Suwon Samsung, led by acting coach Yeom Ki-hoon, had a 0-0 draw with Gangwon FC in the final match of Hana One-Q K League 1 2023 at Suwon World Cup Stadium on Tuesday. Suwon FC (33 points) was at the bottom of the standings following the Suwon FC-Jeju United results at the same time. The two teams had a 1-1 draw. In the end, Suwon ranked 12th in the final, falling to the K League 2 (minor league) stage for the first time since its foundation.
There was no place to back down. The 12th ranking, the lowest in the K-League 1 this season, will automatically be demoted to the K-League 2 (division) next season. Until the 37th round, 10th ranking Gangwon (33 points, 30 points), 11th ranking Suwon FC (32 points, 43 points), and 12th ranking Suwon FC (32 points, 35 points) were engaged in fierce battle. Ironically, Suwon and Gangwon had a showdown in the final game.
Suwon utilized the 4-4-2 tactic. Ahn Byung-joon and Werrick Popo led the attack. Acosti, Ko Seung-beom, Han Seok-jong, and Basani supported them. Kim Tae-hwan, Kim Joo-won, Han Ho-gang, and Son Ho-joon were located in the four-back. Yang Hyung-mo defended the goal.
“Honestly, I feel at ease. That’s how much we have prepared. We have to trust our players and wait. But I feel more at ease than ever,” Suwon acting coach Yeom Ki-hoon said ahead of the upcoming showdown.
Gangwon came out with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Lee Jung-hyup was deployed as a one-top. Kim Dae-won, Lee Seung-won, and Yoo In-soo were in the second line. As defensive midfielders, Seo Min-woo and Alivayev worked together. Yoon Seok-young, Kim Young-bin, Kang To-ji and Hwang Moon-ki were in charge of defense. Lee Kwang-yeon wore goalkeeper gloves.
“It’s an away game and it’s the last game of the season. Everyone knows what’s important. Coach Yoon Jung-hwan had a transitional period in the early days after he came to Gangwon Province, but now he has made the team solid. He knows how to move on the field and how to play. It has gotten a lot better. Gangwon has entered a period of stabilization with its unique color. I think we can make it that hard.” Gangwon coach Yoon Jung-hwan couldn’t sit on the bench due to accumulation of warnings. 안전놀이터
“The game started. Both teams were in a tight race. No one gave up the mood easily. Gangwon took the reins of its attack. It took out Lee Seung-won and put in Yoon Il-rok in the 20th minute of the first half. One minute later, Hwang Mun-ki’s powerful shot was aimed at the opponent’s goal. In the 33rd minute of the first half, Yoo In-soo fired shots in succession. Gangwon had six shots in the first half alone. However, it failed to score a goal. Suwon attempted to shoot twice, but failed to penetrate the opponent’s goal in the same way. The first half ended 0-0.
Immediately upon the start of the second half, Suwon picked up a replacement card. It added Park Dae-won instead of Son Ho-jun. Suwon changed by excluding Han Seok-jong, Acosti, Werrick Four, and Kim Ju-won and introducing Kim Bo-kyung, Kim Joo-chan, Mulich, and Jung Seung-won in turn. Suwon took the reins of its attack. Then, Gangwon also utilized the replacement card. At the 32nd minute of the second half, Lee Jeong-hyeop’s handout was excluded and Gabriel and Gallego were added. The match between the two teams intensified. However, Suwon failed to score a goal. It was the moment when Suwon, which had dominated the K-League for more than 30 years, crashed into the K-League 2.