Lee Ki-jae felt fortunate to get a point right away.
Suwon Samsung drew 0-0 with Incheon United in the 18th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at Suwon World Cup Stadium at 7 p.m. on Nov. 11. With the one point, Suwon remained at the bottom of the league.
Suwon’s goal was to end their losing streak. Despite winning against Gangwon FC in the second game of Kim Byung-soo’s tenure as head coach, Suwon had lost four consecutive matches, starting with the next game against Ulsan Hyundai. Facing them was Incheon, who had just secured their first win of the season. Suwon was looking to get back on track against Incheon. Incheon also needed a win, so a hard-fought match was expected.
However, the match ended in a scoreless draw. Suwon used Lee Ki-je’s left-footed kicks to find space in the back and set-piece opportunities, but were unable to finish. It was a shame that the strikers didn’t capitalize on their chances. Despite the draw, Suwon took some positives from the fact that they snapped their losing streak and finished the game without conceding a goal.
Suwon’s captain, Lee Ki-jae, felt the same way. “It was a game we had to win, and we wanted to get the three points, but even one point is a positive,” he said in the post-match mixer.
What did the coach say after the game?
“It’s hard to get a point like this,” he said, “but I think it’s a positive thing. We need a point right now, and we need it now. He kept saying that he was happy to get a point.
Are you really happy with a point?
No, I’m not satisfied, but I think it’s good. In our situation, I think it’s important to get a point.
You won’t be with your teammates during the break due to your national team call-up.
Mentally, the players were not yet recovered, but I think today’s game made them a little stronger, so I’m positive. We’ll have to prepare well for the break.
Your coach emphasizes the mental aspect a lot.
He talks about it a lot, and I meditate for five minutes before meetings.
On the physical and psychological pressure of traveling to the national team
The national team is the place where you represent Korea, so I think you have to work hard. I want to do well if I am given the opportunity.
Oh Hyun-gyu visited you after a long time. Did he contact you?
We were close when we were together in Suwon, but I think our hearts have grown apart as our bodies have grown apart.
Positive elements from the clean sheet
The players’ reaction and mental strength. We were physically and mentally weak in the second half. Today, we talked about being focused in the second half, 안전놀이터 and I think that was different.
As the captain of Suwon Samsung, how do you feel about the situation?
I’m human, so at first I was upset and annoyed. However, I try to talk to the players and tell them to be stronger than to stay exhausted in this situation.