Don’t forget to check out Jinseok’s European Roundup here. Some nice things happening with some of the KPA’s. But things were also interesting back at home in the K League. Champions were named and there was another change in the possible relegation teams.
K League Classic – Round 35 Results
Jeju United 0-3 Jeonbuk Motors
Suwon Samsung 0-1 FC Seoul
Pohang Steelers 2-2 Ulsan Hyundai
Busan IPark 1-0 Incheon United
Sangju Sangmu 1-1 Seongnam FC
Gyeongnam FC 3-1 Jeonnam Dragons
Round Prediction Results
Jae: 1/6 (Again?! WTF? Time to call it a day. . .)
Tim: 3/6 (Not too bad)
Jeonbuk became champions of Korea as they cruised past a poor Jeju United side 3-0. That result rendered whatever Suwon did in their final ‘Supermatch’ with Seoul meaningless as they could no longer match Jeonbuk’s point total. For Jeonbuk it is their third title, all of which have come in the last six years. Congratulations to them.
While he gets very little respect here, I feel that special praise should be given to manager Choi Kang-hee. Yes, his time with the national team was poor at best. But, he’s proven to be the best K League manager there is. Multiple domestic titles, an AFC CL title, and KFA Cup is nothing to sneeze at. Was it coincidence that the team really struggled when he was off with the national team last season? I don’t think so. Choi managed to straighten out the shaky defending the team displayed at times last season, to having the stingiest defense around this year. Credit where it’s due, Choi has done an excellent job this season. Moving on.
The ‘Supermatch’ featuring a rather dapper looking Park Ji-sung. Would it live up to the hype? Yes and no. The game wasn’t exactly end to end stuff, but it was competitive and scrappy. While rivalry games should always be enough to “get the players up”, this one didn’t have a lot going for it, what with Jeonbuk clinching the title the day before and neither Seoul nor Suwon having much to fear in terms of placement in the table. In the end the game was won with literally the last kick of the game as Go Yo-han scored for Seoul.
- Pohang failed to close the gap (meaningfully) on Suwon as they were pegged back by Ulsan twice at the Steelyard.
- Busan gave themselves more breathing room as a goal from Joo Se-jong gave them all three points against Incheon at the Asiad.
- Gyeongnam climbed out the relegation places as they put three past a sleepy Jeonnam Dragons side in Changwon.
- Seongnam drops into the playoff spot as they were unable to overcome Sangju Sangmu (who remains in the auto drop spot).
K League Classic Table – Round 35
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*1 – As mentioned earlier Jeonbuk has already been crowned champions
*2 – Remember, the bottom half teams cannot move above top half teams
K League Challenge Results – Round 35
Bucheon 1995 0-2 Gwangju FC
Daegu FC 1-2 Chungju Hummels
Daejeon Citizen 5-2 Suwon FC
Gangwon FC 2-0 FC Anyang
Goyang Hi 2-1 Ansan Korea Police
- Daejeon, of course, won the title midweek, but they confirmed it in emphatic style. Crushing Suwon FC 5-2 on the weekend.
- Ansan is guaranteed the second position and the valuable first round bye for the playoffs, but they fell to Goyang 2-1. Goyang though, is out of the hunt for the playoffs.
- Gangwon moved up to third place after they defeated Anyang 2-0. Anyang falls out of the playoff picture on goal difference.
- Gwangju took care of bottom club Bucheon 2-0 to move up to fourth place.
- Daegu FC will spend another year in the Challenge after they failed to beat Chungju.
K League Challenge Table – Round 35
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Despite the champions of both leagues being crowned this week there is still plenty to look forward to. Vital matches in the K League Classic relegation race, and one final weekend in the Challenge to decide who will make the final two playoff spots. Watch for the preview later this week (neither league will pause for the international break).
Oh, and while the men’s team will get the majority of the focus (both here and the wider media), the Korea ladies are in action this week as well for qualification for the final round of next year’s East Asian Cup. Don’t forget to send some love and support to the Taeguk Ladies!