Weekend’s over, which means it’s time to give an update on all the going’s on from the K League Classic, Challenge, and elsewhere in Korea.
K League Classic Results – Round 10
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Jeju 2 Busan 1
This game was not broadcast, so highlights are not available. An early own-goal by Aleksandar Jovanovic gave Busan the lead, but second half goals by Yoon Bitgaram and Jin Dae-Sung completed the comeback for Jeju.
Jeonbuk 4 Gyeongnam 1
Jeonbuk finally got their offense clicking, but still needed some help from the referee to do so. Leonardo got the first real effort on goal, when his 23′ free kick hit the post. Like the Jeju-Busan game, the first goal was an own goal. Gyeongnam defender Sreten Sretenovic turned it into his own net when Leonardo attempted to pull a cross back across the area. Minutes later Jeonbuk doubled their lead when Lee Jae-Sung found himself alone in the area. Lee Seung-Gi crossed to him, and he slotted home with ease. Sretenovic made partial amends for his own goal when he scored shortly before half time from a Gyeongnam free kick. No real chances came in the second half, and it wasn’t until the 71′ that Jeonbuk was awarded their first penalty. Sretenovic was again the guilty defender as Lee Sang-Hyub managed to get around his block when he was trying to usher the ball out of play. Lee Dong-Gook stepped up and converted the penalty with ease. Jeonbuk got their final penalty right at the end, when Kaio beat Like DeVere for pace and then the Aussie hauled him down in the area. Kaio converted from the spot to round out the scoring.
Seongnam 0 Jeonnam 1
It was unfamiliar territory for Seongnam, in their first game since Park Jong-Hwan stepped down/was sacked. Lee Sang-Yoon has assumed the reigns for now. The first half was largely dominated by half and long range chances for both sides. The second half followed a similar storyline with both largely restricted to speculative efforts. In the 52′ Stevica Ristic had a rare one-on-one chance but Park Joon-Hyuk was up to the task. Seongnam got a half-chance in the 78′ Hwang Eui-Jo got behind the defense, but Kim Byung-Ji did well to force him wide and make the shot too difficult. Finally the only goal came in the 82′ from Lee Jong-Ho. Lee got just enough of his head on a freekick to take it just past the outstretched fingers of Park Joon-Hyuk and into the bottom corner of the net.
Pohang 3 Incheon 0
It was top against bottom when Pohang hosted Incheon. A team that can’t stop scoring versus a team that just plain can’t score. Pohang got on top early when the referee ruled that Bae Seung-Jin pulled Lee Myeong-Joo’s shirt in the box. There was certainly a grab, but Lee probably went down a bit easily. Shin Kwang-Hoon stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way. Incheon thought they had finally broken their drought when in the 32′ Lee Hyo-Gyoon had the ball in the back of the net, but unfortunately for them the flag had gone up for offside. Incheon continued to press and they came close to scoring in the 50′ from a free kick. Nam Joon-Jae got his head to it, but couldn’t direct it on target from close range. A second penalty was awarded to Pohang in the 82′ for handball. Captain Kim Tae-Su stepped up, but his spot kick was saved by Kwon Jung-Hyuk. Ultimately the heroics didn’t matter as from the resulting corner, Kim Gwang-Seok headed in Pohang’s second. A third was soon to come, Lee Myeong-Joo scored on the counter in stoppage time to make the final score 3-0.
Suwon 0 Seoul 1
The first ‘Supermatch’ of the season. Suwon was looking to continue their climb up the table. Seoul looking just for a little bit of hope and a spark in their quest to get their season going. Watching the game was a little bit odd as almost 30,000 people attended the game, but with the Sewol tragedy looming large in the background, there was no cheering per se. Fans reacted to events on the pitch, but neither group of ultras have started to chant yet. The game itself was a bit of a stalemate. Seoul had trouble getting out of their half with both Yoon Ju-Tae and Yoon Il-Lok struggling to hold the ball up long enough for the midfield and fullbacks to push out. Suwon had trouble turning their ball possession into any sort of meaningful attack. Neither side created much all game, with the lone goal coming for Seoul late on. Kim Chi-Woo broke down the left and crossed for Escudero. Escudero’s shot looked to take a little bit of a deflection, but it managed to sneak it’s way into the bottom corner past the diving Jung Sung-Ryong. After the goal it was interesting as you could tell the crowd really wanted to start chanting and cheering and urging Suwon on, but they just couldn’t do it. Suwon pushed hard for the final 10 minutes, but to no avail.
Sangju 1 Ulsan 1
The final match of the weekend saw Ulsan travel to Sangju. Kim Shin-Wook had the first good chance in the 18′ when he had an open net to shoot at, but his effort was high. After that it was largely half chances, and it wasn’t until the second half that a goal finally came. Lee Jung-Hyub headed home a Sangju corner to give the army team a surprise lead. The lead wouldn’t hold though, and Kim Yong-Tae equalized for Ulsan about 15 minutes later. Ulsan continued to push for a winner, but couldn’t get one despite a number of good chances.
Notes and Stats From Round 10
- That makes nine games, 810 minutes of competitive play that Incheon United have failed to score. Will they break their collective duck before the World Cup break? Only two league gamess left to do that, against FC Seoul and Jeonbuk.
- Speaking of Seoul, the capital club’s win over Suwon was their first league win in a month (3-26 against Jeju).
- At the top, Pohang are on a solid four game winning streak. In those four games they’ve scored 13 goals and conceded none.
- What happened to Ulsan? After looking like title challengers early, the wheels have come off. They haven’t won once in their last five league matches and last eight matches overall. That run should end this week though as they face Soongshil University in the 3rd round of the KFA Cup.
- The league’s draw specialist was at it again. Sangju Sangmu have played 10 matches and drawn seven times, including their last three games.
K League Classic Table – After Round 10[table “” not found /]
K League Challenge Results – Round 6
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K League Challenge Recap
Daejeon Citizen stretched their lead at the top to four points after they defeated bottom side Bucheon 1995 2-1 in Bucheon. A stoppage time goal from Lim Chang-Woo handed the former K League Classic side all three points. Anyang remain second after they drew with Daegu 1-1. Ansan Korea Police returned to action for the first time since the Sewol tragedy (Danwon High School where the students were from is in Ansan). Ansan drew 1-1 with Gwangju. Formerly winless Gangwon got their first win of the season, defeating Suwon City 1-0 . Goyang and Chungju drew 1-1 in the other match of the weekend.
K League Challenge Table – After Round 6
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*Ansan and Goyang have played 5 games
The KFA Cup 3rd round will be held this week.
Gangwon vs Hongik University
Changwon City vs Daejeon Korail
Aju University vs Yeungnam University
Cheonan City vs Hannam University
Jeonnam Dragons vs Jeonbuk Motors
Sangju Sangmu vs Suwon Samsung
Jeju United vs Suwon City
Gangneung City vs Gyeongnam
Ulsan Hyundai vs Soongsil University
Busan IPark vs Jungnang Chorus Mustangs
Seoul vs Incheon United
Seongnam vs Daegu
Anyang vs Pohang Steelers
Daejeon Citizen vs Pocheon (*this match will be played on 5/21)