The least number of points, whether it’s part one or part two…Lee Jung-hyo’s secret to Gwangju’s “attack football” is “defense.”

Lee Jung-hyo, the head coach of the K League 1 Gwangju FC, has always been a proponent of fiery, attacking soccer.

In particular, he emphasizes not dropping the line. He doesn’t like the idea of dropping players to the back and crouching down.

At the media camp for the 2023 K League Winter Training in February, Lee spoke in favor of attacking soccer.

At the time, he said, “After scoring the first goal, we will try to score the second goal, and after scoring the second goal, we will try to score the third goal. That’s the color of Gwangju FC and my color,” he said.토토사이트

Playing forward-focused soccer throughout, Lee’s Gwangju defied the odds to finish in the bottom half of the table and finished third in the top flight (16 wins, 11 draws, 11 losses) in their first season of promotion.

A notable metric is Gwangju’s goal differential.

Gwangju conceded just 35 goals in 38 games, tying them with fourth-place Jeonbuk Hyundai (16 wins, 9 draws, and 13 losses) for the fewest goals allowed in K League 1 this season.

The defense also shined when Gwangju won the K League 2 title in 2022, conceding just 32 goals in 40 matches to beat FC Anyang (41).

This is the second year in a row that the team has conceded the fewest goals in their respective leagues, and it’s no surprise to Lee that his team plays attacking soccer.

Before Gwangju’s home match against the Pohang Steelers in the final 38th round of the Hana One Q K League 1 at the Gwangju Football Stadium on March 3, Lee shared his thoughts on Gwangju’s offensive and defensive balance.

Lee stressed that a solid defense is a prerequisite for offensive football.

He said, “Basically, if the defense is not strong, we can’t attack. “If you can’t defend, you can’t attack,” he said, explaining, “If the opponent has a gap at the back, you can’t attack at will.

“The basic structure is ‘defense’. “We always train a lot on defense,” he said, “I talk a lot about how the players should extend their feet, and I always reprimand them strongly by editing relevant videos and showing them to the players.

Gwangju, which showed the best defense in the K League 2 in the 2022 season, was followed by some doubts about whether it would work in the first division.

As if conscious of this, captain and central defender Ahn Young-gyu said, “Football is about organization. If we become better organized, we can win in the first division,” he said, adding, “We can stop some of the teams in the first division.”

Ahn Young-gyu, who was named the K League 2 Most Valuable Player (MVP), will challenge for the MVP title in the 2023 season with the ‘fewest goals conceded’ title. He is on the MVP shortlist alongside Kim Young-kwon (Ulsan), Zeca (Pohang), and Tiago (Daejeon).

“We say we play attacking football, but our foundation is defense,” Ahn told reporters after the final match of the season, a scoreless draw against Pohang on March 3, supporting Lee’s “first defense, then attack” philosophy.

Ahn Young-gyu said, “The players in front of the strikers also defend together. We defend in an organized manner, and that’s why we’ve managed to concede the fewest goals.”

In fact, active midfielders like Jung Ho-yeon and Lee Soon-min take the pressure off the backline by pressing hard when the team loses the ball.

Lee Soon-min, in place of Timo, a center back with a tendency to go forward, dropped deep into the back and extended his radius of action to the entire back area, including stopping opposing attackers in the penalty area.

Their solid defense paved the way for Gwangju to make club history.

Gwangju has kept more clean sheets (16) this season than any other team in the 12-team K League 1.

In those 16 games, Gwangju won 12 and drew four, earning 40 points. Even in the four games where they didn’t score a goal, they managed to keep a clean sheet and earn a point each.

This helped Gwangju (59 points) finish ahead of fourth-place Jeonbuk (57 points) and fifth-place Incheon United (14 wins, 14 draws, 10 losses and 56 points).

Gwangju, which qualified for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) for the first time in its history for the 2023 season, also achieved its highest ever first division finish and win total.

Prior to the season, Gwangju’s best finish in the top flight was sixth in the 2020 season, which ended early due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the club’s most wins in a season was 11 in 2016 (eighth).

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