It’s the 3rd game in a week for many K-League Classic sides, returning from their World Cup break. This weekend will bring the famous Seoul-Suwon derby and a clash of last year’s “Final” when defending champs Pohang Steelers welcome Ulsan Hyundai Tigers.
K-League Classic Standings
Here are the standings in the K-League Classic prior to Round 15 action this weekend.
K-League Classic Fixtures Round 15
Saturday, July 12th, 2014
It’s the second “Super Match” of the year in this heated derby that often draws season record-breaking attendances. FC Seoul took the first game 1-0 back in April but it was a rare success for a Seoul side sitting just one point above the relegation playoff zone. Suwon on the other hand sit one point back of AFC Champions League playoff zone and have been firing on all cylinders this season, with forwards Bae Ki-Jong, Jong Tae-Se and Santos Junior all netting 3 goals for the Bluewings. If there’s ever a match to wake up early for on the east coast, it’s this crowd-attracting derby.[table “” not found /]
The Army side gets to work as they continue their quest to reach the top half – and standing in their way this week are the Jeonnam Dragons. These two sides have already met this season, back in May, and it was a goalfest – a 4-3 victory for Jeonnam. The Dragons are enjoying unprecedented success – at least, in comparison to last year. Led by league-leading goalscorer Lee Jong-Ho, Jeonnam currently sit in 3rd place.[table “” not found /]
In a rematch of last year’s “final”, Hwang Sun-Hong’s Pohang travel to Munsu Football Stadium to take on the Ulsan Hyundai “Horangi”, or in English, the Tigers. The defending champions, the Steelers, currently lead the league with Kim Seung-Dae and Lee Myeong-Ju being their main goalscorers. (EDIT: Thanks Jae. Forgot that Lee Myeong-Ju has moved to a club in the middle east.) Ulsan have had to rely on tall KNT striker Kim Shin-Wook while hoping for a little help from their KNT keeper Kim Seung-Gyu.
Sunday, July 13th, 2014[table “” not found /]
Both sides head into this matchup having drawn their last two games. Seongnam have had goalscoring woes, with just 8 goals in 14 games, but luckily their defense have been very hard to break down this season, conceding just 9. Jeju haven’t lost a league game in their last 6 and average just about a goal per game so far.[table “” not found /]
Currently sitting in the relegation playoff zone, Gyeongnam FC don’t have an easy opponent this week. They will host He-Who-Must-Never-Ever-Be-Named(Oh fine Choi Kang-Hee)’s Jeonbuk. Having conceded 22 goals this season, Gyeongnam have the worst defense in the league, while Jeonbuk’s star players include former 2010 World Cup forward Lee Dong-Gook and Australian 2014 World Cup defender Alex Wilkinson.[table “” not found /]
Two teams currently in the heat of the relegation race (reminder: we’re only about 35% of the season in) clash. the two sides fought to a goalless draw early in April. Incheon simply can’t find the back of the net this season with only 6 goals to show for their efforts and a single win while Busan haven’t scored since returning from the World Cup break.
K-League Challenge Round 15
Here’s just a quick list of the fixtures down in the second tier:
Gangwon FC v Goyang Hi (Saturday 6am/7pm)
Suwon City v Chungju Hummel (Saturday 6am/7pm)
Ansan Police v Gwangju FC (Saturday 6:30am/7:30pm)
Daejeon Citizen v Anyang FC (Sunday 6am/7pm)
Bucheon 1995 v Daegu FC (Sunday 6am/7pm)
My personal “Fixture of the Week” for the second tier? (And this isn’t because I’m biased.) Daejeon and Anyang collide – the top two teams in the league. The Citizen are actually winning games (winning?! they never did that in the first tier! what is this “winning” word?!) while Anyang, despite being 15 points back, are looking to make a dash for top spot – or, if anything, at least stay in promotion playoff position (2nd to 4th place). I’m a big Citizen fan so there’s no doubt who I’m rooting for…
All in all, should be an interesting week for the K-League! Don’t miss it!
Oh and the K-League All-Star Game News…
On July 25th, 8pm KST, 7am EDT, the 2014 K-League All-Star Game will be played in Seoul World Cup Stadium. The fixture has had many different formats over the years – in the old days, a simple “Blue v White” showdown, which then turned into a “South v Central” match. The K-League also had “Koreans v Foreigners”, and a “Team 2012 v Team 2002” game too. One year the All-Stars even tackled FC Barcelona. After last seasons’ “K-League Classic v K-League Challenge” game, this year’s idea will likely be more attractive to the Korean footy fan. The K-League All-Stars, managed by Hwang Sun-Hong, will do battle with Park Ji-Sung’s XI, with who else but Guus Hiddink at the helm. While “Three Lung Park” will choose his team, we the fans of the K-League can choose the Starting XI of the All-Star team. Voting closes July 13th.
Preliminary results so far shows top vote-getter Kim Seung-Gyu firmly in the lead by nearly 84,000 votes for the goalkeeper position. Shin Hwa-Yong is in second while Jung Sung-Ryong is way back at 3rd place. Definitely the netizens sending a message to Jung. Current defenders are (in order of 1st to 4th) “The Chaminator” Cha Du-Ri, Australian international Alex Wilkinson, Kim Jin-Kyu and Hong Chul. Midfielders are Yoon Bit-Garam, Lee Seung-Gi, Kim Doo-Hyun and Yeom Ki-Hun. Forwards look pretty much locked in, Kim Shin-Wook and Lee Keun-Ho.
Voting closes July 13th… and I’m not sure if the voting is for Korean residents only. Regardless here’s the link: http://www.kleague.com/vote_allstar2014/allStar2014.asp
That’s really it for me in this ridiculously long K-League post. Jalgayo!