‘Relegation-threatened’ Gangwon FC loses first game of final round

‘Relegation-threatened’ Gangwon FC loses first game of final round

Relegation-threatened Gangwon FC collapsed in its first match of the final round.

The team, led by Yoon Jeong-hwan, lost 1-2 against FC Seoul in the 34th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Feb. 22. After conceding a free-kick goal to Na Sang-ho in the seventh minute of the second half, Vitor Gabriel equalized in the 31st minute, but conceded the final goal to Ji Dong-won in the 34th minute. This was Gangwon’s second straight league defeat and their fourth consecutive game without a win (two draws), leaving them on 26 points (four wins, 14 draws, 16 losses).

Fortunately, at the same time, bottom-placed Suwon Samsung (25 points) lost 0-2 to Jeju United to remain in 11th place in the league. However, this effectively ended their chances of automatic qualification as the gap between them and ninth-placed Jeju increased to 12 points.

In the lower division, Final B, a single loss in the final round can be devastating, as the teams in relegation contention face off against each other. Therefore, it was crucial to catch Seoul, who would be unmotivated now that they had secured their spot. On this day, however, Gangwon was lethargic. Despite being down by a single point, they recorded five shots on goal and three on target, while allowing Seoul 18 shots on goal and 10 on target. If it weren’t for a series of saves by goalkeeper Lee Kwang-yeon, the game would have been a rout.도메인

The two-week A-Match break gave Seoul plenty of time to prepare, but it didn’t pay off on this day. There were a few surprises, such as Yoon Seok-young and Hwang Moon-ki starting at fullback and Yoon Il-rok making his first start, but Yoon Il-rok struggled to break the tempo and Hwang Moon-ki failed to make an impact in attack. Yoon Seok-young, who started as a kicker, was unable to link up with his teammates on set pieces and looked physically exhausted.

Gangwon has just four games left. At four points behind 10th-placed Suwon FC (as of 5 p.m. on the 22nd), even 10th place is now out of reach. As a result, Gangwon’s only goal for the remainder of the season will be to avoid falling to the bottom 12, which is automatic relegation. However, based on their performance against Seoul, even 11th place will be difficult to maintain. Tactics are important, but the players need to be more motivated.


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