Suwon FC’s long striker Kim Hyun-ki almost suffered a serious injury when his foot fell into a “sinkhole” during the match.
Suwon FC conceded a theatrical goal to Oh Ban-seok in second-half stoppage time to lose 1-2 to Incheon United in the 28th round of the ‘Hana OneQ K League 1 2023’안전놀이터 at Suwon Sports Complex on the 25th.
Suwon conceded the opening goal through Chun Sung-hoon in first-half stoppage time, but ace Lee Seung-woo equalised with a header just a minute into the second half.
The tie remained tense until the 43rd minute when Lopez received a direct red card for deliberately punching Incheon midfielder Kim Jun-yup in the face just six minutes after coming on as a substitute, and Suwon eventually conceded a theatre goal to Incheon captain Oh Ban-seok from a corner in second-half stoppage time.
Without a win, Suwon FC remained 10th in the league with 26 points (7W5D16L), failing to overtake 11th-placed Suwon Samsung (5W7D15L – 22 points) and 12th-placed Gangwon FC (3W11D13L – 20 points).
With every point crucial for Suwon, who are aiming to stay in the K League One, the home fans were disappointed to concede a goal in stoppage time.
Suwon’s 192cm long striker Kim Hyun, who was interviewed in the mix zone after the match, was also disappointed with the result. Kim, who came on as a substitute in the 15th minute of the match, was unable to complete the comeback in the 16th minute with the score at 1-1, when he attempted a volley off a sharp cross from Lee Seung-woo, but his shot hit the post.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel pressure,” said Kim, who didn’t return to action until the 19th round of the league after undergoing sports hernia surgery. “I wish it would have happened today, but today I hit the post and the goal was cancelled last time, so I’m stressed, but it’s something I have to overcome and move on from.”
Kim appeared to open the scoring in the 33rd minute against Jeju United in the 26th round of the league on 12 December, but the goal was disallowed after a foul by Yoon Beom-garam was pointed out.
“Right now, I’m in a situation where I need to improve a lot more, but I think I’m in the process of recovering from the surgery,” he explained.
In terms of what Suwon needs to stay up, he said, “We need a little bit of persistence to play games like today, to draw games that we’re going to lose and win games that we’re going to draw, but I think we’re still a little bit lacking.” “That’s good, but I don’t think we’ll be relegated,” he insisted.
Meanwhile, Kim also commented on the ‘sinkhole’ situation that was a hot topic of the day. In the 28th minute of the first half, the game was interrupted by a grass problem. The soil supporting the turf near the halfway line washed away, creating a deep pit that threatened the players’ safety.
Stadium officials rushed in with soil to fill the hole, which was so deep that an adult man’s arm could fit through it. The game was delayed for 12 minutes of first-half stoppage time to fill the giant hole.
With the first aid measures in place, there was no problem with the rest of the game, but unfortunately, the ‘sinkhole’ took a toll on Kim. Kim was playing when the grass suddenly gave way and her leg fell off, impacting her ankle.
Commenting on the situation, Kim said, “I had a bad ankle, but I think it’s worse because I fell into a sinkhole earlier. I think I need to get it treated.” When she appeared in the mixtape, she showed that she was still in shock and pain by limping on her ankle.
“I stepped on (the grass) and my foot went out and I sprained my ankle. The sinkhole was about knee-deep,” he said. The hole was knee-deep for the 6-foot-2 Kim, so it could have been a dangerous situation. Fans watching the game expressed concern for Kim’s ankle and hoped it was not a serious injury.
Photo: Suwon Sports Complex, reporter Kwon Dong-hwan, courtesy of the Korea Football Association, Coupang Play broadcast screen capture