Professional soccer team Jeonnam Dragons coach Lee Jang-soo shouted after the team’s 3-0 home win over Busan I-Park in the 38th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2 2023.
As recently as the middle of last month, Jeonnam was among the mid-tier teams in the K League 2 that seemed to have little chance of qualifying for the K League 2 Playoffs (promotion PO).
However, on October 29, the team defeated Chungbuk Cheongju 3-0, and on the same day, they defeated ‘leader’ Busan by the same score to keep the fire burning towards the promotion PO.
Busan was unbeaten in nine games (8 wins and 1 draw) before this match. Furthermore, a victory would have clinched the K League 2 title and ‘direct promotion’, so they gave it their all.
Nevertheless, Jeonnam took control of the game. Park Tae-yong’s multiple goals in the first half and Kim Sang-wook’s wedge goal in the second half added to the lead.
In their last regular season game in front of their home fans, Jeonnam increased their chances of promotion.
“Against the No. 1 team, we executed our preparation perfectly,” said Lee in the post-match press conference.
Lee dropped his flankers – Im Chan-ul on the left and Plana on the right – deep to stabilize the defense and create more space up front for them to play.
The midfielders, including Park Tae-yong and Valdivia, did a great job as Jeonnam’s engine by showing smooth passing with the flankers.
“Whether we were winning or losing, and whether we were substituting players, the players handled themselves well, even in positions that were not their own,” Lee praised his players.
Jeonnam’s final “case” is not complicated.
Moving up to sixth place (53 points), Jeonnam is in a five-way tie for fifth place with fifth-place Bucheon FC (54 points), with the two teams facing off at home in Bucheon in the final game.
Jeonnam will advance to the promotion PO with a win, while a draw or loss will deny them promotion.
“Since about three games ago, I’ve been telling the players, ‘It’s like a tournament,'” Lee said, emphasizing that the players’ belief is growing stronger with each win.
“Some people say that I was called the ‘king of the tournament’ when I was a college coach,” he said, showing a subtle confidence towards the final victory.
Lee is a ‘legend’ who played for Busan for more than 10 years during his active career.
Busan still has a chance to win the title. If they win the final game at home against Chungbuk Cheongju, they will win the championship on their own over Gimcheon Sangmu.
“Gimcheon and Busan are the two teams that have a chance to win the title, but I hope Busan will go up (to K League 1) by winning the title,” Lee said.
“We caught Busan today, but it would be better to win at home,” he laughed. 파워볼사이트