Team K League head coach Hong Myung-bo shares his thoughts on the team’s friendly win over Atletico Madrid (AT Madrid).
Team K League, led by head coach Hong Myung-bo, defeated AT Madrid 3-2 in the first leg of the Coupang Play Series at the World Cup Stadium in Seoul on Sunday afternoon.
Team K-League conceded a goal in the 13th minute to Toma Lema to end the first half with a score of 0-1, but the team pulled off a thrilling comeback with four goals in the second half alone. Anton’s header in the fourth minute of the second half tied the score at 1-1, but Team K-League never gave up the lead, despite losing it again to Carlos Martin in the 40th minute.
In the 43rd minute, Palocevic stepped up to take the penalty kick that Gerso had earned, deceiving the goalkeeper to score. Team K-League then turned the game on its head. In the second half of stoppage time, they attacked from the left flank, and Lee Soon-min scored with a sharp shot from the front of the box after Sejingya and Jerso.
After the game, Team K-League head coach Hong Myung-bo said, “I’m very happy that our players got the win in front of a large crowd. There were a lot of fans who supported the K League, and I think we were able to express our gratitude to them by not giving up until the end and winning with a goal that allowed us to come from behind.”
“In the first half, there was a difference between us and our opponent, but I think it was a great motivation for us in the second half that we didn’t concede more than one goal due to Lee Chang-geun’s saves. They were going to make changes, and we had an experienced player, so we thought we could turn it around. I think it worked out well in the end.”
“We had about an hour of training, but it’s not easy to pursue perfection in terms of performance,” said Hong Myung-bo, who used domestic players in the first half and foreign players in the second. The most important thing was communication. I thought it would be more efficient to divide the Korean and foreign players for communication,” he said, explaining his strategy.
“Many players did a good job, especially Lee Chang-geun, who cleared several scoring situations,” he said, adding, “It was good to see that the foreign players did their best for 45 minutes for the team.”
Seol Young-woo played the full 90 minutes and also played central defense. “We had a gap in the defense due to Timo’s withdrawal before the game, and as a result, I think we can say that Seol Young-woo made up for the lack of one player in the first half and the second half,” said Hong Myung-bo.
“I told them not to give up. I told him to focus on set plays in particular. We didn’t have much time to prepare, so I asked him to focus on that, and I told him to play 바카라 more calmly in the second half because we can score enough points.”
Speaking about the friendly, which was prepared with a power analyst, Hong said, “We came in with an image of the opponent’s style of play. I told the players to do what is reasonably possible. Realistically, it’s not easy to say ‘win’. But it’s quite possible to give your best effort. I told them that. I think that gave us a chance to win.”
“I felt like they were out of our league, especially in the first half. I felt they were a very well organized team,” he said.
When Lee Soon-min scored the game-winning goal, Ulsan’s “Winning Song,” “Goodbye,” came from the stands. Head coach Hong Myung-bo said, “I thought this was Ulsan. I was happy that we won, but I was even happier to hear ‘Goodbye’ at the end.”
As for Simeone’s dissatisfaction with the officiating, he said, “I don’t think it’s necessary to be so unhappy in a friendly match. I’m not sorry that I didn’t get to shake his hand,” said Hong Myung-bo, who said, “I’m happy that the players representing the K League beat a world-class team. There has been a fluttering atmosphere in the All-Star Game, and I don’t like that, so I drew a clear line. I think it showed in the end,” he said.
In the post-match interview, Simeone mentioned Bae as a player who impressed him, and he replied, “I didn’t play very well. I think there was some pressure on him because he’s a young player. But we’ve seen enough of his strengths in the past tournaments. I think it’s true that he was a little bit intimidated today.”