It’s a runaway locomotive. Gwangju FC (hereinafter referred to as Gwangju) managed to take down the defending champions.

At 4:30 p.m. on the 3rd, the Ulsan Hyundai (Ulsan) – Gwangju FC (Gwangju) match of the 29th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 took place at the Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan. The result was 2-0 in favor of the visitors. Gwangju scored back-to-back goals in the 18th minute of the first half and the 10th minute of the second half to earn three points in the champions’ camp. With the win, Gwangju leapfrogged FC Seoul into third place in the K League 1 standings.

The ball rolled in Munsu in weather that fluctuated around 28 degrees. Both teams took to the field in their pre-match formations. Ulsan lined up in a 4-2-3-1 with Martin Adam, while Gwangju looked to play a 4-4-2 with Lee Eun-hee and Bekah up front.

For the first 20 minutes of the game, Ulsan had the majority of the possession. Ulsan capitalized on that advantage and attempted a few shots on goal, while Gwangju looked to create chances but not break down barriers. The team’s short forward play, rather than long balls, shone through.

After setting the tone with Jung Ho-yeon’s penetration into the space, Gwangju finally took the lead. Ulsan’s buildup mistake led to Gwangju’s chance. Ulsan goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo passed the ball to the right flank, where Gwangju won the ball under pressure. As the scramble continued, Gwangju lost the ball in a scramble near the arc. As a result of the scramble, the ball was passed to Lee Kun-hee. Lee played the ball long, dribbled past the outrushing Cho Hyun-woo, and attempted a left-footed shot. Ulsan’s center back Kim Young-kwon tried to make a sliding save, but the ball had already crossed the goal line.

Gwangju celebrated the goal with a very happy celebration. Gwangju head coach Lee Jung-hyo threw his arms in the air diagonally to show his satisfaction. Gwangju fans traveling to Munsu Soccer Stadium chanted “One more goal Gwangju” just like they do at home, encouraging the team to keep attacking. After Gwangju’s first goal, referee Chae Sang-hyeop communicated with the video assistant referee’s office to review the goal. Soon after, Gwangju’s goal was upheld.

Ulsan upped their game after conceding the goal. In the 35th minute, Gwangju’s left fullback Lee Min-ki and Ulsan’s right fullback Seol Young-woo had to leave the field briefly due to pain. Aaron came on to replace Lee Min-ki, and there was a positional change. Lee Soon-min, who was previously in the center back position, moved to right fullback. Doo Hyun-seok, who was previously a right fullback, moved to the left fullback position. Later on, Lee and Doo were seen switching positions several times depending on the situation.

In the 38th minute, Gwangju’s fierce attack threatened Ulsan once more. Bekah penetrated into the half-space and received the ball for a cross. In front of the goal, Kim Young-kwon cleared the ball away ahead of Lee Eun-hee. If not for Kim Young-kwon’s interception, Gwangju could have scored another goal. In the 43rd minute, Ulsan’s Lee Dong-kyung went straight for the goal with a volley, but the shot went wide of the post.

There were five minutes of first-half stoppage time. Ulsan made one sharp attack, but Lee Soon-min quickly rushed forward and blocked the opponent’s attempt with his body. The first half ended with a 1-0 Gwangju lead.

Needing to catch up, Ulsan took off Lee Dong-kyung at the start of the second half and inserted “Junjok” Uhm Won-sang. The strategy seemed to be to utilize Uhm Won-sang to cut through Gwangju’s space. With the introduction of Uhm Won-sang, Rubikson, who was originally on the right, moved to the left, and Bacco, who was originally on the left, moved to the center. Kim Min-hyuk dropped to the front of the defense. Gwangju also made changes despite being down 1-0. They took off Ha Seung-woon and added Thomas to bolster their energy on the flanks.

Ten minutes into the second half, Gwangju scored another goal. After a calm buildup, Gwangju got close to the Ulsan goal. Lee Hee-gyun’s shot bounced off the Ulsan defense, and Becca was right behind it, twisting her whole body to volley the ball into the Ulsan net. 2-0, Gwangju took an even stronger lead against the defending champions. Bekah scored her K League 1 debut goal against Ulsan.

Down 0-2, Ulsan played two substitutions at the same time in the 12th minute of the second half. They took off Rubikson and Lee Kyu-sung and brought on Lee In-jong-kyu and Lee Cheong-yong. It looked like the team was going to have to rely on the coordination of Lee Chung-yong and Martin Adam to battle the opposing defenders up front. It was a defensively unbalanced tactic, but it was necessary if they wanted to catch up.

In the 21st minute, Lee In-gyu’s shot from the front of the penalty arc was low and headed towards the Gwangju goal. The ball ended up in the arms of Gwangju goalkeeper Kim Kyung-min. In the 23rd minute of the second half, Ulsan took off Kim Min-hyuk and put on Boyanic. It was a move to give Kim Min-hyuk, who was coordinating, more mobility. Gwangju also made a substitution to replenish their stamina. Lee Hee-gyun and Becca were taken off and Ofunsung and Lee Sang-ki came on. Ofunsung moved into Bekah’s place, Lee Sang-gi became a right fullback, and Doo Hyun-seok was given a new assignment in the midfield.

In the 27th minute of the second half, Ulsan head coach Hong Myung-bo brought on Kim Tae-hwan in place of Seol Young-woo, hoping that the speed and stamina of Kim would give the team a boost. At this point, the attendance was announced on the scoreboard at Munsu Soccer Stadium. It was 18,358. It was also announced that 3,889 of them, or 21%, were wearing Ulsan jerseys.

Ulsan’s surge continued. In the 32nd minute, Lee Chung-yong’s cross was met by a header from Lee Min-gyu. Lee’s header was aimed squarely at Gwangju’s goal, but Gwangju goalkeeper Kim Kyung-min got a fingertip to it. Gwangju held on from there. Determined not to let go of their two-goal lead, the field players stuck together and withstood the defending champions’ offense. In the 39th minute of the second half, Gwangju bolstered its strength once again with Jeong Ji-hoon replacing Lee Kun-hee. 바카라

The Gwangju fans in the away end of the game chanted “Light Goal” and cheered for their players endlessly. In the 44th minute, Gwangju’s Thomas had a one-on-one chance, but Ulsan center back Kim Young-kwon gritted his teeth and ran to clear the ball. There were five minutes of second-half stoppage time. As the time was announced, Gwangju’s Aaron was cautioned for a back tackle on a counterattacking Jung Seung-hyun.

The game ended in a 2-0 victory for Gwangju. With goals from Lee Eun-hee and Becca, Gwangju proved that they can take down any club in the K League 1 by beating the champions in the middle of their own backyard. Gwangju is now unbeaten in nine K League 1 matches and has jumped to third place. Ulsan, on the other hand, failed to win for the second game in a row, failing to close the gap on the Pohang Steelers in second place.

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