Crossbar smashed… Worried Hernandez silent, points in seven games already

Incheon United head coach Cho Sung-hwan is feeling a little sick to his stomach as he watches Hernandez lose his sharpness. He doesn’t blame the missed penalty that hit the crossbar. He’s just not finding the breakthrough as he’s being held back by the opposition defense. And his scoring record is too low.

Hernandez’s team, Incheon, drew 2-2 against Daegu FC in the 15th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 at DGB Daegu Bank Park in Daegu, South Korea, at 7 p.m. on Nov. 27. Incheon took the lead through Shin Shin-ho in the 30th minute of the first half, but nearly fell victim to Daegu’s offense, led by Edgar, who scored twice in the fifth and 11th minutes of the second half. However, Hong Si-hoo’s Cheongeum equalizer just before the end of the match was enough to hold on for a point.

During the match, Incheon fans chanted “Wake up Incheon” at various times. While they were enthusiastic about Shin Shin-ho’s goal, they also actively criticized their own players whenever they were not focused on the play. Indeed, Incheon struggled to develop their offense against the high-paced soccer of their opponents in this match, and there were several moments of frustration for the fans, including unexpected passing errors that turned the ball over.

Of all the issues, the lack of Hernandez’s presence was probably the most frustrating for Incheon fans. The striker has been a key part of Incheon’s offense since joining the club, scoring two goals and providing two assists since the start of the 2023 season. However, Hernandez hasn’t scored since April 16 against Gangwon FC. In terms of attacking points, he’s been quiet since his assist against Suwon FC on April 22. Since then, he hasn’t had an attacking point in six games until the last match against Gwangju FC in Round 14.

Cho told the media before the game that he was patient and that bringing it up would only add to the player’s stress. He has faith in Hernandez, despite his frustrations, and realistically, he doesn’t have many strikers to choose from as alternatives.

The problem, however, is that we’ve rarely seen Hernandez threaten opponents on the pitch. A player who is naturally good at sprinting and breaking through, he seemed to feel awkward playing in the post as a pivotal striker when he was heavily guarded between the Daegu back three.

Even when he tried to distribute the ball to his teammates around him, such as Gerso, Kim Bo-seop, and Mpoku, he struggled in most scenes. Substitute Kim Dae-jung, who came on for Hong Si-hoo’s goal late in the second half, was effective with this kind of post play, but that didn’t stop him from dropping to the flanks and attacking. With Hernandez on the outside, there was no center of gravity.

It is possible that Hernandez was given a penalty kick by Kim Jun-yup in the 17th minute of the second half, when the score was 1-2, 스포츠토토 to help restore his confidence. However, Hernandez was shaken by Daegu defender Choi Young-eun’s relentless psychological warfare and hit the crossbar. In the end, Hernandez didn’t have much fun in the offense.

The only consolation is that Hernandez tried to play organized as a team. There were times when he shined in defensive situations instead of offensive ones. This was the case in the 38th minute when, after receiving a penetrating pass from Sejingya, Daegu striker Ko Jae-hyun was about to take on the goalkeeper, and Hernandez jumped nearly 60-70 meters to stop the situation. However, Hernandez shouldn’t be the only player in this situation. Hernandez is a striker who needs to make the difference in a game with a single, devastating shot.

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