The youth trio will add energy to the offense.
Incheon United, led by its youth trio, continued its winning streak for the first time this season with a 1-0 victory over Gangwon FC in the 20th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at the Incheon Football Stadium on Aug. 2. This is the second consecutive victory for the club, following their FA Cup quarterfinal win over Suwon Samsung on August 28, and their first official match win in 323 days since their K League Cup quarterfinal win over Jeonbuk Hyundai on August 13 last year.
On this day, Incheon head coach Cho Sung-hwan rested key attacking resources such as Gerso, Mpoku, and Hernandez. Having played a midweek match in the FA Cup just three days earlier, I couldn’t help but think about the fitness issue. We planned to play for the win in the second half and used Kim Bo-Sub, Chun Sung-Hoon, and Kim Min-Seok in a back three.
It was the first time this combination of players had been used this season. Kim has been playing consistently, but Chun made his return to the league after 10 games with a calf injury. Kim Min-seok, a U-22 player, took the field as a substitute.
Coincidentally, all three are former members of Incheon U-18 Daegungo Youth. Combined for the first time this season, the “youth trio” threatened the opposition throughout the match with both organic play and sharp movement.
Kim wasted no time in taking a shot when he saw a shooting angle, finishing with a team-high four shots and two on target on the day. Chun Sung-hoon moved up and down the field, not only attacking but also dropping down to defend. Kim Min-seok, the youngest member of the squad, stirred up the right flank. He utilized his speed to break through and constantly penetrate the space behind the goal, and his efforts paid off.
The first goal was a combination of youth players. In the fourth minute of the first half, Kim Bo-seob sent a through ball to Kim Do-hyuk on a counterattack. Kim penetrated into the penalty box and, without getting a touch on Kim’s cross, rattled the net with a chip shot. It was his fourth goal of the season and the fourth goal of his career in an Incheon jersey in 2021.
After completing his mission, Kim Min-seok was replaced by Hernandez at the start of the second half, while Kim Bo-seob and Chun Sung-hoon were substituted for Moon Ji-hwan and Jerso in the last 20 minutes, respectively. 안전놀이터
Incheon head coach Cho Sung-hwan said of Kim Min-seok, “He is a good solo player. He doesn’t play a lot, but as you can see from his goals, he has more space than last season. His ability to create scoring situations is good. When I give him feedback, he tries to implement it well, and that’s why he was able to produce such scenes. He is a good future resource who is growing.”
Chun Sung-hoon and “Wonder Boy” Kim Bo-seop, who were not goal scorers but emerged as “hope” for a team that was suffering from a goal drought, are also future resources that Incheon is looking forward to. Buoyed by their first back-to-back wins of the season, Incheon have opened up a gap between themselves and the relegation zone with 23 points, setting the stage for a mid-table finish.