There was a 6-goal goalfest at the Steelyard for the South East derby, while Seoul hosted reigning Korean champions Jeonbuk at the World Cup Stadium in a weekend that saw 95k+ spectators in stadiums across the nation.
(And Daejeon lost again. Still waiting for our first shot on goal… &%$#!)
So, time for little reviews on every game.
We start at Seoul World Cup Stadium, where Seoul, licking their wounds after a defeat to Ulsan away last weekend, came home to host the defending champions, who have started their season in fine form, without loss in the ACL or in the K League (beating Seongnam at home.) The team news saw little surprises, but Kim Hyun-seong led the line for Seoul in place of Jung Jo-gook, while Lee Dong-gook and Alex Wilkinson’s faces appeared on the bench.
Jeonbuk started on the back foot, as Kim Ki-hee and Kim Hyung-il had a bit of a mental lapse, with Kim Ki-hee being drawn out of position, allowing a 2v1 opportunity on the top of the Jeonbuk box. Yun Il-lok failed to apply the finish however, side footing the ball slowly to a grateful Kwon Sun-tae.
Seoul continued to have the pick of the chances in the first half, but failed to really threaten the goal of Kwon. Halftime saw the two teams head off the bench in front of 33k scoreless.
The second half saw a turn in the tide. Jeonbuk’s Han Kyo-won forced a solid save out of Kim Yong-dae before left back Lee Ju-yong hit a recycled corner kick wide.
Jeonbuk got on the board in the 64th minute through Edu, with a Leonardo shot deflecting and falling into the Brazilian striker’s path. Up until this point, Edu had scored all three goals for Jeonbuk.
It was Leonardo creating again for Jeonbuk (and he came on as a substitute) with a fantastic run through the Seoulites to find Eninho on a cut-back. He duly converted and the visitors were 2-0 up.
Kim Hyeon-seong scored a consolation goal for Seoul in the 79th off of a poorly dealt corner but the hosts couldn’t wrap up the job. Jeonbuk rightback Choi Chul-soon was sent off in the 94th minute and that will see him miss the next K League match for the Green Machine.
Final score: Seoul 1:2 Jeonbuk
The second game of this review has us travel to the Steelyard for the South Coast derby. The crowd was packed, a good contingent of Ulsan fans stuck in the corner, and soldiers occupied a corner of the stadium wearing red sweat shirts. The team news revealed a couple surprises: Andre Moritz, Pohang’s playmaker, had just totally disappeared. He wasn’t on the bench nor in the first squad, leading to speculation that he was injured. Ulsan’s squad remained identical from the one that beat Seoul. This meant that the less-mobile Kim Shin-wook had to settle for the bench. He could also simply not be at 100% fitness. Yang Dong-hyun led the line in his place.
Kim Seung-gyu had to be on his top game at the start as Pohang were on the front foot for the first few minutes, with their center forward Lazar speeding away on the counter attack. Ulsan settled in and Server Djeparov was once again their lynchpin, with Pohang defenders hell-bent on closing him down. That tactic came undone in the 45+2nd minute, with Server Djeparov side footing home a Jeong Dong-ho cross.
The 2nd half was even more exciting than the last, with Pohang able to turn what was initially 4v2 counter attack into a Son Jun-ho goal. Ulsan responded well however as Chikashi Masuda’s long shot deflected off of Kim Tae-su and past an outstretched Shin Hwa-yong.
Pohang’s misery then began as mere seconds later, a #6 and keeper Shin Hwa-yong had a miscommunication, Ulsan striker Yang Dong-hyun forcing #6 into an errant pass past his keeper, allowing Yang to slide the ball into the net from close range. 3-1 Ulsan.
The goals kept on coming however, as Tiago scored in the 77th minute off of a Ko Mu-yeol cross. Kim Seung-gyu came out to chase the ball, perhaps misjudging the speed of the delivery. Pohang’s hopes and dreams for an epic comeback were crushed off the ensuing kickoff however, as a Kim Shin-wook (on as a sub) volley squeaked through the legs of Shin Hwa-yong, who, simply put, had a nightmare of a game. That was that, and the visitors triumphed in the South Coast derby.
Final score: Pohang 2:4 Ulsan
Time for some shorter recaps.
Jeju 0:0 Busan
A goalless game in Seogwipo. Busan started in their 3-5-2 and Jeju in a 4-3-3 of sorts. I haven’t watched the game but judging from the highlights, Jeju’s main threats were on the counter attack through Lopez and Karanga. Jeju mostly took long shots while Busan didn’t really have any notable chances period. A goalless draw is a fitting result, although Jeju undoubtedly would have wanted more out of their home opener.
Suwon 2:1 Incheon
Suwon got a late winner to triumph at home. Kaio made his start for Suwon in place of Jong Tae-se – Lee Chun-soo was dropped, surprisingly, for Incheon. Suwon rotated a bit for the trip to Australia midweek. Santos converted an early penalty when Leo was fouled, while Kaio thought he had scored but was offside. Incheon looked lustless in most of the game, and their goal was fairly simple. A throw in, a Kevin Oris header (he’s their target man) and a Kim Dae-kyung finish from point-blank range with the head. Suwon deserved the three points however and they got them through substitute Yeom Ki-hun’s equaliser on the last kick of the game. An errant pass by Incheon leftback Kim Dae-joong led to a Suwon counter with numbers, Jong Tae-se finding captain Yeom all alone who made no mistake.
Seongnam 0:0 Jeonnam
Despite Jeonnam’s chances and pressure, mostly created through Lee Jong-ho, Seongnam keeper Park Joon-hyeok went about his work quietly to give the All Blacks – my new name for them – a chance at the win. Kim Byung-ji wasn’t about to let that happen however, denying Seongnam from a winner at the death.
Daejeon 0:2 Gwangju
The Purple Arena saw K League Classic action for the first time in two years, but it might want to go back to the Challenge if its eyes don’t want to bleed. Daejeon were absolutely unbelievably woeful. Gwangju were simply excellent in tight spaces, Daejeon’s pressing becoming ineffective. Daejeon had no strategy other than “hit it to Adriano” which didn’t work. Ricardinho missed the Purple Crew’s only real chance, just curling a shot over the bar after Adriano did some great work to find himself a little space. Gwangju scored on a corner and a late goal on the counter – a superb finish from Kim Ho-nam.
This team makes me sad. I need therapy.
Still here? Time for my fabulous goal of the week.
Goal of the Week
I’m a bit lazy to vine at the moment, so here’s a link to Kim Ho-nam’s sublime volley against Daejeon. Can’t say I’m biased with this pick. What a goal.
Team of the Week
I haven’t watched all of the games, so this is more of a shot in the dark. I’ve been busy. Studies over soccer, ya know.
GK: Park Jun-hyuk (Seongnam)
LB: Jeong Dong-ho (Ulsan)
CB: Ahn Young-gyu (Gwangju)
CB: Yoon Yeong-seon (Seongnam)
RB: Jeong Da-hwon (Jeju)
DM: Lee Jae-sung (Jeonbuk)
DM: Im Seon-young (Gwangju)
LW: Kim Ho-nam (Gwangju)
CM: Djeparov (Ulsan)
RW: Eninho (Jeonbuk) (I cheated a little here. He’s not really a RW, more of a CM)
ST: Edu (Jeonbuk)
Kim Seung-gyu (Ulsan)
Lee Jong-ho (Jeonnam)
Hyun Young-min (Jeonbuk)
Mystic Tim/Octopus Lee Jr./whatever you want to call me
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Bit less octupus-like than last time but still 4/6 correct results. I’ll take it. Mystic Level: Good
Jeonbuk should beat Becamex Binh Duong at home. Game at 6am/7pm.
Seongnam travels to Guangzhou R&F. Game at 7.30am EDT/8.30pm KST. Broadcast starts at 9pm in Korea.
Jalgayo from the TSQ!