Sunday, 30 September 2012

Doing well after the split

After any split there's always feeling of both trepidation and hope. Inevitably one party will always take it much worse. Since the K-league split in two for the championship and relegation round, Daejeon Citizen have found a new lease of life, going unbeaten in three games and putting some distance between themselves and the remaining relegation spot.

However, Sangju have not faired so well since the split. Despite everyone knowing that Sangju would be relegated this season regardless of where they finished as AFC rules state that government supported teams can not compete in the top flight, when final confirmation came through Sangju stormed off and have refused to complete their fixture list. Every team has been awarded a 2-0 victory for games against Sangju.

As well as winning two and drawing one game this month there has been other good news for the Purple Army. The home game against Chunnam Dragons was to be held at the clubs former ground the Hanbat Stadium, a smaller tighter ground than the world cup stadium and one that helps create a better atmosphere than the 40k seater stadium they currently play in.

On the pitch, attacking midfielders Kin Hyung Bum and Kim Byung Suk have both excelled in recent games and have offered fans the hope of survival and a strong enjoyable finish to the season.

Seongnam Ilhwa 1 -2 Daejeon Citizen
15th September

Kevin scored his 11th goal fot he season from the spot
The 2nd half of the season began with an away trip to Seongnam. It didn't start too well when within 7 minutes the Citizen had fallen behind. Jael twisted free in midfield and picked a sublime pass through the Daejeon defence leaving Lee the simple task of rolling the ball past the advancing keeper. Daejeon struck back before half time when they smartly took a quick free kick putting Ji clean through on goal, who hooked the ball left footed into the far bottom corner. 15 minutes into the second half the Seongnam defence dithered clearing a poor cross allowing Baba to steal the ball and be brought down by the surprised defender. There was little contact but a penalty was given and Kevin calmly gave Daejeon the lead.There was a late scare when with 15 minutes to go a free kick on the edge of the box left the keeper rooted to the spot but struck the post and bounced clear.

Daejeon Citizen 1 - 1 Incheon United
22nd September

The first home game of the relegation round saw rivals Incheon United come to the world cup stadium. After the brawls at the away fixture earlier in the season this fixture was much anticipated by both sets of fans.

Kim Byung Suk celebrates his equaliser
Incheon took the lead following a set piece wide on the left and some dreadful defending by Daejeon. Lee Yun Pyo found himself completely unmarked at the back post with a three yard run onto a header giving the keeper no chance. Almost immediately after, Incheon should have extended their lead when they struck the inside of the post with a powerful drive less than 10 yards from goal. It wasn't until the second half that Daejeon drew level and it inevitably involved Kim Hyung Bum. The attacking midfielder on loan from Jeonbuk has been one of the stand out performers this season and his excellent delivery from set pieces once again made the difference. A free kick from the right hand side was headed in by new arrival Kim Byung Suk, stooping low and glancing the ball into the far corner. Brazilian Alessandro also deserve credit as he had an excellent game marshalling the defence and was selected in the K-league team of the week for his efforts.

Daejeon Citizen 1 - 0 Chunnam Dragons
27th September

The final game of the month saw the team return to their spiritual home at Hanbat stadium. The opposition were Chunnam Dragons who had also claimed four points from their opening two games of the relegation round.
The Citizen return home for 'Memories Day'
It was the same combination as the last game that gave Daejeon the points, this time Kim Hyung Bum crossing from open play in the 61st minute for Kim Bum Suk to head home. There was late drama as Chunnam were awarded a penalty in the 90th minute, but Keeper Kim Sun Kyu came to the rescue, diving low to his right to deny Chunnam an equaliser.

The arrival of Kim Bum Suk as well as the continued good form of Kim Hyung Bum has seen a huge improvement in the side and has lead to Daejeon now being 7 points clear of relegation. The team can go into the remaining fixtures feeling confident of their ability to beat teams, and with the next two games against Gwangju and Gangwon, the Purple army will be hoping to push further away from any danger.

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