The KFA Cup Round of 16 concluded yesterday – who moved on? And later in the post, the listings for the upcoming weekend action in Korea’s top two football leagues.
KFA Cup Round of 16 Results
July 11th, 2014
Daejeon Korail 1(PK)1 Yeungnam University
July 16th, 2014
Gangwon FC 2(PK)2 Ulsan Mipo Dockyard Dolphins
Cheonan City 0-1 Sangju Sangmu
Busan I’Park 3(AET)2 Suwon FC
Seongnam FC 2(AET)1 Gwangju FC
FC Seoul 2(PK)2 Pohang Steelers
Ulsan Hyundai Tigers 0-1 Jeonbuk Hundai Motors
Gangneung City 1-0 Pocheon Citizen
Tavern owner intruding> Some of the games were streamed by the KFA on youtube live, a good move by the much maligned KFA. Even though the match is done, below you can replay Ulsan v Jeonbuk:
To be fair, no major surprises. Oh sure, a couple close calls, Gangwon needing PK’s vs. Ulsan Mipo and Busan going all the way to extra time with Suwon FC, but to be fair, the eventual losers in those ties aren’t that underdog-like compared to the winner. As for the lowly teams that are advancing to the final eight – the three non K-League Classic sides that progressed all played against teams who also weren’t currently plying their trade in Korea’s top tier. One final interesting tidbit about this – last season, only one non-top tier side advanced to the Quarter-Finals – it was Suwon FC. This season? Three. So it’s very possible that two lowly teams draw each other for a spot in the Semi-Finals!
Although in the earlier stages some teams might just not have cared about the KFA Cup, teams like Seoul know this is a golden opportunity. They might need this FA Cup victory to ensure an AFC Champions League berth next year. Teams like Busan might see it as a rare chance to lace up against Asia’s finest.
Hang on – can Sangju even do that? Lace up against Asia’s finest? They’re a military club, so I don’t think the AFC would let them play. They don’t do transfers and stuff – the club is completely comprised of loaned players. Maybe I’m fabricating something but I distinctly remember something about them not being allowed to qualify for the Champions League.
In any case, the draw for the Quarter-Final round will be held at some point in the future. The KFA isn’t good at telling people in advance when that’s going to happen. Not like in England where they just do the draw literally right after the games finish. At one point they did the draw while some games were still happening. Anyhow – that’s irrelevant. Stay tuned.
Now over to a Preview of this weekend’s K-League action!
K-League Classic Preview Round 16
The gametimes are all 7pm KST, 6am on the East Coast.
Saturday, July 19th, 2014[table “” not found /]
The Dragons have been the surprise of this years’ K-League. Last season they finished a measly 4 points above relegation. This season they find themselves 4 points away from taking sole possession of top spot in the league. Meanwhile, Seongnam, w
ho have undergone a transformation from being owned by a company to being a “Citizen” club – owned by the city – have seen their results decline. Winless in their last four and on the road, this will be a tough tie for Seongnam. Their previous meeting this season saw a 1-0 win to the visiting Dragons.
Coming off of their second Supermatch loss of the season, the Bluewings’ morale can’t be the highest in the league. But they have the quality to see off Incheon this weekend, although the early relegation candidate finds itself with a little renewed hope when they came from behind twice to draw Busan last weekend. The sides only meeting this season – a 3-0 road victory for the Bluewings.
–> If you haven’t already, check out Jae Chee’s tactical analysis of Incheon United, the second of his “K-League Tactics” series.[table “” not found /]
Gyeongnam’s last win was back in late-March. Last weeks’ 4-1 reverse to Jeonbuk further revealed their lack of defensive structure. Ulsan meanwhile have a 5-5-5 record and are coming off a lacklustre defeat against Jeonbuk in the FA Cup. The Tigers destroyed Gyeongnam 3-0 in their Week 2 matchup.[table “” not found /]
Jeju are flying high and haven’t lost a league match in 7 games. They also have managed to get the job done at home more recently, having earned 15 of the 18 possible points in their last 6 home games at Jeju World Cup Stadium in Seogwipo. FC Seoul are of course coming off that Supermatch victory and a thrilling penalty shootout triumph over Pohang midweek and are looking to turn around their season. Choi Yong-Soo’s men won the first meeting between these two sides this season 2-0.
Sunday, July 20th, 2014[table “” not found /]
Statistics are not on the side of Busan in this tie. League-leading Pohang have turned the Steelyard into a sort of a fortess – in fact, they’ve only lost 1 game at home all-season, and that was the season opener against Ulsan. Since then, they’re a near-pefect 7-3-0 in all competitions at home. Busan on the other hand doesn’t seem to have any success on their travels. They’ve only earned 4 points on the road this season. The I’Park will find hope in the fact that they have beaten the Steelers this season by a 3-1 scoreline however. You never know what could happen Sunday.[table “” not found /]
I’m not sure what it is with the military side and draws, but Sangju have 8 draws so far this season. Random stat. Anyhow, there’s not much to say. Sangju have been sort of inconsistent with their form, up and down, and I guess are a mini-surprise to be in 8th place. Oh, I did manage to find one other random stat. Sangju haven’t won at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium since 2003! Anyhow their only meeting this season was a goalless draw.
Over to the second tier real quick~~~
K-League Challenge Preview Round 19
Bucheon 19965-Daejeon Citizen (Saturday, 7pm KST, 6am EDT)
Gwangju FC-Suwon FC (Saturday, 7pm KST, 6am EDT)
Goyang Hi-Chungju Hummel (Sunday, 7pm KST, 6am EDT)
Ansan Police-Daegu FC (Sunday, 7.30pm KST, 6.30am EDT)
Anyang FC-Gangwon FC (Monday, 7.30pm KST, 6.30am EDT)
28 points separate last-place Bucheon and first-place Daejeon so this could be a real mismatch; Suwon FC’s form is excellent, undefeated in their last 6 and they will visit the Guus Hiddink Stadium (yes, there’s a stadium named after him – though they just changed the name of Gwangju WC Stadium); Chungju are trying to turn things around and will visit Goyang who are trying to keep in the playoff picture; Ansan will try to keep their comeback with 4 games in hand going as they host Daegu; fresh off a 4-0 shellacking Anyang hope to turn things around against a Gangwon side who are undeniably delighted at their Quarter-Final spot in the FA Cup earned midweek
Other domestic stuff
The Womens U-20 Team played a friendly versus Taiwan in preparation for the U-20 World Cup to be played here in the best country that is bigger and on top of the US (couldn’t resist), Canada. It was a 3-1 victory for the women. Hopefully the team plays in Montreal so I can go watch my first ever Korean National Team of any kind/age group/gender. So excite! (Although to be honest, no one in Canada really seems to know this is going on? I mean there’s no real ads for it on TV or anything. No hype in any way… Tsk tsk tsk. We’re a hockey-obsessed nation…)
The K-League All-Star team was announced. The top vote-getter was KNT keeper Kim Seung-Gyu. He earned nearly 100,000 votes! Why is he so popular? Probably because there was only 4 people nominated for the position and Jung isn’t exactly that popular these days. Anyhow, the starting XI will line up like this:
Kim Shin-Wook / Lee Keun-Ho
Yeom Ki-Hun / Yoon Bit-Garam / Kim Doo-Hyun / Lee Seung-Gi
Hong Chul / Alex Wilkinson / Kim Jin-Kyu / Cha Du-Ri
I’m guessing it’s up to the coaches (Hwang Sun-Hong manages) to choose the subs. The all-star game is on the 25th, 8pm KST, 7am EDT, at Seoul World Cup Stadium. It will be broadcast on KBS2 in Korea.
IF MY KOREAN DOES NOT FAIL ME (and it sometimes does!) I’ve read that Park Ji-Sung’s XI will include Jong Tae-Se, North Korean striker who plays for Suwon, Lee Chun-Soo, Incheon United MF, Baek Ji-Hun and Kim Byung-Ji, legendary Chunnam keeper.
There’s a report on Naver that he’s trying to get Patrice Evra to play, but I don’t know how likely that is. (Jae – suspect Evra will pull out as his club situation has deteriorated. United have agreed to let him go, but his proposed move to Juve has been scuppered since Conte has quit).
Jae jumping in with some other K League All-Star game with Team Park Ji-Sung updates. Full rosters, coaching staffs, and referees were announced today at a press conference that featured Park Ji-Sung, Lee Young-Pyo, Kim Seung-Gyu, and Cha Du-Ri.
K League Team: Tim’s aforementioned K League XI, based on fan votes. Plus Lee Bum-Young (Busan), Lim Sang-Hyub (Busan), Lee Jong-Ho (Jeonnam), Lee Dong-Gook (Jeonbuk), Lee Yoon-Pyo (Incheon), Lee Yong (Ulsan), Kim Tae-Hwan (Seongnam), Lee Jae-Ahn (Gyeongnam), and Kim Seung-Dae (Pohang).
Team Park Ji-Sung: Park Ji-Sung, Lee Young-Pyo, Kim Byung-Ji (Jeonnam), Choi Eun-Sun (Jeonbuk/retired), Miyamoto Tsuyeyasu (Japan/retired), Park Dong-Hyuk (Ulsan), Kim Chi-Gon (UIsan), Hyun Young-Min (Jeonnam), Kim Hyung-Il (Pohang), Baek Ji-Hoon (Ulsan), Kim Jae-Sung (Pohang), Lee Chun-Soo (Incheon), Jung Tae-Se (Suwon), Jung Jo-Cook (Ansan), and Oh Beom-Suk (Ansan)
Coaches: Guus Hiddink (Team Park Ji-Sung), Hwang Sun-Hong (K League/Pohang)
Team PJS Assistant Coaches: Jung Hae-Sung and Park Hang-Seo (Sangju)
K League Assistant Coaches: Choi Yong-Soo (Seoul) and Seo Jung-Won (Suwon)
Head Referees: Park Gyeong-Hoon (Jeju) and Ha Seok-Joo (Jeonnam)
Assistant Referees: Yoon Sung-Hyo (Busan), Cho Min-Gook (Ulsan), Kim Bong-Gil (Incheon), and Lee Sang-Yoon (Seongnam)
That’s all I can think of for now in this domestic update! Jalgayo!