Pohang Steelers earned three valuable points with two penalty kicks (PK).
The Pohang Steelers defeated Incheon United 2-0 in the 29th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at the Incheon Football Stadium at 7 p.m. on Feb. 2. With the win, Pohang remained in second place with 14 wins, 11 draws and four losses (53 points), along with an eight-match unbeaten streak (four wins and four draws), and closed to within eight points of leader Ulsan Hyundai (61 points).
Two PKs in the second half sealed the three points. First, in the 16th minute of the second half, Zeca won a contest and sent a through ball. Inside the penalty box, Kim Seung-dae was tripped by goalkeeper Kim Dong-heon. The referee called for a PK, and Zeca stepped up to take the kick, finishing in the bottom left corner to rattle the net.
Then, in the 38th minute, Ha Chang-Rae’s header from a corner kick hit Chun Sung-Hoon’s arm. After an on-field review, the referee awarded a PK. Wandelsson stepped up to take the kick and split the goal with a kick from the center to the left.
Coach Kim Ki-dong said, “I’ve noticed a lot of fans at our away games lately. I was sorry that we didn’t win more away than at home, but we were able to win because so many fans came from far away to support us. As you can see from the roster, we had five players under the age of 22. The younger players did a good job in a big game, they did what we wanted them to do and finished well. We wanted to change the flow of the game in the second half, and we stuck to our plan. It was a difficult game. We had a lot of foreign players who were difficult to play against. The guys overcame it and got three valuable points away from home.”
You earned two PKs and converted both. “(We’ve been) conceding a lot. We didn’t have a lot of chances to score. It was a perfect PK. In a big game like this, PKs and set pieces are important. Zeca and Wandelsson did it at a crucial time. If the goal hadn’t gone in, it could have been a bad atmosphere, so I’m happy for them.”
Regarding the halftime instructions, he said, “I told them not to rush in the first half. We knew they were going to sit back and wait and counterattack. There were definitely situations in the first half where they did. We didn’t want to rush it, we thought if we could just finish the first half 0-0, we could take our pace into the second half. Going into the second half, I was thinking about whether to play (Han) Chan-hee or (Kim) Jong-woo. I think Jong-woo is better than Chan-hee in terms of game flow and pressure in small spaces. We wanted to bring Jong-woo in and bring the game to our side, and I think it worked out well.”
Park Hyung-woo made his debut. Coach Kim Ki-dong said, “It’s his first year. It’s not easy for a 20-year-old player to perform in a game with such a large crowd. But he definitely tried a lot to show what he has. I think he executed almost perfectly what I asked him to do. He’s a player that we need to continue to nurture and develop.”
Another point away to Incheon. Coach Kim Ki-dong said, “I don’t remember losing here. I talked to the players about those good memories. It was no different and we got the win. We try to win when we prepare, and if we score a goal when we have a chance, we win. If you don’t, like against Gangwon, you draw or lose. Here, the players are confident and score well,” he said.
When asked about the return of injured players, he said, “I’m constantly checking. (Shin) Kwang-hoon is back and training. (Chung) Jae-hee and (Shim) Sang-min-i are not back yet. I think it will be longer because they need to play better. I’m 토토사이트 not the type of person who pushes players to come back when the team is in a tough situation, but I wait for them to be perfect. I don’t know when they’ll be back, but I want them back when they’re perfect.”
The team will now head into the September A-match break. “It’s going to be busy. I’m going to take three and a half days off first. Then I want to rest, it’s too hard. When I come back, I’m going to Hanoi after Suwon FC and then the ACL starts. I’m still checking on the other teams. From then on, I have to prepare for the ACL in earnest.”