Well, we’re a bit slow at the Tavern, partly because not much is happening, partly because the fine days of summer have gone and it’s back to work/school/something in between. But it’s another weekend coming up, as Ki and Swansea aim to go 3-for-3, while Bayer Leverkusen welcome Berlin fresh off of a 4-0 rout of Copenhagen – with a 2nd minute goal by Son Heung-Min himself to open up the scoring. Listings, Ki’s new contract at Swansea, the Champions League draw and Seoul’s dramatic AFC CL advance to the SF stage, so sit back, relax and bear with me.
This post is a Midweek Recap + Weekend Listing + Kickaround because because. So let’s start with Son Heung-Min scoring the first goal in the 4-0 rout of FC Copenhagen in Germany. After a small defensive stumble for Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of their Champions League playoff, winning 3-2 thanks to Son’s late first half goal, the South Korean superstar opened the scoring thanks to this fantastic play. Just 68 seconds in, he forces a defensive error by the Copenhagen centre-back and rifles the ball into the net. It’s his 3rd goal of the season in 4 competitive games.
From Germany to Korea, where the second leg of the Asian Champions League Quarter-Finals took place. The All-Korean matchup pitted Pohang and Seoul, and after a cagey first leg, there was no sign that either team would find a breakthrough in round two. It went the full 120 minutes, with the most exciting thing happening was a late red card to Pohang’s Shin Kwang-Hoon. Ultimately, only penalties could separate the sides – and it was Seoul’s keeper, Yoo Sang-Hoon to the rescue. He stopped all three spotkicks and sent FC Seoul to the final four. Oddly enough, all Koreans in the shootout missed. Enjoy the match highlights.
Seoul manager Choi Yong-Soo was thrilled with the triumph. “This is my best experience as a coach,” he said. “Our eagerness led us to victory and we must continue like this in the future.” He added, “In the games coming up, we will be more aggressive.”
Hwang Sun-Hong said that he was appreciative of the players’ efforts and that the team wishes to go further next year. “We will try our best in the K. League to ensure that we qualify [for the 2015 ACL].”
Weekend Listings for August 29th-30th-31st
Once again, thanks to Skimmilk over at his blog for letting us use his listings tables.
|Friday||2:30 PM||Hong Jeong Ho||Augsburg||Dortmund||GolTV|
|Friday||2:30 PM||Ji Dong Won||Dortmund||@Augsburg||GolTV|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Son Heung Min||Bayer Leverkusen||Hertha Berlin||GolTV|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Kim Jin Su||Hoffenheim||Werder Bremen||None|
|Saturday||10:00 AM||Lee Chung Yong||Bolton||@Leeds||None|
|Saturday||10:00 AM||Kim Bo Kyung||Cardiff City||@Fulham||BeIn|
|Saturday||10:00 AM||Yun Suk Young||QPR||Sunderland||NBC Extra Time|
|Saturday||10:00 AM||Ki Sung Yueng||Swansea||West Brom||NBC Extra Time|
|Sunday||9:30 AM||Koo Ja Cheol||Mainz||Hannover||GolTV|
|Sunday||9:30 AM||Park Joo Ho||Mainz||Hannover||GolTV|
>>Note about Korean TV broadcasts – Bundesliga rights belong to Sky Sports Korea now, I’m pretty sure it’s the same company as “The M” from last season, while SBS Sports has EPL rights. All games can (I believe) be streamed on Naver, but I only see Bundesliga games streamed on Daum. Afreeca I never use. I don’t live in Korea obviously, so I’m not much use with the Korean version of the listings. Mianhaeyo.
The weekend’s action begins with a Korean derby which probably won’t happen. Augsburg hosts Borussia Dortmund, however BVB’s Ji Dong-Won will still be out with an injury for a few more weeks, while there’s no indication that defender Hong Jeong-Ho is back to full fitness either.
Staying in Germany, Son Heung-Min and Bayer Leverkusen welcome Hertha Berlin. I’m curious to see if Son Heung-Min starts, seeing that he’s started the last few, and Roger Schmidt’s new system, a very aggressive attacking formation, does require for quite a bit of squad rotation. I read somewhere that while he was managing Red Bull Salzburg, he played about 30 different players a season. I definitely expect him to take part in the match, as a starter or a substitute.
Meanwhile, over at Hoffenheim, European new boy Kim Jin-Su suffered a minor injury in his Bundesliga debut. Apparently, the fullback fell on his shoulder as a result of battling for a header. Luckily, an MRI test shows that the injury isn’t very significant, so Kim should be able to play through it like he did last week after sustaining the injury.
There are four 10am/3pm in Britain starts for our England-based players – and all their teams were in League Cup action this past weekend. First off, Lee Chung-Yong at Bolton came on as a sub in the 68th minute. After the Wanderers thought they had a late winner, opponents Crewe Alexandra stuck in injury time to send the game to extra time. Bolton eventually won in the extra periods. They go to Chelsea in the 3rd Round of the League Cup, to be played in mid-September. I’d expect that Chungy gets a start at Leeds this weekend, if he’s still fresh enough to start – he did play 52 minutes last game, which isn’t your typical substitute appearance duration, and he’s started pretty much every game this season as well.
Kim Bo-Kyung seems to have had a mediocre game midweek – it was just his second start in all competitive competitions this season, and was subbed off after just 60 minutes of action. Cardiff go to struggling Fulham this weekend, but Kimbo probably won’t get a start – he’s not too high on the depth chart it seems. By the way, Celtic manager Ronny Deila had announced publicly that he was interested in the South Korean international, but it seems the answer by Kimbo and his agent was a firm “no”. Cardiff hosts Bournemouth in the 3rd round – and I won’t be stunned if that’s Kim Bo-Kyung’s next start with the Bluebirds.
Yun Suk-Young didn’t feature in their League Cup game, and we now know it was because of a then undisclosed injury. QPR did lose to Burton Albion, and thus are out of the Capital One Cup. In any case, it seems that Yun will be sticking around Loftus Road for now, as the ‘Gers signed a new LB and loaned him out, keeping Yun in the same spot on the depth chart he’s been all season. The one that sticks around but doesn’t play. Yay.
Ki Sung-Yueng was an unused sub for Swansea, and they progressed to the third round, as manager Garry Monk made a whopping 10 changes to their line-up for the League Cup tie. The Swans host Everton in the next round. The Swans will look to make it 3-for-3 as they host West Bromwich Albion, and Ki should definitely start. Their midfield “trio” of Shelvey-Ki-Sigurdsson looks very lethal. Garry Monk seems to have acknowledged that and Ki signed a 4-year contract yesterday, keeping him at the Liberty Stadium until after 2018-19.
And finishing things up in Germany, Park Joo-Ho and Koo Ja-Cheol host Hannover in the Sunday slot. They barely avoided humiliation last weekend to newly promoted Paderborn, with Koo’s late penalty salvaging a point away. Mainz don’t look very good this season and will likely struggle with their porous defense.
K-League Classic Listings
Saturday, August 30th, 6am ET, 7pm KST
Gyeongnam-Suwon Bluewings – Last place Gyeongnam welcome a Suwon side trying to gain points on Jeonbuk and Pohang.
Incheon-Busan – After dropping into relegation playoff territory, Busan look to gain points on the road against fellow relegation candidates Incheon.
Sangju-Seongnam – No Korean TV Listings for this encounter at the Sangju Civil Stadium. Both sides are also relegation candidates and are hoping to avoid that fate. Sangju should be desperate to get points, as Lee Keun-Ho and other key players are finishing their military service next month.
Sunday, August 31st, 4am ET, 5pm KST
Ulsan-Pohang – A rematch of last season’s “finals”, struggling, but still in 2nd place, Pohang are hoping to stop their slide against the Horang-i, while Ulsan knows a loss could take them out of the top half.
Sunday, August 31st, 5am ET, 6pm KST
FC Seoul-Jeju – After securing Asian Champions League passage, Seoul attempt to continue their good spirits with a win that could potentially see them move in to the top half. Jeju are currently in the battle for the ACL spots, but losses could see them move out of the first half in a couple weekends.
Sunday, August 31st, 6am ET, 7pm KST
Jeonnam-Jeonbuk – It’s South Jeolla versus North Jeolla in the Jeolla derby. Top scorer Lee Dong-Gook of Jeonbuk will do battle with current 2nd top scorer, Lee Jong-Ho. It will be an interesting battle in Gwangyang – will Jeonbuk extend their lead atop the league or will the Dragons gain ground on the ACL spots?
K-League Challenge Recap/Listings
There was a grand total of 5 goals in the previous K-League Challenge Matchday. Daegu-Gwangju and Chungju-Suwon City all had goalless draws, Ansan-Goyang and Anyang-Daejeon finished a goal a piece, and Gangwon made up some ground with a 1-0 win at Bucheon.
Daejeon-Daegu (Sat 6am/7pm) – League leaders Daejeon look to increase their 16 point lead against Daegu. I have read a report saying that Cho Kwang-Rae will likely become Daegu’s new director of operations, and he hopes that the sport of soccer can break even with the popularity of Daegu’s extremely successful baseball franchise, the Samsung Lions.
Goyang-Anyang (Sat 6am/7pm)
Gangwon-Gwangju (Sun 6am/7pm)
Both the previous fixtures pit promotion playoff candidates.
Ansan-Chungju (Sun 6.30am/7.30pm)
Suwon City-Bucheon (Mon 6.30am/7.30pm)
Only Ansan looks likely to stay in the promotion playoff race – Suwon City is struggling, Chungju and Bucheon are at the bottom and will stay there.
Champions League draw for B04 and BVB
Europe’s finest found out who they would do battle with in the Champions League yesterday. Here’s a look at our two KPA’s who play with Champions League teams – Son at Bayer Leverkusen and Ji at Borussia Dortmund.
Group A: Atletico de Madrid, Juventus, Olympiacos, Malmo FF
Group B: Real Madrid, Basel, Liverpool, Ludogorets Razgrad
Group C: Benfica, Zenit St. Petersburg, BAYER LEVERKUSEN, AS Monaco
Group D: Arsenal, BORUSSIA DORTMUND, Galatasaray, Anderlecht
Group E: Bayern Munich, Manchester City, CSKA Moscow, AS Roma
Group F: Barcelona, Paris St-Germain, Ajax, APOEL
Group G: Chelsea, Schalke 04, Sporting Clube de Portugal (Lisbon), Maribor
Group H: Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Athletic Club Bilbao, BATE Borisov
Dortmund should get through, barring they drop too many points against Galatasaray or Arsenal. I’d pick them to win the group. Bayer Leverkusen however, have the most even group of the the Champions League, where any team can go through or go home. Even the 4th pot team, AS Monaco, could advance. It will be interesting to see where B04 end up. They open the Champions League proper at Monaco, on September 16th.
KNT Manager Update
After negotiations with Bert Van Marwijk broke down, Jorge Luis Pinto, manager of Costa Rica at the 2014 World Cup, announced that he had been contacted by the KFA for the vacant managerial position. Lee Yong-Soo, technical director and man in charge of finding the new boss, denied that statement from Pinto, saying he “didn’t know where it came from” and was puzzled about it. He did confirm that the KFA is talking to/hoping to talk to 4 or 5 managers and that a decision should be made before the October friendlies (which seem like they’ll be against Costa Rica and Paraguay).
2 time K-League winner, 3 time KFA cup winner and former AFC CL winner Hwang Jin-Sung has announced a move to Belgian side AFC Tubize. The former Pohang midfielder had earned over 300 caps for the Steelers, from 2003-2013. Tubize play in the 2nd tier but are promotion hopefuls. Interestingly, the club and South Korean Sports Marketing company Sportizen have a partnership. Hence the Korean at the club.
With new KNT call-ups come new KNT shirt numbers:
1. Kim Jin-Hyeon, 2. Kim Chang-Soo, 3. Kim Ju-Young, 4. Kim Young-Gwon, 5. Cha Du-Ri, 6. Kwak Tae-Hwi, 7. Han Kyo-Won, 8. Lee Myeong-Ju, 9. Son Heung-Min, 10. Cho Young-Cheol, 11. Lee Keun-Ho, 12. Lee Yong, 13. Koo Ja-Cheol, 14. Han Kook-Young, 15. Park Jong-Woo, 16. Ki Sung-Yueng, 17. Lee Chung-Yong, 18. Nam Tae-Hee, 19. Kim Min-Woo, 20. Lee Dong-Gook, 21. Lee Bum-Young, 22. Lim Chae-Min.
The AFC U-16 Championship will take place in Thailand, beginning on the 6th of September. South Korea qualified and they have Barca boys Lee Seung-Woo and Jang Gyeol-Hee at their disposal. The young Taeguk Warriors drew hosts Thailand, Oman and Malaysia. They just decided to put us in the 2nd pot of teams. In any case, the top 4 teams will qualify for the 2015 U-17 World Cup. If we win the group, which we should do, either Japan, Australia or China awaits in the Quarter-Finals, a must win match which will send us through to the World Cup.
That’s all I can think of – hope you’re still here. Enjoy the weekend and jalgayo!