A brief wrap-up of the weekend’s action.
No Park Chu-Young as expected, but Celta Vigo took the necessary step to miraculously survive. They beat Real Valladolid 2-0, while Mallorca, Real Zaragoza, and Deportivo La Coruna all dropped points. Celta is still in the relegation zone (18th), but is just one point behind Deportivo. Celta is level on point with Zaragoza, but they beat them home and away, and have a superior goal difference. Celta will need to beat Espanyol in the final weekend of the season and hope that Real Sociedad beats Deportivo.
For the second week in a row, Grasshopper beat Basel, at least postponing Basel’s possible Swiss Super League title celebration. A Basel win would have sealed the deal with two matches remaining. Instead, Basel will need to wait at least another week. No Park Joo-Ho, likely due to the fact he played 120 minutes the week before in the Swiss Cup loss.
A fairly high-scoring weekend in Korea. Four different teams scored 4 goals. A recap of all the action.
Ulsan Hyundai vs Gyeongnam – A relatively breezy match for Ulsan who stormed out to a 4-0 lead before Gyeongnam picked up a consolation goal at the end. No Kim Shin-Wook for Ulsan. Gyeongnam’s managerial change does not seem to have produced the desired “bump” in playing level.
Busan IPark vs Incheon United – A comfortable 3-0 win for Incheon United. Busan’s offensive woes reared their heads in this one. The IPark looked good for stretches, but always a little lost in the final third. The club desperately needs to find upgrades to the likes of Bang Seung-Hwan and Rodrigo. Incheon meanwhile showed the form they displayed in the early weeks of the season.
Daejeon Citizens vs Seongnam Ilhwa – Daejeon’s miserable start continues with Seongnam picking up a nice 2-0 win.
Gangwon vs Jeonbuk Motors – Like Daejeon, Gangwon’s poor season start continued as well. Losing 3-1 to Jeonbuk. Much maligned national team selections (and frequent starters) Lee Dong-Gook and Jung In-Hwan were the scorers for Jeonbuk with Jung In-Hwan scoring twice with Lee Dong-Gook’s goal sandwiched in between.
Pohang Steelers vs Daegu – A first win of the season was never likely to come at the Steelyard for Daegu, but for awhile they may have dreamed. Pohang looked set for a routine win after going up 2-0 in the first half, but Daegu battled back to level things at 2-2. Pohang upped the gears a bit to make the score more comfortable at 4-2.
Chunnam Dragons vs Suwon Samsung – The lone upset of the weekend, Chunnam won 1-0 against Suwon, which should bring an uncomfortably large amount of heat on Suwon boss Seo Jung-Won as they inch closer to the relegation half of the table (2 points ahead of Busan IPark).
Jeju United vs FC Seoul – The most exciting match of the weekend. Seoul has developed a reputation this season as a team that scores a lot, but concedes a lot. While Jeju is more of a 2-1 kind of team. So, the resulting 4-4 draw was a bit surprising. Seoul stormed out to a 2-0 lead, but then a Pedro hattrick saw Jeju take over at 3-2. Dejan leveled things for Seoul, but a Seo Dong-Hyun goal in stoppage time saw Jeju regain the lead. Things looked certain for a Jeju 3 points, but a late penalty, taken with the last kick of the game saw Seoul draw things level again.
Sorry, no time right now to do a full wrap of J1 League action. Only one Korean player in Japan got his name on the scoresheet, and that was Jang Hyun-Soo of FC Tokyo. Unfortunately for Jang, his goal was an own-goal in Tokyo’s 3-2 loss to Kashima Antlers.
Al Jazira and Al Wahda drew 2-2. Shin Hyung-Min started and played the full 90 minutes for Al Jazira.
Kwak Tae-Hwi did not make the team for Al Shabab’s 2-1 loss to Al Shaab.