Willian scores ‘theater equalizer’…transformed Seoul draws 2-2 with Ulsan

Willian scores ‘theater equalizer’…transformed Seoul draws 2-2 with Ulsan

“We had four days to change a lot of things,” FC Seoul acting head coach Kim Jin-gyu said before the game, and for good reason. In his first game in charge after the departure of Ahn Ik-soo, Kim Jin-gyu’s side came out firing on all cylinders and held on to a 2-2 draw with league leaders Ulsan Hyundai. It wasn’t enough to win, but it was enough to earn a dramatic draw in late stoppage time. Not only did it give them a valuable point, but it also gave them hope for a rebound. The result was especially meaningful for the Seoul club and its fans.

Seoul, led by acting head coach Kim Jin-gyu, drew 2-2 with Ulsan at home in the 28th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 at Seoul World Cup Stadium at 7 p.m. on July 27. After a 7-2 victory over Suwon FC on the 12th of last month, Seoul went winless (4 draws and 2 losses), but it was a meaningful draw as the opponent was Ulsan.토토사이트

At the center of it all was Ilyuchenko’s one-timer, which Kim described as “poisonous,” and Willian, who played the joker and scored a theater goal. Ilyuchenko has been struggling for form this season, with inconsistent playing time. In the last six games, he’s been a substitute in three of them and not even on the roster in two of them.

However, he impressed Kim on the training field, including in practice, and earned a starting spot after seven games. “He showed very good form in practice, and he had a lot of energy. I expected him to do something big,” and indeed, on that day, he rattled the Ulsan goal and scored the first goal of Kim’s regime. In addition to the goal, Ilyuchenko also showed his fighting spirit on the front line, competing with the goalkeeper in tackles, and earning applause from the fans.

In the dreary second half of stoppage time, Willian’s doggedness earned the team a point. Willian drove from the left side of the penalty box to the center and shook the opponent’s goal with a powerful shot. He broke down the Ulsan defense with a brilliant dribble and roared as he tore off his jersey after scoring the goal the Seoul fans had been waiting for. In the end, Seoul came away with a dramatic point. The draw meant different things to the two teams.

The draw kept Seoul in fifth place with 40 points (10 wins, 10 draws, and 8 losses). Their winless streak has now stretched to six games. Ulsan moved to 61 points (19 wins, 4 draws, 5 losses), 11 points behind second-place Pohang Steelers (50 points).

On the day, Ulsan deployed a 4-1-4-1 formation with Kim Sang-hyeop, Kim Shin-jin, Palosevic, and Kim Jin-ya in the second line. Ki Sung-yueng played as a defensive midfielder. Lee Tae-seok, Kim Joo-sung, Osmar, and Park Soo-il defended the back line, with Choi Cheol-won in goal. Na Sang-ho, Ji Dong-won, Willian, and Han Seung-kyu waited on the bench.

Ulsan lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Lee In-jong-gyu up front and Bako, Hwang Jae-hwan, and Rubikson in the second line. Lee Dong-kyung and Kim Min-hyuk partnered in the midfield. Lee Myung-jae, Kim Young-kwon, Jung Seung-hyun, and Seol Young-woo lined up on defense. Cho Hyun-woo was in goal. Martin Adam, Ataru, Lee Cheong-yong, and Lee Kyu-sung came off the bench.

Over 4,000 away fans from both Seoul and Ulsan traveled to the stadium, and the pre-match atmosphere was electric. The home team took the early lead. They pressed hard and attacked quickly to find gaps in the Ulsan defense. In the seventh minute, Kim Shin-jin’s header went just wide of the goal.

After swallowing their disappointment, Seoul immediately took the lead. Park Soo-il’s cross from the right flank was cleared off the line by the Ulsan defense, and Ki Sung-yong pounced on the loose ball. The shot deflected off the defense and into the box, where Ilyuchenko connected with a non-stop right-footed shot from the penalty spot to shake the Ulsan goal. It was the ninth minute of the first half.

After taking the lead, Seoul stabilized and broke up Ulsan’s attack with strong pressure, then quickly launched a counterattack. Kim Jin-ya, who was deployed as a forward on the right flank, exerted his strength with his fast speed. In the 15th minute, they had a chance to add another goal. After receiving a penetrating pass from Kim Shin-jin, Ilyuchenko went one-on-one with the goalkeeper. She lost her balance and fell down in front of the goalkeeper, but she kept possession of the ball until the end and sent it behind her. Kim Jin-ya got a shot off, but it hit the side netting.

From there, it was all Seoul. Seoul’s fans cheered and applauded the Ulsan players, even if they were rough and tumble. After clearing the ball, they wasted no time in launching a quick counterattack to find space behind the Ulsan defense. Ulsan gained possession and took the initiative, while Seoul responded with pressure and counterattacks.

Ulsan also started to take their chances. In the 33rd and 35th minutes of the first half, Lee Dong-kyung took two shots on goal with his left foot. However, they were either blocked by the goalkeeper or went just wide of the goal. In the 43rd minute, Gilsera Seoul had a chance to add another goal. Kim Shin-jin sent in a cross from the right flank that was met with a no-mark header by Choi Hyun-woo, but the goalkeeper was able to make the save. The first half ended with Seoul leading 1-0. The supporters’ section of the stadium erupted in cheers for a different Seoul.

At the start of the second half, substitute Kim Jin-gyu took over. He made changes by removing Ilyuchenko, who scored the goal, as well as Kim Jin-ya and Kim Sang-hyeop, and inserting Na Sang-ho, Willian, and Han Seung-gyu. Ulsan continued its offense for the equalizer by utilizing corner kicks early in the second half. However, Seoul’s goal was not easily opened by Choi Chul-won.

The offense continued. Seoul also had a corner kick from Ki Sung-yueng that was headed by substitute Na Sang-ho, but he missed the target. Han Seung-kyu’s powerful right-footed shot was also blocked by Cho Hyun-woo’s punch. Ulsan also tried to equalize with Lee Dong-kyung’s powerful left-footed shot, but it was saved by Choi Chul-won.

Head coach Hong Myung-bo also made a change in search of an equalizer. In the 13th minute, Lee Cheong-yong and Rubiksson, who were substitutes for Hwang Jae-hwan, were removed and Martin Adam and Lee Kyu-sung were introduced. The team continued its offense for the equalizer, utilizing Lee Kyu-gyu and Martin Adam as the front two. They equalized in the 19th minute of the second half. Bako’s shot from the left side of the penalty box was saved by goalkeeper Choi Chul-won, but the onrushing Inhabigyu finished it off. The VAR confirmed that Inhabigyu was offside, but the goal was allowed to stand.

With momentum on their side, Ulsan turned the game around in the fourth minute. After clearing the ball out of their own half, they immediately launched a counterattack. Seol Young-woo’s ground ball cross from the right flank was met by Lee In-gyu with a right-footed shot that rattled the Seoul goal. Seoul’s quick lead quickly turned into the visitors’ lead.

Backed into a corner, Seoul went on the offensive. They regained possession and found Ulsan’s gaps. In the 33rd minute, they took off Ki Sung-yueng and brought on Ji Dong-won, putting more weight on the front line in hopes of scoring a goal. However, Seoul’s attacks came to nothing. Even when they did manage to get a shot on goal, they were unable to capitalize on it.

Ulsan began to consolidate the victory by focusing on defense. With Kim Young-kwon and Jung Seung-hyun at the center of the defense, as well as Cho Hyun-woo, the goal was hardly open. Seoul’s focus on finding an equalizer finally paid off in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Willian cut in from the left side of the penalty box and rattled the Ulsan net, and the game ended in a 2-2 draw. It was a valuable draw for Seoul in many ways.


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