Professional soccer K League 1 Incheon United head coach Cho Sung-hwan breathed a deep sigh of relief after facing the “injury variable” from the start of the final round.
Incheon drew 1-1 with Pohang Steelers in the 34th round of the K League One on Tuesday at 안전카지노사이트 Pohang Steelyard.
After five games without a loss (two wins and three draws), Incheon moved up one spot to fifth place (49 points), but it was far from a satisfying result as they had to share the points after taking a 1-0 lead in the first half and conceding a late penalty kick equalizer to Zeca.
Even worse than the loss was the injury to star midfielder Lee Myung-joo.
Lee started the game and played in the middle of the field, but after touching the ball in defense near the end of the first half, he suddenly raised his hand and fell to the ground.
Soon after, it was reported that he was unable to continue playing and was replaced by Moon Ji-hwan on the bench.
With midfielder Shin Shin-ho and defender Delbridge already out with injuries, the loss of Lee Myung-joo is a major setback for Incheon, who have a busy schedule ahead of them with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) and the Korea Football Association (FA) Cup.
On the day of the match, Cho came to the stadium in his training clothes and a hat, with Shin and Delbridge’s numbers, “8” and “20,” emblazoned on one side of the hat, indicating that the two players’ absence would not be short-lived.
After the game, Cho said, “I suspect Lee Myung-joo has a medial ligament injury. We’ll have to get her checked out,” he said, adding, “I’m more worried about Lee Myung-joo’s injury than the outcome of today’s game.”
“We prepared well for two weeks to get a good result in the Final A, but the result is very disappointing. I wish we could have scored more goals in the first half,” he reflected.
“They are very organized, so we need to keep our defense to create many chances, but when we went down, we lost the initiative,” he said, adding, “We need to have the strength to keep playing for the whole 90 minutes.”
“Right after the A-match period, our performance and results were not good. I think today’s game will be a medicine for the ACL game,” and vowed to do better in the midweek ACL game.
Like Incheon, the league’s second-place Pohang (59 points), with the ACL and FA Cup on the horizon, has gotten some breathing room with the return of long-term injured players.
On this day, Pohang welcomed back side forward Jung Jae-hee and fullback Shim Sang-min after long absences.
Jung returned to the starting lineup after not playing since early April due to a hamstring injury, while Shim Sang-min, who hasn’t played since early June due to a right knee injury, made his comeback as a substitute.
Pohang coach Kim Ki-dong said, “Jung Jae-hee adapted well after playing for a long time. We tried to rest Shim as much as possible, but Park Seung-wook was looking a bit awkward on the left side, so we put him in after consultation, and I think it worked.” “Both players seemed to gain confidence that they can play today, so it’s a win for the team,” he smiled.
“In the first half, we tried some unorthodox offense and it didn’t work. In the second half, we stuck to what we’re good at and tried to push forward,” said Kim, who reflected on the game. “It’s unfortunate that we didn’t win the game when we had a chance to do so, but I’m glad we got a point. I think we can go to Japan (against ACL Urawa) with a better feeling than losing.”