Monday, 27 August 2012

Split the difference

So after Sundays game the K -league split into two, the top half taking part in the championship round, the bottom half in the relegation round. Points are carried over but teams can not move between the two halves now and will face the teams in their section home and away to determine final positions.

Daejeon fans had no real last minute drama, knowing from the start of the season that the Purples would be competing in the relegation round. However there was still chance to gain precision points, with games at  rivals Suwon, then home to Pohang.

Suwon Bluewings 2-2 Daejeon Citizen
23rd August

The Citizen faithful traveled to Suwon with the memory of the famous 2-1 victory earlier in the season very much at the fore front of their thoughts. The recent inconsistant performances made making accurate predictions almost impossible, and as always, the fans were just hoping for the best.

Kevin claimed his 10th goal
 of the season
It only took four minutes for Kevin to send Daejeon fans wild. A great free kick delivered from the right landed at the perfect height for Kevin to head home after easily brushing off Suwon man mountain Radoncic. It was a text book goal that utilised Daejeons man strengths, the height and strength of Kevin, and the technique of Kim Hyung Bum.

Suwon looked to strike back immediately and Radoncic had a goal chalked off for offside following a ridiculous missed kicked in the Daejeon midfield had allowed Suwon to charge at the Daejeon back line.

Only two minutes later Radoncic had another chance to atone for his poor marking of Kevin. A ball was crossed in from wide left which Alessandro inexplicably attempted to head clear despite it being only knee high. The ball squirmed past him and to the feet of Radoncic only 6 yards from goal, who seemed so surprised he miss controlled the ball and Alessandro recovered to scramble clear.

The lead only held until the 14th minute when weak pressing and an awful challenge allowed Seo Jung Jin through on goal to draw Suwon level. There was ample opportunity to clear the danger but the Daejeon defence was incapable or calmly removing the threat, and bounced their clearance of a Suwon attacker.

The score remained level until the second half, when only 2 minutes in Kevin squandered a glorious opportunity. The ball was played across the box leaving only the keeper to beat, who had already gone to ground, but Kevin lifted the ball over the keeper and beyond the post. The reaction of the players was telling, with every Daejeon player looking distraught knowing chances would be rare, and no player attempted to console or help Kevin up.

Kim bends the ball into the near post
However, it was the other leading light in Daejeons season, Kim Hyung bum who managed to restore Daejeons lead. A quick break from defence, with some excellent precise passing in midfield resulted in Kim collecting the ball unmarked on the left hand side of the box. He spotted the keeper step forward in anticipation of the cross and Kim showed his technical quality again, lifting the ball over him and into the net, leaving the keeper looking foolish.

With only 9 minutes to go Daejeon thought they had put the tie to bed when Kevin forced home a lose ball in the six yard box. However, the goal was rightly ruled out as the keeper had 2 hands on the ball.

Dejected Citizen defenders
Deep into injury time, Daejeon did what Daejeon do best and shot themselves in the foot. A hat trick of stupidity allowed Ha Tae Goon to fire home a dramatic late equaliser that broke several Citizen hearts. An aimless ball flicked forward at the half way line caught the Daejeon defence flat footed and unaware. After missing the header Suwon broke into the Daejeon box, but were stopped by left back Kim. Despite recovering well and winning the ball back, Kim then made a horrific decision. Rather than playing the ball high into the stand to end the attack and the game he tried to skip past the Suwon winger and lost the ball in the area. The ball was then played across the six yard box but it seemed to have been dealt with as Alessandro arrived to clear the cross. This was not to be the end though, as Alessandro cleared the ball against his own post and back into play. Goalkeeper Kim desperately scrambled around on the floor trying to collect the lose ball, but it wasn't enough and Suwon slammed the ball into the net.

The defending was comical and the kind that only Daejeon are capable of.

A draw against Suwon, and 4 points over the course of the season is an excellent return, but the manner of the equaliser left many frustrated and deflated.

Kim Hyung Bum, Alessandro & Terra
sign autographs before kick off.

Daejeon Citizen 0 -1 Pohang Steelers
26 August

After the draw with Suwon and victory in the previous round away to Gwangju there was a flicker of hope amongst the Daejeon faithful. Despite Pohang sitting in 5th place there was a feeling that the team may be able to pick up another important point.

It was going to take a big effort though as Alessandro, Kim Hyung Bum and recent arrival and goal scorer Terra were all sidelined through either injury or suspension. They play an integral part in the Daejeon team and they would be difficult to replace.

The game turned into one of the worst games of Daejeons season. Though only losing 1-0 the performance was particularly poor. Played out in front of over 4,000 fans the team failed to create any serious chances or attempts on goal and were second best to what seemed an uninterested Pohang side.

During the last 10 minutes of the first half Pohang should have taken the lead, twice creating excellent one on one opportunities as well as other good shooting opportunities, though failing to convert.

Daejeon were riding their luck and it wasn't until the 75th minute that Pohang finally scored the goal they looked like doing whenever they tried. Again it came through some comical defending on behalf of the Citizens.

Pohang attacker Ko took a shot from the edge of the area that struck a Citizen defender in the face, leaving him briefly prostrate on the pitch. Whilst he was down Ko picked up the lose ball, beat another defender and tried again. As the hurt defender rose to his feet he threw out a weak left foot in an attempt to block the shot, but only diverted it past Kim and into the net.

It was a pathetic goal to concede but Daejeon deserved nothing from the game and had barely but three passes together all evening.

Daejeon now enter the relegation round with a 3 point cushion between them and bottom club Gangwon. Every one of the 14 remaining games will be vital if Daejeon are to survive this season.

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