‘Kang Hee-je’ Choi leads Shandong to first win in Son Jun-ho’s absence

Like Kang Hee-je, who ushered in the heyday of the Qing Dynasty, can Choi Kang-hee bring a second heyday to the struggling Shandong Taishan?

Shandong Taishan cruised to a 3-0 victory over Shenzhen FC in the 9R match of the 2023 Chinese Super League regular season on April 24. Despite the absence of key player Son Jun-ho, head coach Choi Kang-hee’s mercenary skills shone through.안전놀이터

Although the opponent was Shenzhen, who had been struggling with wage arrears and were expected to be dismantled, Shandong was also struggling with one win, five draws, and two losses.

The fans had a unique cheer that seemed to foretell victory. It was an ‘artistic’ cheer that expressed their wishes along with a play on words based on the name, describing the coach as ‘Kang Hee-je’ during the heyday of the Qing Dynasty.

Did it work? After taking the lead through an own goal after just four minutes, Shandong made it 3-0 in the second half with back-to-back goals in the 14th and 35th minutes from Brazilian striker Krijang. The defensive tactics were also outstanding, as they didn’t allow their opponents a single chance.

With the win, Shandong jumped to eighth place in the league. It’s still early in the season, but it’s a position that could see them join the championship playoffs instead of the relegation playoffs.

Choi’s Shandong team has been rocked by the match-fixing allegations against his predecessor, Hao Wei, and Son Jun-ho, who has been detained at the airport as part of the investigation, has yet to be named in the lineup.

If Choi can turn the team’s fortunes around, it’s a golden opportunity for him to show what he can do after Shanghai Shenhua.

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