Park Tae-yong (22), the ‘new kid on the block’ for the Jeonnam Dragons, spoiled Busan I-Park’s promotion party. Jeonnam kept their playoff hopes alive with a valuable win. Jeonnam defeated Busan 3-0 in the 38th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2 2023 at Gwangyang Stadium on Wednesday, led by a multi-goal performance from Park Tae-yong. With the win, Jeonnam improved to 53 points. They narrowed the gap between them and fifth-placed Bucheon FC (54 points), the last team in the playoffs, to one point. Jeonnam kept their hopes alive until the final match against Bucheon on the 26th.

On that day, the focus was on whether Busan would win the title. With second-place Gimcheon Commerce (68 points) drawing 1-1 with Gyeongnam FC the day before, Busan could clinch the title with a win. After suffering the humiliation of finishing last in 2020 and being relegated to the second division, Busan was on the verge of its first promotion in four seasons. “We prepared as if it was just another game,” said Busan head coach Park Jin-seop before the match. Of course, we want to finish today, but the result is not in our hands, so we will leave it to the heavens.”

Jeonnam also had a busy road ahead of them. Jeonnam also needed to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Jeonnam coach Lee Jang-jang, a former Busan legend, said, “Busan is a team I’m always attached to. But today, we need to win so we can reach the top five. We were strong at home, so we want to give our fans a victory.”

The game started, and an unexpected player emerged as a hero. It was Park Tae-yong who sprinkled chili powder on Busan and pollen on Jeonnam. In the 11th minute, Park shook the Busan goal with a sensational header off a cross from Im Chan-ul. It was Park’s debut goal in the K League. With momentum on his side, Park scored another goal, this time with a powerful right-footed shot after receiving a pass from Im Chan-ul. The two unexpected goals were enough for Busan to collapse. Tae-yong Park had one more chance to open the scoring for Busan in the second half, but he was unfortunately offside.

Born in Suncheon, Jeollanam-do, Park Tae-yong is a born and bred Jeonnam player who went to Gwangyang Steel and Gwangyang Steel. He was the first player to wear the Jeonnam jersey this season, and his solid fundamentals and excellent technique have earned him increased playing time. After scoring his professional debut goal in the FA Cup, but only one assist in the league, Park became a hero for Jeonnam with a multi-goal performance in the most important game. Jeonnam added a goal in stoppage time to secure the win. 보스토토

In his post-match interview, Park said, “I missed good chances in these previous games. I was very disappointed in every game. I’m happy that I was lucky enough to score a multi-goaler in the last home game.” He added, “My parents came and gave me a heart ceremony. I don’t know if it would have worked,” he said, adding, “I think I should buy food for Chanyeol (who had two assists). It was a good shot that we had been practicing in tactical training since a week ago. When he was aggressive and went in, the movements worked well.”

Park Tae-yong said, “In the first half, we had a lot of defensive shortcomings. In the second half, I woke up and tried to understand what the coach wanted me to do. It’s also a demanding play on the field.

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