There was no winner.
Pohang Steelers and Incheon United drew 1-1 in the first match of the 34th and final round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at Pohang Steelyard on Tuesday. With 59 points, Pohang remained in second place and closed the gap on leaders Ulsan Hyundai (67 points) to eight points. Incheon improved to 49 points but dropped to fifth place on goal difference behind fourth-place Jeonbuk Hyundai.
Pohang welcomed flanker Jung Jae-hee back to the starting lineup after a six-month absence. Jung has been rehabbing from a hamstring injury and is only now returning to action. The absence of key midfielder Oberdan was filled by the combination of Han Chan-hee and Kim Jun-ho. Incheon also lost midfielder Shin Shin-ho and defender Del Bridge to injury. Striker Mugosa, who was on international duty with the Montenegrin national team, also did not accompany the team.
Pohang unleashed its attack based on high ball possession. Incheon tried to attack Pohang’s flanks through the advancement of their wingbacks. Incheon had the first chance. In the 13th minute, on a counterattack, Kim Do-hyuk received a pass from Kim Do-yeop~Jerso and connected with a left-footed shot inside the penalty box, which was blocked by Pohang midfielder Kim Jun-ho’s tackle.
Incheon also had a chance in the 18th minute when Pohang’s Park Chan-yong missed a pass. However, Gerso’s left-footed shot went wide. Two minutes later, Pohang seemed to take the lead. After a corner kick, Han Chan-hee’s mid-range shot beat Incheon goalkeeper Kim Dong-heon. Jung Jae-hee didn’t miss it and slid it in with his left foot to rattle the net. However, the referee called for offside.
Incheon took the lead in the 26th minute. Goalkeeper Kim Dong-heon kicked the ball into an awkward position. Pohang defender Park Chan-yong and Incheon Jerso battled it out, but Pohang goalkeeper Hwang In-jae jumped out. However, he was unable to clear the ball, allowing Jerso to slide it into the unoccupied goal to split the score.
Pohang coach Kim Ki-dong made a change in the 30th minute, switching the positions of Kim Seung-dae and Ko Young-joon. Incheon brought on Moon Ji-hwan in the 43rd minute to replace Lee Myung-joo, who went down. Pohang brought on Kim In-sung for Jung Jae-hee at the start of the second half. In the 15th minute of the second half, they took off Kim Jun-ho and Shin Kwang-hoon and brought on Kim Jong-woo and Shim Sang-min. Shim was placed on the left side and Park Seung-wook on the left flank.
Incheon also added Kim Bo-seob and Park Seung-ho in the 17th minute of the second half. Pohang continued to harass Incheon. In the 28th minute of the second half, Zeca drew a foul on Kim Dong-min and earned a penalty kick. Zeca stepped up to the spot kick and his shot was blocked by Incheon goalkeeper Kim Dong-heon. However, the referee ruled that Kim’s foot had fallen before Zeca took the kick, giving him a second chance. Zeca didn’t miss the second chance and equalized the game. 안전놀이터
After the goal, the Incheon squad, led by Moon Ji-hwan, regrouped. Pohang took Kim In-sung off again in the 38th minute and brought on Hong Yoon-sang. In the 42nd minute, on a counterattack, Hong Yun-sang’s right-footed shot from a pass by Zeca was saved by the goalkeeper. Two minutes later, Go Young-jun’s right-footed shot was saved by Kim Dong-heon. Incheon took Mpoku off in the 45th minute and brought on Chun Sung-hoon, but no further goals were forthcoming.