National team defender Hong Chul (33-Daegu FC) had a birthday to remember.
Hong started and played the full game in Daegu’s Hana OneQ K League 2023 Round 30 away match against Suwon Samsung at Suwon World Cup Stadium on Nov. 17, helping the team to a 1-0 victory.
Daegu maintained a solid defense despite losing possession on the day and being outnumbered in the second half when midfielder Beltola received a red card. However, as the game drew to a close, they became more aggressive and secured a new victory thanks to Vassellus’ final goal in stoppage time. Hong Chul, who wore the captain’s armband on the day, immediately celebrated with Vassellus in front of the away fans.
“We hadn’t won three games in a row, so we really wanted to win,” he told reporters in the post-match mixer zone.
With the win, Daegu continued its first three-game winning streak of the season and moved up to fourth place (11W, 11D, 8L, 44 points). During the three-game winning streak, the scores were all 1-0. They didn’t exactly dominate their opponents, but they managed to hold on to a one-goal lead. “I didn’t like this kind of soccer either, but it’s not a coincidence that we keep winning,” said Hong Chul. “As we keep winning, our confidence grows. Even though we were outnumbered, we were all thinking of sticking together. This is the power of Daegu,” he said encouragingly.
Meanwhile, it was also Hong Chul’s 33rd birthday. Before the game, Daegu head coach Choi Won-kwon said, “He’s still young, but we gave him the captaincy because it’s his birthday against his home team. I don’t know if he’ll do well,” he teased. He added that the real birthday celebration would be after the game.
When I mentioned this to Hong Chul, he said, “I didn’t hear a single word (about the birthday celebration). Even after the first half, he was very angry that he didn’t like (the play),” he joked. When the reporter added that the coach was going to send a gift via messenger, Hong said, “We’ll have to wait and see. He came back from Spain the previous evening, so I don’t think he’s jet lagged,” he laughed. Choi Won-kwon was in Spain during the A-Match in September to receive his P-level coaching certification.
Meanwhile, Hong Chul said about wearing the captain’s armband, “I’ve always been a vice-captain or vice-captain, but I think the coach was considerate. It was a burden,” he said honestly. Daegu’s captain is Se Jing-ya, but he was sidelined with a fractured rib against Gangwon FC.
Coach Choi Won-kwon entrusted the captain’s armband to veteran Hong Chul, but also mentioned that “when Sejingya is not around, all the players are trying to be leaders.” Hong Chul agreed, saying, “The players shouldn’t expect Sejingya to do it forever. Of course, Sejingya’s influence is huge, but we have to show what we can do. 온라인바카라 I think it was reflected well today. I’m enjoying playing football with the players and it makes me more focused.”
With a three-game winning streak under their belts, Daegu are in fourth place in the league and are still in the thick of the mid-table battle. Dropping a single game could see them drop to Final B in an instant. Coincidentally, Daegu’s next opponent is the second-place Pohang Steelers (15W, 11D, 4L, 56 points). “Pohang is the most