Pohang Steelers lifted the trophy for the first time in a decade, capping a perfect narrative for the club’s 50th anniversary.
Pohang, led by head coach Kim Ki-dong, pulled off a thrilling 4-2 come-from-behind victory over Jeonbuk Hyundai in the final of the Hana OneQ Korea Football Association (FA) Cup at Pohang Steelyard on Thursday. It’s been exactly 10 years since they last won the FA Cup in 2013. The club has now won five FA Cup titles, tied with Suwon Samsung and Jeonbuk Hyundai.
Most importantly, it was an upset. Pohang had a tight schedule. Starting on the 24th of last month, they played Urawa Reds (Japan), Jeonbuk, and Jeju United all away from home. In particular, the FA Cup quarterfinal against Jeju went to a 120-minute penalty shootout. Pohang struggled against Jeonbuk. They lost the lead twice, but scored three second-half goals to come back and win 4-2.
After losing back-to-back FA Cups in 2012 and 2013, Pohang didn’t think it would take this long to get back to winning ways. Some Pohang front office staff were in tears of emotion as the team lifted the trophy. The crowd did the same.
To top it all off, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Pohang’s founding. Coach Kim, the team, and the front desk shouted in unison that they would lift the trophy this season. They weren’t just chanting. Pohang stayed in second place throughout the season, chasing the leaders Ulsan Hyundai. However, the team lost momentum in the second half due to a series of injuries and failed to pull off the upset. This made them even more eager to win the FA Cup.
There are only two players on the current Pohang squad who were also on the 2013 championship team. They are “captain” Kim Seung-dae and veteran Shin Kwang-hoon. Kim lifted the trophy in his first year, scoring the first goal in the final. He went on to become the “captain” of the FA Cup-winning team.
“I wanted to win the title on the 50th anniversary,” he says, “and after Ulsan won the K League title, I was the first to tell the players. I told them, ‘Wake up and think about what you need to think about now,'” he said. “Pohang always starts with low expectations, but they overcome them. They are a perverted team. Pohang has its own strength. I told the players, ‘We are always the best in the K League. There are definitely many players on the team who are good at soccer and have good ideas,” he said with affection. 무지개토토 주소
Shin Kwang-hoon is equally thrilled. He has been a part of three of Pohang’s five FA Cups (2012, 2013, 2023). “I’m proud because it’s a strange feeling. I think this win is the most memorable,” he said. “This year was also tough, but there are few years that are not tough. I think we overcame the crisis well. Pohang has a unique spirit,” he said encouragingly.