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“The players said we deserved it…confidence is paying off”

Gimpo FC head coach Choi Jung-woon is smiling.

Gimpo drew 0-0 with Gangwon FC in the first leg of the 2023 K League Promotion Playoffs (PO) at the Gimpo Solter Soccer Stadium at 7 p.m. on June 6. Gimpo’s promotion to the first division will be decided in the second leg on September 9 at 2pm.

After the match, head coach Choi Jung-woon said, “I was curious about our performance against the first team, but in the end, we showed a positive performance that we deserved. We played a good game with confidence.”

He elaborated on the ‘worthy’ comment. “Since (Gangwon) is in the top division, the same goes for foreign players, and the movement and passing in the midfield and half-space was good, including Alibayev, Shin Min-woo, and Kim Dae-won. We didn’t play possession soccer, but rather pressed forward or scored on counterattacks when we lost possession in the midfield. That’s what we wanted to do today. Luis had a perfect chance in the first half. We had a lot of possession, but there wasn’t much going on other than Gallegos shooting from the right. I think we played a very positive game.”

In fact, Gimpo threatened Gangwon’s goal several times with quick counterattacks. The Gimpo team also showed their strength in K League 2 against Gangwon.

The players were also confident after playing against Gangwon. “The players said that they deserved it, so that’s why I’m thinking about it. We lost a lot of possession, but I think we did what we wanted to do. There are some things we need to improve on, so we will analyze our power and show it to the players, and we will have to play a good game away from home.”

Gimpo is also worried about goals. They need a goal to win the second leg. “Gangwon, we also have a solid defense. I don’t think we will score many goals (in the second leg). If we can make our defense more solid and make it a little easier to pass and open up in the middle, I believe we can create enough scoring chances for the three players in front of us.”

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