Round 15 of the K League Classic was held last weekend, and there were some upsets and surprising results. Here’s a brief round up of the action.
Incheon United 2 Pohang Steelers 1 – Incheon bounced back from their midweek loss to Seongnam by knocking of table toppers Pohang. The Steelers are still top (but only by two points now) with Ulsan and Incheon on the doorstep. Pohang is a good team, but not very deep. It will be interesting to see if they can hold on to the lead into the hot summer months.
Busan IPark 1 Daegu FC 0 – After Daegu secured their shock first win against Ulsan last round, could they do it again? Answer. No. But they came close(ish) as Busan needed a late goal from Han Ji-Ho to pick up all three points. The win also helped Busan move back into the top half of the table.
Seongnam Ilhwa 2 Jeju United 2 – An entertaining match in Seongnam saw them come from behind twice to hold Jeju to a draw. Hong Jeong-Ho put Jeju ahead early with his first goal of the season. Hong went from hero to villain (sort of) as he was sent off right at the end for a second bookable offense.
Ulsan Hyundai 2 FC Seoul 0 – A Dejan Damjanovic-less Seoul team looked pretty helpless against Ulsan. Kim Shin-Wook scored an early goal for Ulsan as he made his case to be the starting forward for Korea’s NT. Rafinha wrapped up the match for Ulsan before halftime.
Gangwon FC 2 Suwon Samsung 1 – The biggest surprise of the weekend saw Gangwon knock off Suwon in Gangneung. Gangwon took a 2-0 lead until Ristic pulled one back for Suwon, but it was too little too late. Suwon lost again (their sixth loss already), and remain marginally in the top half of the table. One feels a managerial change may be coming soon.
Daejeon Citizens 1 Chunnam Dragons 2 – Another game, another loss for Daejeon. Chunnam maybe dreaming of a top half spot?
Jeonbuk Motors 4 Gyeongnam FC 0 – Choi Kang-Hee returned to Jeonbuk and saw his team thump Gyeongnam by 4. Even Choi’s favorite boy, Lee Dong-Gook got on the scoresheet twice (Kevin Oris scored the other two). Lee’s second was quite nice, a smash across the face of goal that went into the top corner. Lee Dong-Gook, why couldn’t you do that for the NT? Will Choi’s return see Jeonbuk rise up the table?
The KFA needs a major upgrade. Choi Kang-Hee has no idea of how modern football works. An article about public support of football in Korea perhaps?
Indeed there are some, let’s say, issues that need to be worked out at the KFA. In all honesty I would say that Choi Kang-Hee is a very good K League coach. He is a fairly good Asian coach (AFC CL). But he didn’t have a clue how to operate at the international level, and there is of course a huge gap between the K League and the senior international circuit. More importantly Choi failed to learn from (or try to rectify) early mistakes he made in terms of player selection, use, and tactics. But, water under the bridge now I suppose.
An article about public support of football in Korea? Interesting idea, but I fear it may be a bit on the depressing side.
I f***ing doubt that Hong will do any better.
He has 0 experience
True, he has no head coaching experience at the senior level, but his U23 record is impressive and he did have stints as an assistant coach at the senior level. Most of the players he will inherit will be ones he’s already coached. I expect a slight improvement at the very least, or at least a return to 2010 levels.