Under the tough inhospitable terrain of Teheran’s Azadhi Stadium where 88,330 supporters were en-massed rooting against FC Seoul, the Korean club advanced to the Asian Champions League finals on Wednesday after drawing 2-2 with Esteghlal – winning 4-2 aggregate last Wednesday. Captain Ha Dae-Sung chipped in the first goal before the half. Esteghlal started a comeback, scoring 2 before Cha Du-Ri got tripped up in the box in the 80th minute by Hanif Omranzadeh. Kim Jin-kyu converted the PK in the top left corner to seal the deal for FC Seoul. They now face a 2 leg title round with Guangzhou Evergrande – who kinda destroyed Kashiwa Reysol on an overall 8-1 aggregate score. First leg of the final begins in Seoul October 26th with the 2nd leg in China on November 9th.
Bayer Leverkusen F Son Heung-Min: 68 minutes in 2-1 win over Real Sociedad
PSV Eindhovern MF Park Ji-Sung: not in 18, injured, PSV 2-0 winners at Chornomorets
Bolton MF Lee Chung-Yong: last 16 minutes in 0-0 draw at Blackpool
…and to the Weekend Listings for Oct 4-5, provided by Korean Footballers Abroad (All times are in Eastern standard time in the US. Broadcast/streams are in the US. Korean Time: add 13 hours+ forward)::
|Saturday||7:15:00 AM||Lee Chung Yong||Bolton||@Birmingham City||BeIn Play|
|Saturday||9:30:00 AM||Hong Jeong Ho||Augsburg||@Schalke||None|
|Saturday||9:30:00 AM||Park Joo Ho||Mainz||Hoffenheim||None|
|Saturday||9:30:00 AM||Koo Ja Cheol||Wolfsburg||Eintracht Braunschweig||None|
|Saturday||10:00:00 AM||Kim Bo Kyung||Cardiff City||Newcastle||Extra Time|
|Saturday||10:00:00 AM||Yun Suk Young||QPR||Barnsley||None|
|Saturday||12:30:00 PM||Son Heung Min||Bayer Leverkusen||Bayern Munich||GolTV|
|Saturday||12:30:00 PM||Ji Dong Won||Sunderland||Manchester United||NBCSN|
|Saturday||12:30:00 PM||Ki Sung Yueng||Sunderland||Manchester United||NBCSN|
|Sunday||10:30:00 AM||Park Ji Sung||PSV Eindhoven||RKC Waalwijk||None|
|Sunday||11:00:00 AM||Kim Young Kiu||Almeria||@Sevilla||BeIn Play|
It’s been reported that Kim Young-Kiu might make an appearance for Almeria
after rejoining the first team since their first match of the season. He’s made 2 appearances in La Liga matches for Almeria earlier in August. Keep fingers crossed.
Note, Bayern Leverkusen is set to play against Bayern Munich. Meanwhile Sunderland is at home against an unusually mid-ranked Manchester United. Can they manage a win against Man U and work themselves out of the bottom?
Koo Ja-Cheol is set to possibly take on a wing role on the right for Wolfsburg in their match up Saturday against Braunschweig.
Looking at the Washington Post Soccer Insider, they list several J-League matches, but this weekend no K-League matches. What’s up with One World Sports? Are they are or aren’t they going to air K-League matches? If its the later, where’s the explanation, seeing how they advertised that they will air K-League matches at the beginning of the season.
Yun Suk-Young and Ji Dong-Won both appeared this week in midweek reserve matchups. Ji gave the Blackcats a goal and an assist in the 2-2 draw with Barnsley.
No significant Park Chu-Young news to report, although at the BSK forum, a video excerpt appeared from a recent Arsenal practice showing Park paling around with his teammates, including Bacary Sagna. Earlier stills showed him in this first team practice, shaking hands with Arsene Wenger. What to make of the pictures and videos from practice – perhaps not much – and not necessarily evidence of Park joining up the starting XI in the immediate. Still, just a interesting snippet of what looks like jovial players who find themselves on a first place team in the Premier League.
Since the boss sometimes jumps in on my WtW postings, I figure it’s time to do the same to his weekend listings. As you saw above there are lots of matches, but of course there are two quite tasty ones (I think I’ve been listening to too many British football podcasts).
1. Bayer Leverkusen vs Bayern Munich
It’s back to visit Bayer and Son Heung-Min as they take on FC Hollywood aka Bayern Munich. Bayern romped to a treble winning season last year, destroying everyone and everything in Germany and Europe in record fashion. Then, just for good measure they decided to buy up young talented players Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara, and hire Pep Guardiola. Despite these massive summer moves, both Dortmund and Bayer have thus far remained competitive, and Bayern has yet to run away from the pack. A surprise 1-1 draw with near bottom club Freiburg the only blot on their record.
Both clubs are returning from midweek champions league action. Action that saw both emerge winners, with Bayer seeing off Real Sociedad and Bayern dismantling Manchester City. Neither is likely to rest players given the significance of this match, so I would expect to see an all out match from both.
The natural flow of this match should be that Bayern should dominate possession and the chances, but Bayer should get some on the break. Guardiola has done some to turn Bayern into a “Barca-esque” team in terms of high, relentless pressure, and the occasional tiki-taka. His biggest move has been to move, probably the best full back in the world, in Phillip Lahm from his normal right back spot into a deep central midfield role. This move has also resulted in the benching of one of last season’s bright player, Javi Martinez.
Son was once again subbed off in the Soceidad match, but did well in his 68 minutes. Son could be a crucial factor for Bayer, as most of their opportunities will likely be on the break, and given Bayern’s (and Guardiola’s) preference for high pressing, there should be some space behind the defense for Son to sprint into. The Bayern back line is good, but certainly of the three areas, it is their weakest. Both Dante (who we will see again when Brazil makes the trip to Korea) and Jerome Boateng are prone to the occasional lapse.
Last season, both matches ended 2-1, with Bayer winning their away match and losing their home match. So, this one should be competitive.
Bayern – Neuer; Rafinha, Dante, Boateng, Alaba; Lahm, Schweinsteiger; Kroos, Ribery, Robben; Mandzukic
Bayer – Leno; Hilbert, Toprak, Spahic, Boenisch; Bender, Reinartz, Rolfes; Son, Sam, Kiessling
2. Sunderland – Manchester United
For match 2 it’s back to England for Sunderland’s game against Manchester United. Both have been in the headlines this season, but mainly for the wrong reasons. Sunderland has been woeful this season, and after six games they are the only Premier League team without a win (and they have just a single point). Paolo Di Canio is gone of course, and Sunderland (reportedly) played better last weekend against Liverpool (which ended 3-1). Ki remains a fixture in the side, and assisted the lone goal last week. Ji remains on the outs, but at least was named on the bench. Both Ki and Ji have been named in Hong’s side for next week’s matches, so be on the look out for what their form is like.
United on the other hand have been in the news for being pretty poor post-Sir Alex. David Moyes is certainly up against it with the team sitting in the bottom half of the table and already eight points adrift of *헉* Arsenal. Can they make it up? Probably not the way things have been going. But who knows? United played Champions League football midweek, picking up a point on the tricky trip to Ukraine. United’s problems have largely stemmed from an iffy defense, sometimes weak midfield, and streaky attack. When all three click, United look every bit the title winner they were last season. When it doesn’t . . . well you can see where they are in the table. So, Sunderland’s chances of picking up points, and possibly a first win, will largely depend on which United team shows up at the Stadium of Light.