Goalkeeper Kim Dong-heon (26) made it a ‘bad day’ for his teammate Na Sang-ho (26).
The 82nd ‘Gyeongin Derby’ between FC Seoul and Incheon United and the 24th round of the ‘Hana OneQ K League 1 2023’ took place at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on the 22nd. The winner was the away team Incheon. Incheon defended Mpoku’s goal in the last minute of the first half to secure a 1-0 victory.
Despite allowing Seoul to dominate possession and attack, Incheon used efficient play, sharp counterattacks, and solid defense to secure the win. The win was Incheon’s first three-game winning streak of the season and their six-match unbeaten streak. It’s the best run of form for a K League 1 team in recent memory. The team jumped to seventh place from ninth last time out, indicating that they are on track for a top-split finish.
While Mpoku’s decisiveness in scoring the game-winning goal was outstanding, Kim Dong-heon was equally impressive, saving all of the opposition’s crucial shots, especially Na Sang-ho’s penalty kick (PK) and the decisive shot on goal.
Kim Dong-heon conceded a PK in the 17th minute when he was forced to handle an aerial ball in the middle of Seoul’s offense. Ki Sung-yueng rushed forward to deal with a high pass from the midfield area and collided hard with Willian, leaving both players unable to get up for a while. Kim got up shortly afterward, but Willian barely made it to his feet with help from his teammates. He then tried to play but was unable to continue and was substituted. Willian headed to the hospital for further examination. Kim Dong-heon was also shown a yellow card.
The PK kicker was Na Sang-ho, the joint top scorer in the K League. Na Sang-ho kicked the ball hard to the left side of the goal, but it was caught in the hands of Kim Dong-heon, who flew out and hit the top of the goal. The Incheon players immediately rushed to Kim Dong-heon to express their joy. It was a moment between hell and heaven.
“I tried not to make a mistake, but I ended up making a mistake,” said Kim Dong-heon in the postgame mixer. “When PK called it, I just thought, ‘I’ll block it. The PK save was made possible by Kim’s analysis of Na Sang-ho. “I’ve seen him kick a lot, usually to the center or left. I had already decided where I wanted to go, and I was just trying to time my shot well,” he said.
“The cross came low, so I couldn’t touch the ball and collided with the player, so I gave the PK,” he said.
Kim Dong-heon’s PK save changed the atmosphere. Incheon fought back, and Mpoku scored the game-winning goal in the 44th minute.
Na Sang-ho and Kim Dong-heon had more bad blood. In the 40th minute, Na Sang-ho received Kim Jin-ya’s cross from the left flank and struck a powerful left-footed shot from a no-mark chance. However, a super save from Kim Dong-heon denied Seoul a chance to equalize.
Kim Dong-heon, who saved several crucial shots, said he would give himself a “70”. He said, “I can’t say my play was 100 percent today. I made a few mistakes, and I’m not satisfied with my goal kicks and minor plays,” he said. “But since I blocked the PK, I’ll give myself around 70 points.”
The K League 1 will now take a break for about two weeks. “If I didn’t stop it, I was going to prepare to go to the army (during the break). We had a chance to win three games in a row, but we gave up a PK and almost didn’t play the next game,” he joked. “My brothers praised me, saying, ‘You wrote the whole scenario,’” he said.무지개벳
Kim said that the secret to Incheon’s rise was the “one-man team. “When we work out as a team, we have fun,” he said. Also, after the recent win over Ulsan Hyundai, the players’ confidence has increased a lot. The defense organization is also more stable than before.”