Seoul starts four U-22 players… Kim Ki-dong’s choice to keep clean sheet ‘hit the spot’

FC Seoul head coach Kim Ki-dong fielded a rather unconventional starting lineup for the K League 1 10th round away match against Suwon FC at Suwon Sports Complex on Tuesday, including four U-22 players.

Forward Kang Sung-jin and flanker Lee Tae-seok have been regular starters in the past, but midfielder Hwang Do-yoon, born in 2003, and defender Park Sung-hoon have little experience in the league.

The goalkeeper was Baek Jong-beom, born in 2001, who hasn’t played in a league game this season.

Having lost their last three matches, Seoul were in defensive trouble, especially with 10 goals conceded in that span, and ‘young blood’ Joong-Yong was Kim’s choice as he looked to cut down on the number of goals conceded.

Focusing on putting up a solid defensive wall from the start and not allowing their opponents any space to develop an attack, Seoul took the lead in the 43rd minute through Kim Shin-jin’s first goal of the game, before Ki Sung-yong added a second in the 20th minute to seal a 2-0 victory.

Kim’s strategy of keeping a clean sheet paid off, as he prepared for the game by showing his players videos of English Premier League (EPL) leaders Arsenal’s defense.

“We lost three games in a row and our defensive weaknesses were exposed, so I thought it was a priority to tighten up that area,” Kim said, adding, “We tried to change the energy by playing the younger players, and that was the main effect.”

“I wonder if any coach would start four U-22 players during a three-game losing streak,” Kim laughed, but emphasized that the players’ attitude in training was the priority.

“I choose players based on whether they can fulfill my expectations without missing training, stay injury-free, and so on,” he said, adding, “The young players quickly caught on to what I wanted.”

“I think it’s a good opportunity for them to develop and reflect on their performance in a game like this,” he said. “The younger players need to grow to be competitive. I think it will be an inspiration for the whole team.”

Captain Ki Sung-yong, who partnered with 14-year-old Hwang Do-yoon in the middle, said, “Do-yoon did a good job in both defense and offense.” “There are a lot of injuries in the team, so the younger players are getting a chance, and I hope they can take 토토 advantage of it and improve their competitiveness and develop,” he said with a smile. I look forward to a healthy competition,” he smiled.

After snapping their losing streak with a comfortable clean sheet, Seoul will look to keep the momentum going next month when they welcome defending champions Ulsan HD to their backyard.

“Ulsan is a strong team, but soccer is a game with many variables, which is why many spectators will cheer and like it,” said Kim Ki-dong, adding, “We will prepare for that and give it our all.”

“We don’t want to play the same kind of soccer as today. We like to play a football that keeps pressing from the front,” he said, adding, ”I think if the defense is solid, it will be better to create attacks. We will reward ourselves with a good performance at home,” he added.

Meanwhile, Suwon FC head coach Kim Eun-joong said, “I think the players were panicking and struggling when Seoul went down. “We increased our possession but conceded an unexpected goal and became impatient in the second half, and I think the difference in decisiveness decided the game,” he reflected.

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