“The juniors are doing great. I hope we win!”
Daejeon Hana Citizen drew 3-3 with Ulsan Hyundai in the 15th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at Ulsan Munsoo World Cup Stadium at 7 p.m. on Aug. 28. Daejeon remained in fifth place. The stadium was attended by 17,251 fans.
Despite conceding a dramatic draw, Kim Hyun-woo put in an impressive defensive performance. Kim Hyun-woo is a former Hyundai High School and Ulsan center back who played in Croatia with Dinamo Zagreb before returning to Korea on loan to Ulsan last year. He didn’t play well in Ulsan and was quickly transferred to Daejeon. Kim Hyun-woo didn’t play much in the early stages, but he gradually improved his form and took a spot in the defense.
He became more important after Cho Yoo-min went down with an injury. As a right stopper, Kim was able to stop Ulsan’s attacks from the flank and showed his dominance in aerial battles. He partnered with Lim Eun-soo and Kim Min-duk to keep Ulsan’s attacks at bay. Despite conceding two goals in the second half, Kim Hyun-woo’s defense was clearly improved.
“We were winning by two goals, but we conceded, so I’m very disappointed,” said Kim Hyun-woo in the Mix Zone. On his recent form, he said, “I feel like I’m getting better with every game. I’m grateful to coach Lee Min-sung for giving me the opportunity.”
For Ulsan native Kim Hyun-woo, playing in a Daejeon jersey at Ulsan’s home stadium may have been especially meaningful. “I didn’t play very well in Ulsan. I wanted to show that I’m doing really well. I wanted to win a lot. It’s a shame we drew,” he said.
Jo Yoo-min’s absence is a big blow for Daejeon. “We all know that Cho Yoo-min is a key player for the team. That doesn’t mean the defense will falter without him. We are always preparing, and we share analytical information with each other through meetings. Even if someone other than Cho Yoo-min is out, I don’t think the defense will be shaken.”
He also talked about the difficulty of stopping Martin Adam. “It was very difficult to stop Martin Adam because of his height, and I couldn’t see the ball when I was behind him, so it was even harder,” said Kim Hyun-woo.
No matter who they face, Daejeon plays an attacking style of soccer with a lot of pressure. The pressure will be on the defenders to cover a lot of space. Kim Hyun-woo said, “Our defense is not very tall, but we have good covering ability. So I don’t feel any pressure to play attacking soccer, and I feel comfortable with it. We have to take risks when the space behind us gets wider. We are playing our own kind of soccer.”
In the post-match press conference, Lee Min-sung said, “We haven’t made a breakthrough. Daejeon’s goal is to stay up.” Considering Daejeon’s current form and ranking, it’s a statement that makes you scratch your head. Kim Hyun-woo said, “I don’t know the team’s goal, but we play eagerly every game. It’s all about preparing for every game. We prepare for one game, one game, so we don’t care if we stay in the competition or not, we prepare eagerly.”안전놀이터
Kim Eun-joong’s U-20 team is competing in the U-20 World Cup in Argentina. Kim Hyun-woo, who was a member of the runner-up Shinhwa four years ago, said, “I can’t watch it live, but I watch the highlights, and I feel good because the juniors are doing so well. We’ve qualified for the round of 16, but I hope we can go higher. Looking back at four years ago, we prepared for every game with great enthusiasm and that led to the final. Unfortunately, I finished runner-up, so I hope I can win this time.”