The Pohang Steelers secured a meaningful result in the ’50th Anniversary Match’.
Pohang won 1-0 at home against Jeonbuk Hyundai in the 15th round of the Hana One Q K League 1 2023 at Pohang Steel Yard on Monday. With 27 points, Pohang remains in fourth place, level on points with second-place FC Seoul and third-place Jeju United. Jeonbuk (18 points), on the other hand, remained in seventh place after losing for the first time in five matches.
Pohang celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. The game against Jeonbuk was a “50th anniversary” match. Pohang had previously inducted 13 players into the club’s Hall of Fame, the first professional soccer team to do so since its 40th anniversary in 2013. On this day, the club inducted Kim Kwang-seok, Hwang Jin-sung, Shin Hyung-yong, and Hwang Ji-soo, who have been with the club for more than 10 years and played in more than 200 matches, into the player category of the Hall of Fame. All four were in attendance.
Adding to the significance of the ceremony, existing inductees Hwang Sun-hong, head coach of the Korea U-23 National Team, Lee Heung-sil, former head coach of Gimcheon Sangmu, Gong Moon-bae, head coach of Yangju Citizens Football Club, Park Tae-ha, technical chairman of the KFA, and Lee Hoe-taek, chairman of the OB Football Association, also made appearances.
Although there were some canceled tickets due to the heavy rain, the game was sold out for the first time in six years since the home opener against Gwangju FC on March 12, 2017. Nevertheless, 14,377 spectators showed up to the stadium, showing their support for the team. The Pohang players wore their 50th anniversary jerseys.
Before the game, Coach Kim said, “Just playing for a team with history and tradition gives you pride, and we will try to win through pride.” “At critical points, I talk to the players about what they can do rather than the pressure. I just said, ‘Let’s play a great game,'” he said. Jeonbuk’s acting coach Kim Doo-hyun said, “Congratulations to Pohang on its 50th anniversary,” but added, “The world of competition is cold. I want us to be the main characters,” and vowed not to be a victim of the feast.
Pohang, clearly highly motivated, pushed Jeonbuk hard. Coach Kim also actively encouraged his players. In the first half alone, Pohang attempted seven shots, four on target, but failed to score. ‘Goalie bad luck’ seemed to plague Pohang. In the 36th minute, Zeca’s header from a corner kick hit the post. A minute later, Baek Sung-dong’s right-footed curling shot hit the crossbar. 메이저놀이터
Pohang continued its momentum in the second half. In the 21st minute of the second half, the long-awaited goal came. Ko Young-joon sprinted down the sideline and quickly found his way into the penalty box. He was one-on-one with the goalkeeper and rattled the net with a powerful right-footed shot. After Gustavo, Jeonbuk mobilized all of its strikers, including Han Kyowon. Pohang defended their lead until the end, with goalkeeper Hwang In-jae making a great save.