Pohang Steelers striker Kim In-sung has been at the center of the K League Baseball substitution controversy for four days.
In the 35th round of the Hana One Q K League 1 match between Jeonbuk Hyundai and Pohang on March 28, there was a confusion in the substitution process, resulting in 12 players for a few minutes.
While the injured Kim Yong-hwan briefly left the field, Pohang named Kim In-sung instead of Kim Yong-hwan to replace Shin Kwang-hoon in the 26th minute, which confused the referees.
In the chaotic situation, not only Kim Yong-hwan but also Kim In-sung had to leave the field early as substitutes.
The chaos of the game led to controversy over whether Kim In-sung and Shin Kwang-hoon were ineligible players at the time.
In fact, Jeonbuk sent a letter to Pohang requesting a post-match ban for the two and a 0-3 forfeit for Pohang, and the KFA is reviewing the matter.
In his first official match since the controversial game against Jeonbuk, Kim In-sung played in the semifinals of the 2023 Hana OneQ Korea Football Association (FA) Cup against Jeju United.
Trailing 1-0, he equalized with a picturesque, non-stop volley in the 15th minute to save Pohang from defeat.
Pohang held on to the lead until the end of extra time, when they won 4-3 on penalties to punch their ticket to the final.
Kim In-sung met with reporters in the joint press area after the game and said, “What’s done is done. (“I think that’s the end of the controversy,” he said, adding, “If anything, I think that playing less that time led to my stamina, so I was able to play a lot until the extension.
“On that day, coach (Kim Ki-dong) also told me that I would be in better shape for the FA Cup, and after playing today, I think it’s true,” he added.
The early departure acted as a wake-up call for the team to prepare for the FA Cup.
Coincidentally, Jeonbuk is the opponent in the FA Cup final on April 4 at home in Pohang.
“We want to lift the trophy unconditionally, and we have to get a result somehow,” said Kim In-sung.
This season, Pohang has dominated their four regular-season meetings with Jeonbuk, winning three and drawing one.
“(Jeonbuk) changed coaches often, and I remember we won every time,” Kim In-sung said, “but I don’t think it’s going to be easy because they have so many good players and they’re well organized.”
However, he was confident of victory, referring to the final 10 years ago.
Pohang’s last FA Cup win was in 2013, when they faced Jeonbuk in the final. After a 1-1 tie in regulation and extra time, Pohang won 4-3 in penalty kicks to become the eventual winners.
“If Pohang wins at home against Jeonbuk again like 10 years ago, I think it will be another piece of history,” said Kim In-sung.
“Shin Kwang-hoon’s brother was at that game. It is said to be similar to this time, but I hope the energy of that time will come to us,” he laughed. 토토사이트