Pohang came from behind to win the Hana Bank FA Cup 2023 final against Jeonbuk 4-2 on Thursday at the Pohang Steel Yard thanks to goals from Han Chan-hee, Zeca, Kim Jong-woo, and Hong Yun-sang. The victory tied Pohang with Jeonbuk and Suwon for the most titles with five.
It was their first title in 10 years. The last time Pohang won the title was in 2013, when they defeated Jeonbuk in the final. Pohang, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, lost the league title to rival Ulsan Hyundai but took pride in the cup trophy.
With the win, Pohang lifted their fifth FA Cup trophy, tying them with Jeonbuk and Suwon Samsung for the most in the competition.
The last time Pohang won the FA Cup was in 2013, when they completed the first ever double in K League 1. Back then, Pohang’s joy was doubled, as they drew 1-1 with Jeonbuk in the final before winning 4-3 on penalties.
The win also secured Pohang a spot in next season’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League.레모나토토
Kim Ki-dong, who succeeded Choi Soon-ho as Pohang’s head coach in 2019, built a system for the club. He took a team that was stuck in the bottom half of the table to fourth place with the colors he wanted.
In 2020, he led Pohang to a third-place finish in the K League 1 and the FA Cup quarterfinals. Notably, Kim Ki-dong became the first coach in history to win a coach’s award for finishing third.
In 2021, the team finished as ACL runners-up. Despite losing to Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia) in the final, he was considered to have exceeded expectations. Last season, Pohang also finished third.
Kim Ki-dong’s strengths are clear. He transplanted his system to Pohang and led the team. He has developed young players amidst player transfers, and he has given clear timelines to the seniors to keep them motivated.
After winning the championship, Kim said, “It’s my first time winning a championship as a coach. I think today is the moment I dreamed of. I’m very happy. Our players were always tired during the three tournaments. I’m not happy with the performance, but I want to praise the players for being cohesive and getting the result.”
“I think the players are the main characters, not me. When they were enjoying the feeling of victory with the fans, I felt like a father seeing his children’s joy,” he said, giving the credit for the victory to the players.
After the official press conference, Coach Kim Ki-dong said, “It’s important to be well prepared. If you are ready for every situation, you can make small changes according to the game situation and opponent. Our players came into the season already prepared, and that’s what made us win the title. I am very grateful to the players.”