Until last month, Pohang coach Kim Ki-dong shook his head whenever there was talk of ‘competition to win the K League’. The point gap with Ulsan, who seemed to have forgotten how to lose and was leading alone, was more than 10 points.
It’s not that there weren’t opportunities. Coach Kim also said, “There were many situations throughout the season where we could have narrowed the gap with Ulsan. If we stick to the play we want to play, better opportunities will come. However, in situations where a decision has to be made, we have to make it.” He continued, “Now I think Pohang has become a team that has to take third place. If I don’t do better, I feel like I won’t be recognized anymore. I feel pressured. But I try not to forget to have fun. ‘Pohang is different after all.’ “We have to show it. We have to prepare an acceptable match. Then the results will follow,” he added.
However, from the end of last month, the gap between the two teams began to narrow. While Ulsan has stagnated with 2 draws and 1 loss in the last 3 games, Pohang has reduced its winning points by 5 points with 2 wins and 1 draw. Then, the victory point gap, which was double digits,카지노사이트 was reduced to one digit, and as of the 16th, it was narrowed to 6 points.
The two teams have two matches remaining this season. They will collide once on the 30th, just before the split system is activated, and then face a fateful battle in Final A. The two teams will play a group stage match in the 2023-2024 season of the Asian Champions League, which has been changed to the Chuncheon system, starting this week, and will meet at the single-tree bridge after playing one K-League game.
It’s a déjà vu from 10 years ago. Something like a movie happened in the K League. In 2013, Pohang defeated Ulsan and won the championship. At that time, Pohang was two points behind, and Ulsan could have won just by drawing. However, Pohang was able to achieve a dramatic come-from-behind victory thanks to Kim Won-il’s winning goal through a set piece just before the end of the game. The ‘national isolation policy’ of former Pohang coach Hwang Seon-hong, a ‘stork’ who rose to the top of the K-League with only domestic players without using foreign strikers, attracted attention.
What is unsettling is that Pohang has never beaten Ulsan this season. 1 draw, 1 loss. On April 22, the first match, they scored two goals in the away game, but were unable to stop Ulsan’s firepower, resulting in a 2-2 draw. On July 8th, the second match of the season, they lost 0-1.
Still, what Coach Kim believes in this season is a strong backing. He overcame numerous hardships through incredible concentration at the end of the game. There were as many as 9 games in which the team scored the winning goal, equalizer, or so-called ‘theatrical goal’ in the 35th minute of the second half in a game where defeat was in sight, turning the situation around and even winning. Only 21 points were gained from these 9 games. This figure corresponds to 38% of the points Pohang has accumulated through the 30th round.
Here, the ‘50th anniversary of founding’ serves as a strong motivation for the players. The players who have created a new structure centered around captain Seung-dae Kim are united in their desire to create history and tradition in this meaningful year. Will Pohang’s comeback win season 2 unfold like ‘that day’ 10 years ago?