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Moonlight Derby Recap: Return of Daegu’s King Cesinha Leads to 3-2 Comeback Win over Gwangju

Struggling Daegu FC came from behind twice to beat Gwangju 3-2 at home in Round 12 of the 2024 Hana 1Q K League 1. This win marks the second win of the season as well as the first win for the Sky Blues with new manager Park Changhyun in charge, in what was his his fourth game. Daegu FC correspondent Muyeol Jung reviewed the clash between the two citizen clubs at DGB Daegu Bank Park.


Pre-match News

A match-up between Daegu and Gwangju has always been entertaining with lots of goals scored and this clash at DGB Daegu Bank Park in Round 12 of Hana 1Q K League 1 did not let down fans with a thrilling 3-2 comeback win for Daegu. 

Coming into this game, Daegu were in desperate need of a win after their first win of the season came on the last day of March at Gwangju, while the visitors had just ridden on a winning streak after six straight defeats. 

Gwangju manager Lee Junghyo played young midfielder Jeong Hoyeon upfront instead of the injured Lee Hee-gyun in the starting XI, trying to make changes to his tactics. For the hosts, notable changes were the return of Cesinha to the starting XI and the exclusion of Go Jaehyeon. Manager Park revealed that Cesinha really wanted to make up for his unacceptable performance last time out at Jeju by starting. He also explained that it would be best to rule Go out for a while to have some time off after he had a heart-to-heart conversation with the Korean forward. 


Seesaw Battle in the First Half

Within the five minutes of the first half, the visitors went ahead with Lee Keonhee's opener. The striker turned around with the ball and slotted home with a left-footed effort near the penalty box. However, Gwangju's lead didn't last long as they wished. Young striker Park Yonghee slotted home, assisted by Daegu's talisman Cesinha. With this assist, the Brazilian became the sixth player in the league to achieve more than 60 goals and 60 assists.

Despite Gwangju letting their lead slip so easily, they did not stop going forward and regained their lead when Du Hyeonseok's curling ball was met by Byeon Junsoo's header inside the box on a free kick. After going 2-1 up, they got close to finding the third of the evening when Lee Keonhee hit the woodwork. However, this time again, they couldn't keep their lead. On 25 minutes, the 'King of Daepark' Cesinha put in a low cross for Jeong Jaesang who made no mistake from close range.

Daegu's Determination in Gwangju's Dominance

The second half was even more lively. Both teams were not cagey from the beginning and clearly showed their desire to find the next goal by exchanging shots on targets. While Gwangju's dominance continued, Daegu created some chances on the counterattack through control in the air. One of which became successful when substitute Kim Youngjoon earned a spot kick for Daegu. The young striker was tripped down inside the box when he was trying to control Cesinha's curling ball. Cesinha, who had had two assists by then, stepped up to convert it without a mistake. Afterwards, Gwangju pushed hard to get something out of the game through Eom Jisung and Gabriel, but couldn't find a way past Daegu's determined lads and fell to a 3-2 defeat.

Post-match Interview

After the game, Gwangju manager Lee Junghyo expressed his frustration by saying: "It's so annoying. Our lads put in 100% on the pitch and I don't know what our club is doing. Are we just a third wheel in the league? We as a small, unpopular club, need to fight against all odds every time. I think we played the way we wanted to play and we played well in front of a sellout crowd. I'd like to say well done to both teams". 

Soon after he stormed out of the press room; it sounded like he was not happy with the referee's decisions including the penalty call that led to a 3-2 win for Daegu.

Meanwhile, Daegu's manager Park Changhyeon told the press: "It is a fascinating feeling to get the win at home in a fantastic atmosphere, created by a sellout crowd". He added that: "I'd like to send all credit to our lads, fans, and backroom staff who worked hard with me". 

On a question about his thoughts on youngsters, he said: "It is imperative for us to have such a group of youngsters playing their roles on the pitch, and continuing to grow, which will significantly help us moving forward". 

Manager Park had calmed down a bit and said in confidence that this is just the start of the journey. He told the press: "This is the first game of the second round robin and it is great to start with a win. I believe many more will come to us and who knows where we will be at the table later".

Daegu's talisman Cesinha returned in style with his brilliant performances with one goal and two assists and was selected as the man of the match. He also shared the credits with his teammates by saying: "We played like warriors as a team and tried to stop Gwangju from doing what they are good at. I am thankful to my teammates, coaching staff, and manager".

[LISTEN: DAEvGWA Mixed Zone | Daegu FC's Edgar Silva]


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What's Next?

Gwangju have a midweek game to play this coming Wednesday against Ulsan that was rescheduled due to Ulsan's AFC Champions League fixture before they return home this Sunday for Jeonbuk's visit. Daegu FC will travel to the capital this Sunday to take on Kim Gidong's Seoul at Seoul World Cup Stadium.

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