After making it through the semifinals of the Korea Football Association (FA) Cup, Pohang Steelers head coach Kim Ki-dong was confident ahead of their final match against defending champions Jeonbuk Hyundai.
Pohang defeated host Jeju United 4-3 on penalties after the teams played to a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and extra time in the 2023 Hana OneQ K League 1 semifinals at Jeju World Cup Stadium in Seogwipo, Jeju, on Monday.
Jeonbuk also defeated Incheon United 3-1 in the earlier match to complete the field for this season’s FA Cup final.
In the post-match press conference, Kim said, “We haven’t lost to Jeonbuk this year. We have three wins and one draw, one on the road and two at home.” “The players know that Jeonbuk is clearly better than us. Even so, we are dominating them, and I hope the players are confident.”
It’s been 10 years since Pohang qualified for the championship after the 2013 season.
Back then, Jeonbuk was their final opponent. After a 1-1 tie in regulation and overtime, Pohang won 4-3 in penalty kicks to become the eventual winners.
“We have another good memory,” Kim said. I know the same situation happened 10 years ago,” Kim said, adding, “I remember that we won the championship after a penalty shootout against Jeonbuk, and I will try to work with the players to continue the good memories.”
The two teams had a ‘bad blood’ not only 10 years ago but also recently.
The two teams met in the 35th round of this season’s K League 1 at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on March 28 and drew 1-1, but there was a mix-up during Pohang’s substitutions that left them with 12 players for about four and a half minutes.
Jeonbuk claimed a forfeit because they played with 11 “ineligible players,” while Pohang admitted that they made a mistake with their roster but blamed the referees.
While the KFA is reviewing the forfeit, the two teams are set to meet again in the FA Cup final on April 4.
Kim, who knows this context better than anyone, is determined to make the final a must-win.
“The final is at our home now. I think we have to squeeze (everything) out of the team to win the trophy,” he said vigorously. 스포츠토토