‘You win because you change.’
Gangwon FC is experiencing a ‘spring breeze’ these days. Following the regular league winning streak, he blew the whistle for three consecutive victories in the season, including the FA Cup. Compared to the time when they fell into a swamp of 4 draws and 4 losses in a row at the beginning of the season, it was a successful turnaround.
What is noteworthy is that injured players such as Lee Jeong-hyeop and Kevin did not return or reinforce members, but they achieved a turnaround. Even if it is not, it is a result achieved with a poor squad and a ‘turn back’ squeezed out of available resources. It was because Choi Yong-soo, director of Gangwon,’s ‘mercenary tactics’ worked.
Coach Choi made a full-fledged change from the 8th round of the K-League 1 against Gwangju on April 23rd. Lee Woong-hee, Park Sang-hyeok, Kim Dae-woo, and Lee Kwang-yeon (GK) were boldly appointed in place of captain Lim Chang-woo, Kim Dae-won, Dino, and Yoo Sang-hoon (GK), who had been selected until the end of the war.
Gangwon, who stopped Gwangju’s ‘Bee Soccer’, which was causing a ‘promoted team blast’ this season, with a scoreless score (0-0), has since played ‘big fish’ such as FC Seoul (3-2 wins) and Jeonbuk (1-0 wins). had a winning streak against Then, in the third round (round of 32) of the ‘2023 Hana One Q FA Cup’ held on the 2nd, the match against Cheongju FC (K League 2) was won 7-6 after a penalty shootout following an extra bloody fight (1-1). All of the recent 3 victories were ‘theater victories’, so Gangwon fans who were depressed before the full spring came were also excited.
In the process, Unghee Lee (against FC Seoul) and Hyeonjun Yang (against Jeonbuk), who scored the ‘theatrical goal’, received a lot of spotlight. However, there was a hidden contributor to the victory. Goalkeepers Lee Kwang-yeon and Yoo Sang-hoon.
In the 8th round against Gwangju, coach Choi made Lee Kwang-yeon play for the first time of the season. Lee Kwang-yeon, who had few opportunities to play last year due to injury, flew wild when he finally got a chance. In particular, in the away match against Jeonbuk, Lee Kwang-yeon kept the goal steady with a clean sheet despite being subjected to wave after wave of attacks. Following Gustavo’s header shot in the 35th minute of the first half, Kim Gun-woong’s finishing shot was blocked with physical defense. The successive saves in the 43rd minute of the second half were the highlight. Baek Seung-ho’s left corner kick was sharply connected to the goal, leading to a chaotic situation just before conceding. At this time, after two punches, Lee Kwang-yeon canceled Andre Lewis’s shot in front of the nose with animalistic quickness.
Immediately after the Jeonbuk match, coach Choi brought out an unexpected change card. He announced in advance, “Two days later, in the FA Cup, Yoo Sang-hoon will be the starter.” You’re uploading Yoo Sang-hoon again instead of Lee Kwang-yeon, who has been doing well? There was such a ‘paving stone’. Due to the game schedule, it was a change to prepare for the penalty shoot-out with the intention of giving Lee Kwang-yeon a break and Yoo Sang-hoon a sense of the game. Since the FA Cup is a single 스포츠토토 match, a penalty shoot-out cannot be ruled out.
It was a ‘God’s move’. In the penalty shoot-out, when Yoo Sang-hoon was on the verge of losing 3-4 due to Yang Hyun-joon’s miss, he did not be fooled by Yang Ji-hoon’s Panenka kick and saved the fire by skillfully blocking it. He led the ‘Theater Victory’.
That is also true, Yoo Sang-hoon has been a ‘PK master’ since his days at FC Seoul with coach Choi. In the 2014 Asian Champions League (ACL) quarterfinal against Pohang and ACL Urawa Reds in the round of 16 penalty shootout, he led the victory with consecutive saves. He also became a hero in the FA Cup quarterfinal against Jeonnam in July 2016 with his ‘master’ skills.
In the end, Yoo Sang-hoon properly responded to the trust of his longtime mentor, director Choi.