The K League Classic kicked off last weekend, and there were AFC Champions League midweek matches. A round up of how the Korean teams and players did.
K League Classic Week 1
The K League Classic returned with revenge matches, surprise upsets, and (sadly) one big thumping.
Pohang Steelers 0 – 1 Ulsan Hyundai
Jeonbuk Motors 3 – 0 Busan IPark (sniff, sniff)
FC Seoul 0 – 1 Jeonnam Dragons
Gyeongnam FC 1 – 0 Seongnam FC
Sangju Sangmu 2 – 2 Incheon United
Jeju United 0 – 1 Suwon Samsung
Ulsan Hyundai secured a smidgen of revenge on Pohang Steelers in the season’s curtain raiser, a repeat of the final game of last season. Ulsan secured the win after on Kim Shin-Wook’s lone goal.
Preseason favorites Jeonbuk Motors got off to a flyer with a 3-0 thumping of Busan IPark in Jeonju. New signing Han Kyo-Won scored the acrobatic opener, and then long-range strikes from Lee Seung-Gi and Leonardo rounded things off.
Jeonnam pulled the surprise of the opening week, defeating FC Seoul 1-0 at Seoul World Cup Stadium. Lee Hyun-Seung converted a first half penalty, which was the only goal in the game.
A battle of potential strugglers saw Gyeongnam FC see off Seongnam FC 1-0 in Changwon. Luke Devere scored in stoppage time to give Gyeongnam all three points.
The week’s most exciting game saw newly promoted Sangju Sangmu hold Incheon United to a 2-2 draw. A crazy last 15 minutes saw Incheon go ahead through Nam Joon-Jae, only for Sangju to score twice through Lee Jung-Hyub and Lee Ho to go ahead. But Incheon had the final say as Lee Hyo-Gyoon scored the tying goal.
In the final match, an Lee Yong (not the national team one) own-goal was enough for Suwon Samsung to get off to a winning start at the expense of Jeju United.
AFC Champions League – Matchday 2
Buriram United 1 – 2 Pohang Steelers
Beijing Guoan 1 – 1 FC Seoul
Melbourne Victory 2 – 2 Jeonbuk Motors
Ulsan Hyundai 2 – 0 Kawasaki Frontale
Park Hyun-Jin (Sanfrecce Hiroshima) L1-2 with Central Coast Mariners
Kim Seung-Yong (Central Coast Mariners) W2-1 with Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Kim Jin-Hyeon (Cerezo Osaka) L1-3 to Shandong Luneng
Go Seul-Ki (El Jaish) W2-1 over Bunyodkor
Cho Yong-Hyung (Al Rayyan) W1-0 over Esteghlal
Shin Hyung-Min (Al Jazira) W3-1 over Al Shabab
Kim Young-Gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande) D1-1 with Yokohama F. Marinos
Nam Tae-Hee (Lekhwiya) D0-0 with Tractor Sazi
Lee Jung-Soo (Al Sadd) D1-1 with Al Ahli
Some interesting notes after two rounds of matches. Korea is the only country where it’s clubs are undefeated thus far with a record of 5-3-0. Korea is leading the ‘country table’ with 18 points. Japan has the worst record (of teams with 3-4 teams) at 1-3-4 and just six points. Strange considering the J League is considered the best league in Asia, and that Japan has the strongest national team right now.
Qatar (four teams) 3-3-2 10/8 (+2) 12pts
UAE (three teams) 3-2-1 10/9 (+1) 11pts
Iran (four teams) 3-2-3 6/7 (-1) 11pts
Saudi Arabia (four teams) 2-2-4 8/11 (-3) 8pts
Uzbekistan (one team) 0-1-1 1/2 (-1) 1pt
South Korea (four teams) 5-3-0 16/6 (+10) 18pts
China (four teams) 2-4-2 11/9 (+2) 10pts
Australia (three teams) 2-2-2 8/12 (-4) 8pts
Japan (four teams) 1-3-4 6/13 (-7) 6pts
Thailand (one team) 0-1-1 2/3 (-1) 1pt