It’s hard to believe it’s a professional soccer stadium. How is Gwangju FC performing well in such a stadium?
Gwangju FC lost 0-1 to Jeonbuk Hyundai in the 31st round of the Hana One Q K League 1 2023 at Gwangju Football Stadium on the 24th. With their unbeaten streak (6 wins, 4 draws) broken after 11 games, Gwangju (13 wins, 9 draws, 9 losses, 48 points) remained in third place.
Prior to the match, Gwangju had been one of the strongest performers in K League 1, going unbeaten in their last 10 matches with six wins and four draws. It’s hard to believe that the team was promoted from the K League 2 last season. Fans are responding to the team’s success. Gwangju, a city famous for baseball, has been transformed into a soccer city.
Tickets for Jeonbuk sold out within three hours of the presale. 7,303 people attended the game, making it a total sellout. Some fans were turned away because they couldn’t get tickets. The Gwangju club even organized a “Chimack Day” event in collaboration with a beer company, where the first 1,000 fans received chicken and beer or cola.
The Gwangju players rewarded their fans with a hot performance. Gwangju out-shot Jeonbuk, the defending K League champions, 15-5. Gwangju also dominated possession with 69%. The game was dominated by Gwangju’s pounding and Jeonbuk’s defense.
The only oddity was the condition of the turf at Gwangju Stadium. Even with the naked eye, the grass was dug up in many places, revealing bare, bare ground. When the wind blew, it kicked up dirt, especially in the midfield, where the ball was played the most. It was worse than most high school fields, and I couldn’t understand how the first division of professional soccer could be played there,카지노 or how the match commissioner could approve it.
The poor condition of the field was actually detrimental to the game. Every time a player made a tackle, dirt was kicked up. With potholes everywhere and a pitch that felt like a bare floor, players were always running the risk of injury.
Gwangju’s style of play is to control the midfield with precise short passes. Coach Lee Jung-hyo is a self-described “Manchester City fan” and prepares his tactics accordingly. However, the condition of the Gwangju Stadium was hindering the home team.
On Jeonbuk’s counterattack, Moon Sun-min saw a long pass and ran to the front line alone. It was a great scoring chance, but once the ball was bound, it bounced 20 meters into the air. While standing and waiting for the ball to land, Moon eventually lost the ball to a defender who chased after him. It was a skit on a pitch with no cushions and a bare floor.
Gwangju coach Lee Jung-hyo, who is known for his harsh words, also complained about the condition of the turf after the game. He said, “I feel sorry for the players. If they don’t like me, they should leave, but what about the rest of us? That’s the hard part. The club says they are going to improve (the facilities), but anyone can make a plan, but I don’t know when it will be implemented. I don’t want to talk about it anymore,” he said tongue-in-cheek.
“We are planning to replace the main stadium’s turf next year,” said a club official who was caught off guard by Lee’s bombshell statement.
The problem is that the media has been pointing out the condition of the turf at Gwangju Stadium for a long time, but it hasn’t improved. Gwangju is notorious for its poor training facilities as well as its main stadium.
The game against Jeonbuk was the first home game in a month for Gwangju, but the turf hasn’t improved in four weeks.
Gwangju City and the Gwangju Sports Federation, in consultation with the Gwangju club, have decided to replace the current natural and artificial turf with natural turf, and to actively consider the construction of a weight training area in the football center.