The Challenge got underway, a pair of giants were frustrated and the Daejeon Citizen were on a wrong side of a rout. All that and more in this weekend’s K League Recap.
Jeju – Daejeon
We start in Seogwipo. Stuggling promoted team Daejeon have been poor all season, while Jeju has had bright momvent in their first two games.
The team news only revealed one real surprise – Seo Myeong-won was dropped to the bench, a move which I was highly critical of. Fernando Karanga made way for Shin Seung-min for Jeju. Kang Soo-il also started.
The first half was an utter defensive disaster for Daejeon. The first goal came in the 8th minute, with an errant backpass serving as an accidental throughball for the opposition, splitting the center-backs and finding an unmarked Kang Soo-il. He took the chance and made it 1-0. Then again in the 18th minute, Kang dragged Yoon Shin-young out of his position, and played a throughball to Lopez. The Brazilian rounds Oh, 2-0 Jeju. Kang nearly made it three, beating, three defenders, but smacking the post. Not to worry, Jeju fans. Bae Ki-jong scored a third minutes later. Easy throughball splitting the defenders, Bae with no pressure and finishes.
Jeju could have made it four in 40th minute on a Jeju counter – and no tracking back from any of the Daejeon defenders, even the RB who got exposed… surprise. The second half wasn’t any better for Daejeon. An overload on Lopez in the corner isn’t going to work if you just stand there when he dribbles past you. The pass eventually found Song Jin-hyung, who finished low and hard from point blank range. 4-0 Jeju.
Daejeon got two chances in the 55th and 59th minute, with Seo Myeong-won getting OUR FIRST SHOT ON GOAL YAY! and Adriano rolling a 1v1 chance *just* wide. Despite Daejeon’s commendable offensive effort, they didn’t find the back of the net and Kim Young-shin put the ! on the result with the 5-0 goal.
Final score in Seogwipo – Jeju United 5, Daejeon Citizen 0.
Seongnam – Suwon
Team news had a bit of a surprise for Suwon, not only heavy rotation after their trip down under midweek, but a change in system. Their usual 4-2-3-1 turned into a 4-1-4-1 with their two usual holding midfielders bit with the flu and not even in the 18.
Ricardo got the first big chance for Seongnam in the 8th minute, with the Brazilian somehow finding a clear shot on goal, just missing the right post. Suwon’s domination in the first half came to nothing until Yeom Ki-hun took advantage of a foul on Jong Tae-se on the edge of the box to hit a lovely free kick. Advantage Suwon heading into the break.
In the second half, just over six minutes in, the Bluewings doubled their advantage. Jong Tae-se made a mockery of Jong Tae-yoon on the right side before a nice pass to captain Yeom. The latter poked the ball into the top netting, 2-0 Suwon.
Not all hope was lost for a struggling Seongnam side however, as they got an undeserving goal back. Hwang Eui-jo drew the penalty for a handball, and duly converted the spot kick, which squeaked under Noh Dong-geun, and spun… and spun.. and spun… eventually inching over the line.
Seongnam didn’t create much more after this however, and they were destroyed on the counter in injury time, a lovely play by Lee Sang-ho which I have Vine’d below as my goal of the week. Kaio duly delivering the goods with the finish.
Final score at Tancheon: Seongnam 1, Suwon 3.
Pohang 2-1 Seoul – The Return of Kim Seung-dae
Seoul fans are still awaiting Choi Yong-soo’s “attacking football” and the return of Park Chu-young as the capital club fell seemingly without a fight in front of 16,674 at the Pohang Steelyard.
Kim Seung-dae opened the scoring on 31 minutes for the hosts with an excellently taken half-volley after a lovely pass from Cho Chan-ho. Kim doubled the advantage with a calm finish between the legs of Yoo Sang-hoon in the second half. The chance was only created due to some awful passing by Seoul in their own half, with Lee Sang-hyub being the guilty party.
Yun Ju-tae scored a consolation goal for the visitors after a delightful one-two with Molina. It was all for naught however as Seoul continue their slow starters label.
Busan 2-3 Gwangju – Forget penalty shootouts, how about free kick shootouts?!
It was truly a strange game at the Busan Asiad. Hosts Busan and visitors Gwangju FC, prospering, in stark contrast to fellow promoted side Daejeon, decided to engage in a game of Free Kick Shootout. 3rd minute. Lee Jong-min set piece, Im Seon-young goal. 1-0 Gwangju. 6th minute. Joo Se-jong free kick, catches Jae Jong-hyun waaay off his line. 1-1. 15th minute. Lee Jong-min curls one past Lee Bum-young on the free kick. 2-1 Gwangju. 23rd minute. Joo Se-jong’s free kick hits the bar, Jae Jong-hyun’s head and in. Unlucky. 2-2.
It looked like, despite some good chances from open play – from open play! – that the game would finish in a stalemate. Not so, as Kim Ho-nam played a one-two with Fabio in the box, the South Korean hitting the ball underneath Lee and sending Gwangju 2nd in the table.
Ulsan 0-0 Jeonnam, Incheon 0-0 Jeonbuk – Unbeaten but not invincible, Ulsan and Jeonbuk show signs of weakness
And in the two other games, Ulsan were held to a goalless draw by Jeonnam. Djeparov, Ha Sung-min and Masuda had poor games, and Yang Dong-hyun didn’t stretch the defense at all with runs or movement. Kim Seung-gyu was excellent on the other side of the pitch. Jeonbuk-Incheon also finished goalless, with 63% possession from the Green Machine all going to waste. There were some decent chances but the Incheon defenders, and goalkeeper, Yoo Hyun, were equal to them. Although Lee Wan-kyu was sent off for Incheon, it remains two points lost for Jeonbuk, and one point gained for Incheon in the coastal city.
Daejeon fans look away… (oops. I peeked.)
— Tim Lee (@korfan12) March 24, 2015
— Tim Lee (@korfan12) March 24, 2015
Goal of the Week
— Tim Lee (@korfan12) March 24, 2015
Team of the Week
GK: Kim Seung-gyu (Ulsan)
LB: Jeong Dong-ho (Ulsan)
CB: Bang Dae-jong (Jeonnam)
CB: Kim Dae-joong (Incheon)
RB: Lee Jong-min (Gwangju)
DM: Oh Beom-seok (Suwon)
DM: Hwang Ji-soo (Pohang)
LW: Lopez (Jeju)
CM: Kim Seung-dae (Pohang)
RW: Yeom Ki-hun (Suwon)
ST: Kang Soo-il (Jeju) (Player of the Week)
Yoo Hyun (Incheon)
Joo Se-jong (Busan)
Yoon Bit-garam (Jeju)
Jong Tae-se (Suwon)
Cho Chan-ho (Pohang)
Bae Ki-jong (Jeju)
Park Chu-young should be eligible to play for FC Seoul, in all likelihood, on the first game back from the international break. Seoul play Jeju at home on April 4th. If not, his debut will be at Incheon on the 11th.
Kim Jin-su is conveniently injured days after his two managers had an argument. Hoffenheim boss Markus Gisdol called Uli Stielike “crazy” to call up Kim after his presence in the Asian Games and Asian Cup over the past few months. He is also one of the most important players to this young Hoffenheim squad. Although Stielike insisted he could not make “exceptions” for any foreign players, he’ll have to do with the absence of Kim now. The leftback reportedly is showing signs of a concussion.
A replacement will be announced to Kim in the coming hours, but the tie-in with the K League and this post is that it probably will be Jeonbuk leftback Lee Ju-yong earning his first ever callup to the national team.
Suwon have signed Kwak Hee-ju from Al-Wakrah in Qatar. With the Stars League coming to an end in the coming weeks there, the 33-year-old centre-back has decided to return to Suwon. He played for the Bluewings for 11 years before leaving for FC Tokyo in 2013.
Really unmystic Tim
EDIT Got to go to bed but I can confirm that my predictions were waaaay off. Only two correct results – Jeju win and Pohang win. Hard to predict weekend to be fair.
K League Challenge – Round 1
And of course, the K League Challenge started this weekend. Here are the results:
Anyang 3-0 Suwon FC
Bucheon 2-1 Daegu
Sangju 3-1 Gangwon
Chungju 0-1 Goyang
Gyeongnam 0-0 Ansan
Anyang will be the happiest side, as they have silenced the doubters this weekend with a 3-0 victory to open their season, all goals coming in the first half. Elsewhere, a crowd of 12k+ witnessed Bucheon FC shock Daegu FC with a 2-1 win at home. And Sangju Sangmu started their season with a 3-1 win over fellow promotion candidates Gangwon. Lee Jung-hyup, yes, THAT Lee Jung-hyup, scored the winning goal.
K League Challenge will be in full force this weekend, with the long anticipated debut of Seoul E-Land on the menu. The Classic takes a break however for international action. Uzbekistan and New Zealand are lined up for the KNT in Daejeon and Seoul. Farewell to Cha Du-ri, and a few new faces finally get their shine to impress the boss. We will have full coverage here at the Tavern for both friendlies. Thanks for reading and Jalgayo from the TSQ.