Unwavering. Lee Min-sung, 50, head coach of Daejeon Hana Citizens, and Lee Jung-hyo, 48, head coach of Gwangju FC.

As “promotion mates” who joined the K League 1 together in the 2023 season, Daejeon and Gwangju are in a similar cycle. They were both early breakout teams. Daejeon played a bold pressing style of soccer centered around an asymmetrical three-back and reached as high as second place at one point. Taking down the ‘absolute number one’ Ulsan Hyundai was the icing on the cake. The same goes for Gwangju. Lee Jung-hyo-sik’s organized, attacking soccer was a force to be reckoned with in K League 1. Against any team, he took the lead and controlled the game. They even got results. The unrelenting attacking soccer played by the promoted teams has changed the K League 1 landscape. Two teams formed the top half of the table early on.

However, the tide turned after one lap. Daejeon and Gwangju began to break through. As the opposing teams began to customize their tactics against Daejeon and Gwangju, the tide quickly turned. Daejeon fell into a losing streak for the first time. They have one win, one draw, and three losses in their last five matches. They remain in fifth place (21 points), but the gap between them and sixth-place Daegu (20 points) and seventh-place Jeonbuk Hyundai (18 points) is small. Gwangju hasn’t won in seven games since its last match against Daegu FC on March 16. They have drawn three and lost four. They have scored just three goals in that span, dropping to ninth place (15 points).

While there are concerns, the managers of both teams are undaunted. “Everyone said we were relegation candidates,” said Lee Min-sung. I’m satisfied with this performance in the beginning.” Lee Jung-hyo had a similar reaction. 스포츠토토

However, he nodded at the hump. Both Lee Min-sung and Lee Jung-hyo said, “I thought there would be a crisis once during the season. How we handle this crisis can determine our position. If we get over the hump, we can become stronger.”

The solution is to break through. As they have done in the past, they plan to fight back without losing their colors. In both Daejeon and Gwangju, the primary team color is attack. They will continue to play goal-oriented soccer. Coach Lee Jung-hyo said, “The players are working hard. We are preparing better ways to score goals.” However, there may be some changes. Daejeon is considering tactical changes such as a back four, while Gwangju is also preparing for a more stable game plan with more defensive numbers in the attacking third.

Depending on how Daejeon and Gwangju get over this hump, the battle for the top spot could change once again.

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