Gimpo FC, a civic club led by coach Ko “Red Tomah” Jung-woon, was called an outsider club when it was founded last year. This was because the team was composed of players who had shown promise in other K League 1 and 2 teams, but had been unlucky with playing time or injuries, as well as the charisma of coach Ko, who runs with a straight face.토토사이트
Surprisingly, Gimpo finished third in the K League 2 this year and made it through the playoffs to the final promotion playoff. Their opponent was 10th-ranked Gangwon FC, whose coach Yoon Jung-hwan’s defensive-oriented, fine-grained play that relied heavily on long passes to cross into the attacking zone contrasted with Gimpo’s more energetic, hard-edged style of play.
“I think (the players) will be a little nervous,” he said as he waited for the first leg of the Hana WonQ K League 2023 promotion playoffs between Gangwon and Gimpo at Gimpo’s Solter Soccer Stadium on Saturday. We need to improve. I hope the club will go to a bigger club.”
The 5,000-seat stadium will need to be expanded to 10,000 next year, regardless of whether the team is promoted to K League 1 or not. If they do get promoted, they will have to follow the recommendations of the KFA, which gave them a deadline of April next year. Although the club is in its second year, it would be better if the team could go up in style.
On the other hand, Gangwon has been relegated before and knows how to handle the playoffs. Gimpo is an underdog, so they have nothing to lose. It’s not easy to get promoted in the second year, and even at the K-League Grand Awards ceremony on the 4th, Gimpo was cautious, saying, “(Promotion) is something that still needs time.”
However, in the face of competition, Ko is a man of action. “I’m the one who has to perform with the players in Gimpo. The club secretariat must communicate with the city (on administrative matters). If we go to K League 1, I’ll do what the KFA tells me to do. We have to go (to K League 1) first,” he said, showing his competitive spirit.
Ko revealed that short-term games are a battle of momentum. Compared to the regular season and playoffs, there were very few changes in players. It’s not that Gangwon’s player base is bad, but its scoring power is only 30 goals in 38 games, the worst among the 12 clubs. While the league is different, Gimpo’s 42 goals in 36 games looks better on paper.
The 90-minute first leg ended 0-0. They were heavily out-shot (4-8), out-shot (1-4), out-ball (36%-64%), and out-possessed (19:17-33:44). However, as bad as the first half was, the second half was much different. They improved to 3-4 in shots and 47%-53% in possession in the second half. It’s enough to say that Gimpo played confidently after relaxing and adapting to Gangwon’s style of play.
After the game, Ko’s attitude changed. He said, “I was curious about our performance against a K League 1 team. In the end, we showed a positive performance that we deserved. We played a good game that should give us confidence. Gangwon had a high ball share, but there wasn’t much going on except for a shot from Gallego’s right flank. It was a very positive game,” he said, predicting the second leg, which is scheduled to be played at Gangneung Sports Complex on April 9.
As of last year, the promotion PO abolished the away goals system. If the match is not decided in 90 minutes, it will go to extra time followed by a penalty shootout. For Gimpo, who will be battling with stamina and confidence, the remaining 90 minutes will be soul-searching. How well they manage to control their pace will be crucial, but they can do more than that if their minds dominate their bodies.
“When the players say (Gangwon deserves it), I think so too,” Goh said, adding, “Both Gangwon and us have a solid defense. I don’t think there will be a lot of goals (in the second leg).” He believes that one goal from an accurate attack is enough to win the game. For Luiz, who is the top scorer in K League 2 with 17 goals, it will be all over if he can find the back of the net.
The stadium was packed with 3,736 fans, the highest paying crowd of the season. That’s significant considering it was a midweek game and Gimpo is a typical Seoul hinterland city with a large number of commuters.
A Gimpo official said, “The stadium looked full. It would have been nice to win, but a draw wasn’t bad. I asked the players and they said, ‘Gangwon is not a bad team to play against. They said that although they may have a paper-thin advantage, they also came to the conclusion that they are a match for us,” he said, adding that they had the morale to cause a major upset.