[K League 2015] Round 20 Recap

The K League’s 6 games brought 14 goals this weekend, though half of them came from a single encounter. Did Daejeon finally break out of their winless slump? And who would win a clash between Suwon and Pohang? Read on to find out.

Busan IPark 0:1 Seongnam FC

The only huge surprise in the team news was the selection of Kim Jinkyu for Busan. The

19-year-old made his start in defensive midfield for the hosts. The first half offered few chances, but they were quality ones. Hwang Uijo missed from very close range on a volley for the Magpies, while Park Junhyuk had to come up big, flailing his limbs on a 1v1 on the other end of the pitch to deny a quality Busan chance. Busan’s Ahn Sehee conceded a very contentious penalty on 38 minutes, which allowed Kim Doohyun to convert the only goal of the game, sending Lee Bumyoung the wrong way.

The second half saw Busan threaten the Seongnam goal very times. They struck the bar in the 51st minute, with Lee Gyeongryeol’s header off of a free kick grazing the fingers of keeper Park Junhyuk and being headed inevitably off of the bar by Seongnam CB Yoon Yeongseon.

Although the introduction of Elias saw Busan get another

couple shots on target, the hosts’ 12 shots in the final half were all for naught, as Seongnam picked up a valuable away victory at the Asiad.

Pohang Steelers 0:1 Suwon Bluewings

Andre Moritz was back in the Pohang side after Moon Changjin succumbed to injury that will see him miss out the next 6 weeks, but there was another promising youngster in the Suwon side, with Kwon Changhoon getting the start in central midfield. Kim Seungdae had to settle for the bench for Pohang as Shin Jinho got the start over Kim.

Both teams had their shot at scoring sublime goals in the first half. After a lovely skill by Andre Moritz, nutmegging a Suwon defender, the ball found its way to Pohang midfielder Son Junho. Son’s chest and volley attempt was impeccable in technique, but the execution was not there, as the booming shot rattled the bar behing Jung Sungryong.

It was indeed Suwon who converted their chance in the first half. A pass by Oh Beomseok was flicked on on the first touch by the foot of Lee Sangho. North Korean international Jong Taese controlled wonderfully, taking the touch on his knee, before firing the ball past Shin Hwayong on the volley.

Pohang then took it upon themselves to dominate the game, with a slightly unbelievable 67% of possession in the second half. Jung Sungryong saved the shots that came his way, but needed a bit of help from his goalpost when Shin Jinho’s free kick struct it midway through the second half. Suwon managed to hang on for the win and remain in 2nd position.

Jeju United 0:0 Incheon United

A battle of the two “United” teams (what exactly they’re uniting I’m not entirely sure). Lopez finally re-appeared for Jeju, featuring on the left wing for the hosts.

The Islanders dominated the first half, though only Song Jinhyung and Lopez threatened the Incheon goal in the first frame, on two seperate occasions. Yoo Hyun stopped both shots, as they were low and right at the Incheon keeper.

The second half continued to offer chances for both sides. Kim Inseong, in particular, was the source of Incheon’s opportunities, despite having a poor half. The former CSKA winger used his pace to run at the tired Jeju defensive line, and stung the palms of Kim Hojun on more than one occasion. Despite this, neither side had a breakthrough, and the match, for all its chances, finished a goalless draw.

FC Seoul 1:1 Gwangju FC

FC Seoul made no changes to the side that won 4-2 at Jeju last matchday. It was a tumultuous week, to say the least, for Seoul fans. Manager Choi Yongsoo was reported to have accepted a deal to manage Jiangsu Sainty, but then Choi announced that although he wished to pursue new endeavors, it would be irresponsible of him to leave FC Seoul mid-season.

Gwangju’s aggressive press worked wonders in the 25th minute, when Molina was forced to cough up the ball in midfield. A longball was promptly hit up the pitch, and Joo Hyunwoo was held back in the box by Kim Dongwoo. Former FC Seoul fullback Lee Jongmin converted the penalty and sent the visitors in front.

The capital city club equalized not more than 5 minutes later, however. Keeper Kwon Jeonghyeok’s punch away on a shallow cross was unconvincing, and landed on the head of Yun Illok. Right place, right time, and the winger headed into an empty net to equalize on a goal that was very avoidable.

How Seoul did not win the game in the second half is fairly inexplicable. Yun Illok was through on goal but opted for a backpass that has me scratching my head for the rest of time. Park Chuyoung had not one but two chances to finish but failed to do so. Kim Hyeongseong missed an empty net after rounding the keeper. Yun Jutae had a shot in the 85th minute that stung the palms of the Gwangju keeper but couldn’t find the net. In the waning seconds of the game, Seoul had a free kick and a corner kick but, despite some chaos in the box, could not find the winning goal. Gwangju held on for a valuable road point, after two consecutive road games with no result. Let’s remember that, because of the Universiade in Gwangju right now, they cannot play their games at home and are on a prolonged road trip. Every point is valuable.

Jeonnam Dragons 2:1 Ulsan Hyundai

Both teams lined up in a 4-2-3-1, but the only team news of note was the return of Server Djeparov. The Uzbek international had been injured for the past several weeks and Ulsan fans undoubtedly hoped that his return would mean a rise in the table for the 10th-place Tigers.

However, they were unbelievably disjointed and lacklustre in the first half. They took a grand total of 0 shots, and despite splitting the possession 50/50 in the first half, did little with the ball and were caught too many teams on the counter. Jeonnam is not a team you want to let run at you. The skillful Orsic, and lethal Ristic, and the pace of Lee Jongho and Ahn Youngwoo. Jeonnam’s first goal came in the 19th minute as a result for Ulsan’s unpreparedness to cope with the Jeonnam counter. Ristic threaded a perfect pass to Ahn Youngwoo, who found a shooting angle and converted low and hard.

SpoTV’s only highlight of Ulsan in the first half is a quote of the commentator going “this is not working at all for Ulsan right now”. That sums up the Tigers’ first half performance.

In the second half, shades of Ulsan’s defensive incompetence were once again in full display. Stevica Ristic, the center forward, was marked by both centerbacks on the right side, and he put in a cross to Lee Jongho, the attacking mid, being marked by… nobody? In fact, it was the defensive midfielder Masuda who had his marking responsibilities but failed to impose himself. Lee headed home easily past a helpless Kim Seunggyu.

Although Server Djeparov converted a late penalty kick, it was really the only chance time Ulsan threatened Jeonnam’s goal. The woes of the Tigers continues, and the wonderful season that is 2015 also continues for the Dragons.

Daejeon Citizen 3:4 Jeonbuk Hyundai

Okay how is this even fair we scored three goals in a game for fuck’s sake we can’t win a game at least god damn it?!?!

Deep breath. Be professional.

Manager Choi Moonsik fielded a completely different lineup. 5 of the players (centerback Kim Taebong, midfielder Son Seolmin and Ko Minhyeok, and forward Lee Hyunseung and Han Euigwon) were making their Daejeon debuts… and this just in the starting XI. It was a brand new 4-3-3 formation for Daejeon, while Jeonbuk opted for Edu up top, leaving Lee Donggook on the bench.

Defensive woes remained for Daejeon, as the visitors scored the first goal in the 7th minute. Lee Jaesung’s deep run in the box, and cutback to Edu, who was not being marked man-to-man by either of the centrebacks. Edu easily tapped home for the opening goal.

Goalkeeper Park Juwon kept Daejeon from going 2-0 down in the 12th minute, making a great save on Lee Jaesung. Surprise rising star Hwang Inbeom scored the goal of the round, and perhaps one of the goals of the season, in the 27th minute. Receiving the ball on the top of the box, Hwang fired a outward-curving shot into the top corner past an outstreched Kwoun Suntae.

Although, unfortunately, Jeonbuk scored not too long later, in a carbon copy of the Edu goal. This time, substitute Lee Donggook got the tap-in goal.

The second half came with renewed hope for Daejeon after Ko Minhyeok’s penalty kick goal. The penalty was won after a handball in the box. Jeonbuk, the goal scoring machine they are, scored again however. Lee Dongook’s shot hit the bar, but Edu was there to tap in the rebound into an empty net. 3-2 Jeonbuk.

And yet again, Daejeon replied. Han Euikwon was sent through on a 1v1 with Kwoun Suntae, and the former Gangwon forward rolled it into the net in a goal that Kwoun should have saved. It looked like Daejeon had done enough to manage a 3-3 draw that would bring not just hope and optimism, but a valuable point against the league-leaders. Just the result they needed to do a Leicester and avoid relegation miraculously.

Or not. After Daejeon went up the pitch on a counter, resulting in unbelievably chaotic defending by Kim Kihee that saw him hit not one but two Daejeon faces with a clearance, knocking them both out cold and having Kwoun Suntae getting a cleat to the chest in the process, Jeonbuk went back up the other way. The ball pinballed around the box and eventually found the foot of Lee Donggook, who tapped home the winner with the last kick of the game.

Another point thrown away by Daejeon in the most unfortunate of circumstances.

K LEAGUE CLASSIC 2015 Games Wins Draws Losses Points
1 Jeonbuk 전북 20 13 4 3 43
2 Suwon BW 수원 20 10 6 4 36
4 FC Seoul 서울 20 9 6 5 33
5 Jeonnam 전남 20 8 7 5 31
3 Pohang 포항 20 8 6 6 30
7 Seongnam 성남 20 7 8 5 29
6 Incheon 인천 20 6 9 5 27
8 Jeju 제주 20 7 5 8 26
9 Gwangju 광주 20 6 6 8 24
10 Ulsan 울산 20 4 8 8 20
11 Busan 부산 20 4 4 12 16
12 Daejeon 대전 20 1 5 14 8

Ummm yeah best I put out the fixtures for the next round:

Jeonbuk-Gwangju, Suwon-Jeonnam, Seongnam-Seoul, Ulsan-Daejeon, Pohang-Jeju, Incheon-Busan.

Jalgayo from the TSQ!

About Tim Lee 321 Articles
The maple syrup guzzling kimchijjigae craving Korean-Canadian, eh?

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