“It went well as we prepared for the entire 90 minutes,” said head coach Jung Kyung-ho, who saved professional soccer’s K League 1 Gangwon FC from the brink of direct relegation.
Gangwon drew 0-0 with home team Suwon Samsung in the final match of the 38th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 at Suwon World Cup Stadium on Feb. 2.
A loss would have dropped them to the bottom of the standings and meant immediate relegation, but Kangwon ended the league in 10th place (34 points).
They will now compete in the K League 1 next year if they win the promotion playoffs (PO) against a K League 2 team.
Coach Jung led the team from the Gangwon bench on the day as Yoon Jeong-hwan was unable to sit on the bench due to accumulating cautions.
“Our game plan worked well for the entire 90 minutes. Suwon played defensive football even though they were supposed to win at home, so we played a lot of side attacks when we had the ball. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t capitalize in scoring situations.”
“If Suwon had been a little more aggressive, we would have been in trouble,” he added.
Suwon, a corporate club, is a popular club in the K League. Suwon’s relegation came as a “shock” to Coach Chung.
“I never once imagined (Suwon’s relegation),” says Chung, who has been in the K League for many years as a player and coach. “Suwon survived last year by reaching the promotion PO, and I thought that Suwon would use that memory as motivation to go further and re-establish itself as a leading club,” he said, adding, “The atmosphere of Suwon fans filling the stadium had to continue. It’s unfortunate that Suwon was relegated because it’s a shame for the K League.”
Speaking about the relegation, Chung said, “Up until now, we focused on the coach and the league game. Now we will calmly analyze the opponent and respond accordingly.” 먹튀검증