Incheon United’s Hernandez heralds goodwill rivalry with ‘predecessor’ Mugosa.
Incheon defeated Daejeon Hana Citizen 2-0 in the 23rd round of the Hana One Q K League 1 2023 at the Incheon Football Stadium at 8 p.m. on Saturday. The win puts Incheon in ninth place with seven wins, nine draws and seven losses (30 points), while Daejeon is in seventh place with seven wins, nine draws and seven losses (30 points).
Incheon has been on an upswing lately. Coming off a 2-1 away win against Ulsan Hyundai, Incheon was looking for its first back-to-back wins in the league this season against Daejeon. In keeping with their determination to win, Incheon came out with an attacking formation with Mpoku and Gerso up front.
However, the first half was dominated by Daejeon. Daejeon played a 4-3-3 formation with Bae Jun-ho up top. Along with the trio of Lee Jin-hyun, Gutek, and Jeon Byung-kwan, Bae Jun-ho actively tried to press forward, and in particular, Bae Jun-ho focused on Incheon’s passing center, Lee Myung-joo, to disrupt Incheon’s buildup.
Early in the match, a change of scenery occurred. In the 25th minute, Lim Duk-geun went down with an injury and was replaced by Lee Hyun-sik. Incheon made a tactical change as they continued to lose. In the 37th minute, Kim Min-seok was taken off and Hernandez entered the game. Incheon switched to a 3-5-2, with Hernandez and Jerso up front and Mpoku underneath them.
From there, Incheon gradually gained control of the game. Up front, Hernandez and Jerso tried to make quick penetrations and Mpoku dropped down to get more involved in the attack. But Daejeon’s momentum was not to be denied. Daejeon, who were winless in their last five matches, went on the offensive to break out of their winless streak.
Both teams got rougher in the second half. In the 14th minute of the second half, Lee Myung-joo raised his foot and struck Lee Hyun-sik in the knee, prompting the referee to issue a warning. A video review was conducted to determine if the player was sent off, but the referee upheld the decision.
In the end, it was Hernandez who made the difference. In the 39th minute of the second half, Hernandez cut in from the left and sent in a low, quick cross that was finished by Gerso. Then, in second-half stoppage time, Hernandez scored himself. In the 47th minute, after receiving a pass from Gerso, Hernandez unleashed a left-footed turning shot from the penalty box that found the back of the net. With the 2-0 victory, Incheon earned its first back-to-back league wins of the season. 안전놀이터
Hernandez, who had one goal and one assist on the day, said after the game that it wasn’t an easy game. “It was a difficult game, a tight game. But I’m happy to get the three points at home,” he said.
He also talked about his “chemistry” with Gerso, who scored both goals. “We’ve been communicating a lot since he first came to Incheon,” Hernandez said. But we needed time, and we will show better chemistry through training and more communication in the future,” Hernandez said.