Incheon draws 1-1 with Seoul…no victory for coach Yoo Sang-cheol
No team won the second Gyeongin derby of the season. Incheon United attempted to avenge their first defeat in February and record their first back-to-back wins of the season, but were ultimately denied by Hwang Eui-jo’s brilliant goal. The victory, which was meant to be a tribute to the late honorary coach Yoo Sang-chul, who passed away two years ago, will have to wait until another time.
Incheon drew 1-1 with Seoul at home in the 17th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 at the Incheon Football Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on July 7. The draw extended Incheon’s unbeaten streak to five matches (1 win, 4 draws), but they failed to build on the momentum of their 3-1 away win against Daejeon Hana Citizens last time out and failed to record their first back-to-back wins of the season.
Incheon’s disappointment was compounded by the fact that the match marked the second anniversary of the late coach Yoo Sang-chul, who passed away on June 7, 2021. The late coach, who was also the hero of the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup quarterfinals, battled pancreatic cancer and eventually became a star. For Incheon and its fans, the late coach was even more affectionate. After being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, he remained on the bench until the end, and only after leading the team to stay in the first division did he relinquish the baton and focus on his treatment. At one point, there was hope, but sadly, he said goodbye to the world.
Incheon Supporters have not forgotten Yoo’s two-week anniversary. They hung a large banner on one side of the stadium with the message, “We will not forget the time we spent with you, thank you.” Another banner was hung on the stadium to signify that they will be with Yoo Sang-chul forever. In the sixth minute of the first half, the number of the deceased’s jersey, which was also his number, was honored with a minute’s applause. Many Seoul fans traveling to the game also stopped cheering for a minute and applauded in memory of the deceased.
Incheon fought hard to dedicate the win to Yoo Sang-cheol, who was watching from heaven. They took an early lead through Gerso’s goal, but conceded an equalizer through the combined efforts of Hwang Eui-jo and Ki Sung-yong, and were unable to break the deadlock. They had to settle for a disappointing point.
Incheon played a 3-4-3 with Mpoku in the center and Kim Bo-seob and Jerso on the flanks. Lee Myung-joo and Moon Ji-hwan lined up in the midfield, while Min Kyung-hyun and Kim Jun-yup played as wingbacks. Oh Ban-seok, Lee Kwon-jin, and Kim Yeon-soo lined up on defense. Kim Dong-heon was the goalkeeper. “We used the same lineup as the Daejeon Hana Citizens three days ago for motivation,” explained coach Cho Sung-hwan.
Seoul started Hwang Eui-jo in a 4-3-3 formation with Na Sang-ho and Willian on the flanks. Palocevic and Ki Sung-yueng partnered with Kim Shin-jin in the midfield. Lee Tae-seok, Lee Han-beom, Kim Joo-sung, and Park Soo-il defended the back line, while Baek Jong-beom guarded the goal.
Seoul took the early initiative. They maintained around 70% ball possession and looked to exploit gaps in the Incheon defense. Willian threatened the Incheon goal with a series of shots. Incheon responded with solid defense and quick counterattacks.
It was Incheon who broke the balance. In the 19th minute, Kim Bo-seob’s cross from the left flank was met by Gerso with a left-footed shot that rattled the net. It was his first shot of the day. In the process of shooting, Jerso’s shot hit Lee Tae-seok in the head, causing him to bleed, but no foul was called. Kim Bo-seop has now accumulated offensive points in two consecutive games after his multi-goal performance in the last match.
The rest of the game was more of the same. Seoul dominated possession and controlled the game, while Incheon countered by defending and counterattacking. However, neither team was able to create a decisive chance. Lee Han-beom’s header from a corner kick did not lead to a goal. 스포츠토토
Seoul’s pounding on the Incheon goal bore fruit in the seventh minute of the second half. Ki Sung-yueng’s exquisite pass off his heel was picked up by Hwang Eui-jo. He rattled the Incheon net with a powerful right-footed shot from the front of the arc. It was Hwang’s first league goal since scoring against Suwon Samsung in April.