It was a dramatic draw for the champions. A striker’s fight saved the day.
The Hana OneQ K League 2023 Round 15 match between Ulsan Hyundai (Ulsan) and Daejeon Hana Citizen (Daejeon) kicked off at 7 p.m. on April 28 at Munsoo World Cup Stadium in Ulsan, South Korea. The result was a 3-3 draw. Ulsan conceded back-to-back goals to Daejeon. Leandro in the 25th minute and Masa in the 33rd-43rd minute. Kim Min-duk’s own goal in the 21st minute and Ju In-gyu’s comeback goal in the 33rd minute kept the game close. However, in the 44th minute of the second half, Ju In-gyu scored a dramatic equalizer.
It was a rather calm game with Ulsan in possession and Daejeon looking to counter. The balance was broken around the middle of the first half. In the 21st minute, a corner kick from Ulsan’s Seol Young-woo led to an own goal for Daejeon. Daejeon center back Kim Min-duk got his head on the ball to stop the onrushing Ulsan’s Kim Young-kwon, but his header went straight into the Daejeon goal.
However, the sequence also brought some bad news for Ulsan. Kim Young-kwon went to the ground in pain, signaling that he had overexerted himself and was unable to continue. Kim tried to hang on, but was eventually taken off the pitch. In the meantime, Daejeon scored the equalizer.
In the 25th minute, with Kim Young-kwon out and no fresh legs, Daejeon center back Kim Hyun-woo advanced into the high area and took a shot. The ball left Kim’s toes and bounced off players inside the penalty box. It was Seol Young-woo who handled the bouncing ball. However, after a difficult clearance by Seol, the ball fell to Brazilian Leandro in the box. Leandro split the Ulsan goal with a powerful shot.
The game was fast-paced. With the game taking an unexpected turn, Ulsan head coach Hong Myung-bo made a few changes to his lineup, introducing Jung Seung-hyun in place of Kim Young-kwon and Rubikson in place of Hwang Jae-hwan. Later, Kim Hyun-woo was shown a yellow card for contesting an aerial ball with Ulsan striker Lee Min-gyu. Kim Hyun-woo’s shoulder struck Injong-kyu in the face. The referee, Jung Dong-sik, showed the yellow card to Kim Hyun-woo.
In the 33rd minute, another goal was scored. This time, it was Daejeon’s Masa. In Daejeon’s offense, Leandro sent an awl pass to Massa, who was positioned near the penalty box. Masa used a great first touch to hold onto the ball and then fired a powerful shot with his second touch. It was a hard shot for Ulsan goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo to stop. Afterward, Massa showed his celebration by wiping the boots of Leandro, who had given him the golden assist.
In Daejeon, the cautions piled up alongside the goals. In the 37th minute, central defender Lim Eun-soo was shown a yellow card for blocking Ulsan’s key Bako. In the same play, Daejeon’s foreigner Anton from Azerbaijan lay on the ground and the game was briefly stopped.
Ulsan pushed their line up considerably higher in search of an equalizer. In the 39th minute, Park Yong-woo sent in a cross from the back and Rubikson headed it in. The ball was caught by Daejeon goalkeeper Lee Chang-geun. Soon after, Uhm Won-sang used his speed to send in another long pass. Lee Chang-geun popped up this time and cleared the ball with a header. At this point, Daejeon counterattacked and targeted Ulsan’s backline. Ulsan’s left fullback Lee Myung-jae was even cautioned for cutting off Leandro.
In the 43rd minute, Daejeon added another goal. A long pass from the defense line came in at once, and the ball found Leandro on the penetration. Leandro dropped to the flank and fed a low, quick pass to Masa, who surged into the center. Massa beat one Ulsan defender before calmly slotting home to complete his hat-trick. The defending champions quickly found themselves down 1-3.
In the final minute of the first half, Bako curled the ball in with his left foot and tried to shoot, but Lee Chang-geun saved the day once again. Around this time, the cameras also showed a nosebleed from Lee Min-gyu, who had suffered a facial injury in the middle of the field. He played through the pain and struggled to finish the first half. Ulsan had a chance to shoot in first-half stoppage time, but the players were out of sync and the ball was spilled. Just before the end of the first half, Seol Young-woo was warned for cheating. The first half ended with a score of 1-3.
The second half was all Ulsan right from the start. They maximized their line and tried to close the two-goal gap. In the 10th minute of the second half, Bako’s cross found Lee Min-kyu, who was playing with a nose injury. Inhabigyu unleashed a fierce header that was saved by Lee Chang-geun. In the 12th minute, another cross came in from the right flank, but Rubikson was unable to get his foot on the ball.
Ulsan made an important substitution in the 13th minute. They took off central midfielder Lee Kyu-sung and brought on attacking 토토사이트 midfielder Lee Cheong-yong. The thunderous cheers from the Ulsan fans showed that they were looking forward to seeing him in action. In the 17th minute, Daejeon also made a substitution. They took off left wingback Anton and added Min Jun-young to bolster their energy.
In the 18th minute, Daejeon almost added another goal. Up front, Thiago slipped down the left flank and played the ball into the center, where rushing midfielder Lee Jin-hyun attempted an intricate shot, but the ball sailed just wide of the post. At that point, with the score still not recovering, the Wolves fans started chanting “Be strong” and encouraging the players. The traveling Daejeon fans also continued to raise their voices in support of their team.
Ulsan made their final substitution. In the 22nd minute of the second half, Martin Adam came on for Uhm Won-sang. Then, Cho Hyun-taek came in for Lee Myung-jae. With two central strikers like Lee In-gyu and Martin Adam, the substitutions were expected to change the tactics.
Ulsan seemed to make up for it right away. First, substitute Martin Adam rattled the net, but referee Jung Dong-sik disallowed the goal through video review. After that, both teams exchanged shots on goal, with Masa taking one and Martin Adam another.
In the 31st minute of the second half, Daejeon made a change. They replaced the tired players with stronger resources. Gong Min-hyun and Jeon Byung-kwan took to the field instead of Masa and Thiago, who had been playing well in the attack. At this time, the number of spectators at the Munsu World Cup Stadium was announced. It was 17,251.
In the 33rd minute of the second half, Ulsan finally scored the winning goal. A corner kick found Rubikson on the other side of the box, and his cross found Lee Min-gyu. Inhabigyu split the Daejeon goal with a header. It was a heroic effort from the South Korean, who battled through an injury to score this goal. It was an example to his teammates. Daejeon continued to attack, but goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo was able to make the save.
The game was intense until the very end. Ulsan maintained their offensive tension and tried to get at Daejeon’s goal, while Daejeon held on, determined not to concede any more goals. Ulsan, led by the formidable duo of In-Joo Gyu and Martin Adam, looked more and more dangerous towards the end of the match.
In the 44th minute, Ulsan scored a dramatic equalizer. It was In-Joo again. He finished a ball from Martin Adam with a delicate left-footed curler. The momentum was now completely in Ulsan’s favor. Ulsan head coach Hong Myung-bo also showed his excitement for his players with a two-handed celebration.
In the end, the game ended 3-3. Ulsan came back from the brink of defeat thanks to the fighting spirit of Lee In-gyu. Daejeon, on the other hand, had to settle for the win.