“I can’t play soccer like I want to.”
Seoul Eland head coach Park Chung-gyun couldn’t hide his disappointment. His pre-match determination to win at home had melted away in the sweltering heat, and while he took solace in the fact that the draw snapped his team’s losing streak, his face was somber, especially after they missed a crucial goal opportunity just before the end of the game.
Eland was held to a 0-0 draw against Chungnam Asan FC in the 24th round of the ‘Hana OneQ K League 2 2023’ at Mokdong Sports Complex at 7 p.m. on March 31. Although the team managed to pick up a point, breaking away from their recent two-game losing streak, they were unable to break their six-match winless streak (three draws and three losses).
After the game, Park said, “First of all, I apologize to the fans for not winning at home. In the last game in Cheongju, we were criticized by the fans for not winning in a situation where we had a numerical advantage, so we were not satisfied in all aspects. So today, I emphasized the tactical part to the players, regardless of the result, because soccer doesn’t play like the mind.” “In the first half, we played well, but in the second half, our physical strength dropped and we created threatening scenes. Still, it’s a result of the players’ best efforts to end the losing streak. We will recover well and prepare well for the home match against Gyeongnam FC.”
In fact, the decisive winning chance came just before the end of the game for Eland. In the third minute of second-half stoppage time, after blocking a corner kick by Chungnam Asan, three attackers came up on the counterattack. From the center, Lee Si-heon broke through the penalty box, found himself one-on-one with the keeper, and fired a powerful shot. It was a beautifully executed offensive move. With less than two minutes of extra time remaining, it would have been a game-winner.
However, it was not to be. Chungnam Asan goalkeeper Moon Hyun-ho made a super save and Lee Si-heon’s shot was blocked. It was such a decisive moment that Chungnam Asan coach Park Dong-hyuk praised Moon’s performance as “10 out of 10”.
“It was very wasteful,” said Park Chung-gyun. If we had scored a goal, our mood would have been revitalized, but I think the opponent’s goalkeeper made a good save. I don’t want Lee Si-heon to be disappointed, even though he didn’t score. We have another chance. We need to do better in the next game,” he said, adding words of encouragement.
Park went on to encourage his players to improve: “We want to possess the ball in the opponent’s area and finish it. We want to pass more, but we need passes that can threaten the opponent, not just passes from the outside. To play that kind of soccer, you need to have a certain level, and I think that’s my ambition.” “To press in the opponent’s area, you also need to have good physical preparation, but Song Si-woo and Park Jung-in seem to be struggling because they’re new, but I think they’ll get better in the next two or three games. Tsubasa has come in and we have more speed. The next game is worth looking forward to.” 파워볼게임