vs Gangwon FC


Sangju Sangmu put right the wrongs of their opening day hammering at Ulsan Hyundai with a 2-0 victory over Kim Byung-soo's Gangwon. Sangju's counter-attacking tactics worked well as they dragged themselves off the bottom of K League 1 thanks to goals from Kang Sang-woo and Moon Seon-min. 

What Happened?

To the delight of  the cheerleaders brightening up one of Sangju's empty stands, the match sprung to life on 23 minutes as Lim Chai-min brought down Kang Sang-woo with a clumsy foul in the box. Dispatching his penalty past a helpless Lee Bum-soo in the Gangwon net, Sangju enjoyed a 10-minute spell where they should have doubled their advantage. Kim Byung-soo's visitors show some promise as last week's match-winner Cho Jae-wan jinked past two defenders in the box. Prodding the ball across to Jung Seok-hwa, the forward saw it agonisingly bounce of his chest and over the bar. Jung was the guilty party once more moments later, wasting a good opportunity 15 yards from goal after good play down the right from Kim Seung-dae.

Gangwon's Kim Ji-hyun came off the bench early in the second half and made an instant impact, flashing an effort off the bar with a fierce strike. After a spell of concerted pressure from Gangwon, Ko Moo-yeol was also brought on from the bench before keeper Lee Bum-soo stormed out from his area, handling outside the box to be shown a yellow card following much decision-making from the referee. After a disappointing display at Ulsan Hyundai last week, Moon Seon-min came off the bench and found himself through on goal one-one-one with seemingly unlimited time to pick his spot to double Sangju's advantage. As the game petered out, Kim Byung-soo cut a frustrated figure on the touchline, watching on as substitute striker once again came close but failed to make a connection on an inch-perfect cross.




What Went Well?

Kim Tae-wan will be very pleased with his side's reaction to such a heavy defeat at Ulsan last weekend. Questions were raised about Sangju's commitment to the cause knowing that relegation was inevitable this season, but they showcased why many think they will still be top six challengers. As expected it was Gangwon who enjoyed the lion's share of possession, but Sangju's tactics worked well allowing them numerous chances on the break as the visitors pushed for an equaliser. While the Sangju defence was hardly water-tight, they did look a lot more structured and comfortable on the ball.

Undoing a lot of their good work from last week's victory over FC Seoul, Gangwon sit level on points with Sangju in mid-table. They did have plenty of chances with Kim Ji-hyun showing his potential from the bench. The interplay between the front three, with Kim Seung-dae as an anchor, was particularly encouraging and on a day where Gangwon remembered their shooting boots it could have been another story.


What Didn't Go Well?

Sangju were once again only allowed to make two substitutions due to the lack of under-22 players in their starting line-up. However, when one of those sat on the bench is last year's MVP nominee Moon Seon-min, you're problems diminish. Hopefully Kim Tae-wan and his team can sort these issues before fixtures start to become more congested later in the season.

Gangwon appeared to lose their shape in midfield and unlike last time out were rocked by conceding the first goal of the game. Handing sides an advantage can't continue should they wish to fulfill their potential of Champions League qualification. Boss Kim Byung-soo seemed most aggrieved at his side's propensity in front of goal, with clear cut chances wasted. The pace of a freshly-introduced Moon from Sangju's bench also caused real problems down the visitors left, something surely noted by other clubs.

What Do They Need To Do Now?

With Sangju's next fixture being a home tie against newly-promoted Gwangju, they have a real chance to quickly turn around their horror show at Ulsan and record consecutive victories. The priority for the military side after sorting their under-22 player quota issues should be continued work on a defence that is leaking opportunities.

For a disappointed Gangwon outfit who failed to put any pressure on their perceived top-six competitors this weekend, Kim Byung-soo must ensure his squad put the defeat behind them as quickly as possible. With consecutive home games to come at a ground where they clearly feel comfortable to play some attractive football, work on shape will be the order of the day at the training ground.

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