“If you don’t fight, you don’t play”

Seoul draws 2-2 with Ulsan after surprise resignation of coach Ahn Ik-soo
Acting coach Kim Jin-gyu emphasizes fighting spirit in first game

Professional soccer’s K League 1 (1st Division) 스포츠토토 FC Seoul used a strong mental performance to earn a valuable point against leaders Ulsan Hyundai.

Seoul came from a goal down to draw 2-2 with Ulsan in the 28th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Sunday, thanks to a dramatic equalizer from Willian in second-half stoppage time.

After taking the lead through Ilyuchenko’s first goal, Seoul were left feeling deflated after conceding two goals through Lee In-jong-gyu, but they refused to give up until the very end.

Seoul was recently rocked by the surprise resignation of head coach Ahn Ik-soo. It was the first game under new head coach Kim Jin-gyu.

Kim emphasized fighting spirit to his players. Before the game, he said, “We can’t play soft soccer. We will play with 10 players,” he said.

During his career, Kim was the type of player who didn’t mind rough play and nervous battles, and showed a strong competitive spirit with bold plays. His fighting spirit was very strong.

The Seoul players were aggressive from the start and didn’t shy away from battles and contests. It gave the impression that the Ulsan players were losing momentum.

After the game, Kim said, “We tried to show a new team today. We did a good job in the first half, but we conceded a goal in the second half, which was disappointing.”

If Seoul had lost 1-2 without Willian’s equalizer, they would not have been able to hold on to fifth place. 토토 Kim’s first game in charge deserves a passing grade, as the team secured a point against Ulsan and a spot in the standings.

Seoul hasn’t won in its last six games, drawing four and losing two, but is fifth with 10 wins, 10 draws, and eight losses (40 points).

Acting coach Kim said, “We had about four days of preparation, but I think there were only three or four (fighting) Kim Jin-gyu today. If we train for another four days, I think there will be three more,” he said.

He added, “I told the players that I don’t use players who don’t fight. I’m fully aware of that. We are preparing to use more of them in the next game.”

He also said, “I don’t know if it’s personal greed, but I thought we could win today, so I thought we prepared well.” He added, “The opponent was Ulsan. They are really good players. I think it’s a shame that we couldn’t refine our game.”

Seoul’s stronger mentality rubbed off on the Ulsan players.

“Everyone knows that Seoul is a strong team,” said Lee In-kyu (Ulsan), who scored two goals and became the joint top scorer. With the departure of the head coach and the change to acting head coach Kim Jin-gyu, I think it motivated the players.” “I think our players were surprised that they came out combative from the beginning. I think it’s different from the previous Seoul.”

Seoul will host Suwon Samseong in the Super Match 스포츠토토링크 on March 2.

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