‘Brother who wants to win’ → ‘Brother who wins’ again…’Rain in the drought’ Jin Sung-wook-Gabriel transfer attack duo

Jin Sung-wook and Gabriel. The presence of the two summer signings has transformed Seongnam FC head coach Lee Ki-hyung from “the brother who wants to win”바카라 to his original nickname, “the brother who wins.

Seongnam won 2-1 at home against the Jeonnam Dragons in the 24th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2 2023 at Tancheon Sports Complex on March 29, thanks to back-to-back goals from Jin Sung-wook and Gabriel. Seongnam, who had just become Cheonan City FC’s historic first league victory, smiled at home for the first time in 104 days since a 2-0 win over Cheonan on April 16. With seven wins, eight draws and eight losses (29 points), they moved from ninth to eighth place.

The “victory heroes” are two transfers, Jin Sung-wook, who joined on loan from Jeju United this summer, and Brazilian striker Gabriel, who joined outright from Ansan Greeners. The pair, who add to the quality of Seongnam’s frontline, shared the victory on this day. Within a minute of the kickoff, Gabriel sent an exquisite penetrating pass through the back of the Jeonnam defense, and Jin Sung-wook was on hand to score the first goal. Then, in the 44th minute of the first half, when Jeonnam had the numerical advantage due to the sending off of Huh Kwon, Gabriel scored a second goal after receiving a pass from Jeong Jung-min. Jeonnam scored a consolation goal in the 30th minute of the second half through Lee Kyu-hyuk, but could not catch up any further.

Seongnam FC’s Jin Sung-wook. Courtesy | Korea Football Association

After going scoreless in their first two games of July, Seongnam has scored eight goals in their last four games. That’s an average of two goals per game. This is thanks to Jin Sung-wook and Gabriel blending seamlessly into the attack. In a 3-2 win over Busan on Nov. 16, Jin Sung-wook made his presence felt with two goals, including the game-winner. On the 23rd, despite the loss to Cheonan (2-3), Gabriel gave Lee the confidence he needed with a goal and an assist, and on the day of the match, he dominated the field again with another goal and an assist.

With Jin Sung-wook, an experienced Olympian, bossing the front line, and Gabriel moving around the center and flanks, either passing or creating, the Seongnam attack has taken on a new dimension.

Previously, despite their gritty play, ‘Lee Ki-hyung-ho’ had not been able to accumulate as many points as they would have liked due to injuries and a lack of decisiveness in the front line. The two transfers are like rain in a drought. Sung-nam also joins the increasingly heated competition for the upper mid-tier of K League 2.