2 draws and 1 loss against ‘natural enemy’… Ulsan, which is faltering, has just entered the K-League 1 fall ranking battle. 

Pro Football K League 1 Ulsan draws 1-1 with Daejeon… Ulsan, 6 points behind 2nd place
Pohang, has drawn 3 times against Daejeon… Pohang completely defeats Suwon FC, runs undefeated in 9 games,
Gangwon catches Jeonbuk and escapes last place… Incheon defeats Jeju with Hernández’s ‘thick goal’

 Ulsan Hyundai, the leading team in professional soccer K-League 1, was once again unable to overcome its ‘natural enemy’ Daejeon Hana Citizen and was chased by second place Pohang Steelers by 6 points. 

Pohang defeated Suwon FC 2-0 thanks to Zeka’s multiple goals at the home Steel Yard, and chased Ulsan strongly with an undefeated record in 9 games (5 wins, 4 draws).

Gangwon FC succeeded in escaping from last place by beating Jeonbuk Hyundai, which had a busy road ahead of it. 

메이저놀이터 Incheon United defeated Jeju United 2-1 and rose to 6th place, showing the signal of settling in the top split (1st to 6th places) for the second consecutive year. 

Ulsan drew 1-1 with Daejeon in the Hana One Q K League 1 2023 30th round home game held at Munsu Soccer Stadium in Ulsan on the 16th.

Ulsan had only 2 draws and 1 loss in three meetings with Daejeon, who were promoted to K-League 1 this season. Due to Daejeon, they are unable to overcome the threshold of victory against their former club.

Daejeon continued its strong performance against Ulsan, but maintained 8th place with 38 points amid 4 consecutive games without a win (2 draws and 2 losses).

Ulsan, who only added 1 point, recorded 62 points, narrowing the gap to 2nd place Pohang Steelers (56 points), who defeated Suwon FC 2-0 that day, to 6 points. The competition for the lead, which had been dominated by Ulsan for a while, has now truly entered the fog.

On this day, with 1 win (2 draws, 2 losses) in the last 5 games, the team came up with an unconventional line-up that excluded key goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo and players who had been on the national team’s trip to Europe from the starting lineup and selected players who had not been given many opportunities before.

Prior to this game, veteran center back Kim Ki-hee was appointed as captain and key striker Joo Min-gyu was appointed as vice-captain, reinforcing the will to renew the atmosphere.

Daejeon had a good start. About 1 minute and 20 seconds into the game, Kim In-gyun received a pass given by Massa after running through the midfield and shot with his left foot to avoid goalkeeper Jo Soo-hyuk, who came forward from the left side of the penalty area.

Ulsan balanced the score with a penalty kick in the 29th minute of the first half.

Daejeon defender Kim Hyun-woo grabbed Joo Min-gyu and knocked him down inside the penalty area, resulting in a penalty kick. Joo Min-gyu, who took the kick, scored with his right foot and scored the tying goal. Joo Min-gyu is the sole leading scorer in the league this season with 14 goals.

Ulsan, who used replacement cards such as Rubikson, Lee Chung-yong, Kim Young-kwon, and Bako in the second half, cheered when Bako’s wonderful volley shot from the right side of the penalty arc in the 38th minute of the second half.

However, the referee judged through an on-field review that Lim Jong-eun had obstructed Daejeon goalkeeper Lee Chang-geun’s view during the shooting situation, and the score was cancelled.

In the extra time of the second half, Lee Chung-yong’s shot from the right side of the penalty area resulted in a penalty kick due to Daejeon’s Oh Jae-seok’s handball foul, giving Ulsan another golden opportunity to make a comeback, but this time Joo Min-gyu’s shot was blocked by Lee Chang-geun, who threw his body, and hit the ground.

■ Pohang, undefeated in 9 games with Zeka’s multiple goals, in pursuit of leader Ulsan.

Thanks to Zeka’s multiple goals, Pohang defeated Suwon FC 2-0 and continued its upward trend of being undefeated in 9 games (5 wins, 4 draws). 

Zeka was responsible for both goals and shone as a major contributor to the victory.

In the 22nd minute of the first half, Zeka scored the first goal by pushing in Wandelsson’s cross from the left side, and in the 44th minute of the first half, he dribbled through the right side from near the halfway line and scored an additional goal with a right-footed shot.

By adding two goals that day, Zeka surpassed his 10th goal in the league this season.

On this day, Pohang fired 12 shots, including 9 effective shots, while Suwon FC had only one shot in total, but was unable to add more points in the second half.

Suwon FC, who lost all three matches against Pohang this season, remained in 10th place with 29 points.

■ Jeonbuk has a busy road ahead, no win in 5 games… Where is the winner, Wiyong?

Gangwon FC succeeded in escaping from last place by defeating Jeonbuk Hyundai in enemy territory.

Gangwon, which broke away from a winless streak (1 draw, 2 losses) in the last 3 games, accumulated 24 points and jumped to 11th place, pushing Suwon Samsung (22 points), which will play the 30th round on the 17th, to the bottom.

Jeonbuk maintained 5th place (43 points, 35 points, goal difference 7), but went winless in 5 games (3 draws, 2 losses).

Jeonbuk took the lead with a penalty kick 5 minutes into the game.

Han Kyo-won, who was breaking through the left side of the penalty area, was tripped by Gangwon defender Lee Ji-sol and a penalty kick was declared, and kicker Gustavo kicked with his right foot.

However, Gangwon’s counterattack led by Gabriel and Yago was fierce, and in the extra time of the first half, Gabriel and Gallego scored consecutive goals, turning the situation around for Gangwon. Gabriel scored a goal in his K League debut.

Heavy rain poured down past the middle of the second half, filling the ground with water and causing the ball to not roll well, which emerged as a variable in the game. Gangwon Kim Dae-won scored an additional goal in the 30th minute of the second half.

■ Incheon jumps to 6th place, Jeju draws 4 consecutive games, ranks helpless 9th 

At Incheon Soccer Stadium, Incheon United beat Jeju United 2-1.

Incheon’s Lee Myung-joo’s first goal in the 29th minute of the first half and Jeju’s Kim Seung-seop’s equalizing goal in the 22nd minute of the second half kept the game in balance, but in the extra time of the second half, Incheon’s Hernández scored a mid-range shot from the left corner of the penalty area to decide the game.

Incheon went up one place to 6th place (43 points, 35 points, goal difference -1), and Jeju, whose recent winless streak extended to 4 games (1 draw, 3 losses), was ranked 9th (35 points).

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