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K League Headlines: July 20th - 26th

Korean Football News July 2019
After another busy week for Korean football, our own Chris Park takes a look through the Korean media for headlines you might have missed and provides short translated summaries of some of the notable stories.

[K League 1] Last-minute Sangju Sangmu Penalty Ruins Ulsan Hyundai’s Perfect Night

Ulsan Hyundai drew 2-2 with Sangju Sangmu in their home game on Monday, meaning they remained in second place. It was a disappointing result for Ulsan. If they had won the game, they could have overtaken leaders Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and stepped up to the top of the league table. With the draw, Ulsan have the same points as Jeonbuk, but Jeonbuk have scored more goals in the league.

Ulsan dominated the match, opening the scoring with Junior's penalty goal in the 40th minute. In the 55th minute, however, Sangju's Park Yongji levelled proceedings. Ulsan retook the lead in the 77th minute when Mix scored from a corner kick. However, with Park Yongji's shot hitting Ulsan’s defender Kang Minsoo's arm in additional time, the referee gave Sangju a late penalty kick, with Yoon Bitgaram calmly converting to share the spoils. 

Source: MK Sports (Ahn Juncheol)
Date: July 24th, 2019

[Korean National Team] Third South Korean Female player in England. Manchester City W.F.C. signs Lee Geummin

Gyeongju KHNP has officially announced that Lee Geummin, a key player for the team, will move to FA Women's Super League side Manchester City WFC. This will make Lee the third South Korean female footballer to play in England after Ji Soyun (Chelsea Ladies) and Cho Sohyun (West Ham United WFC).

Manchester City WFC is a strong team that recently won one championship and two runner-up finishes in the Women's Super League in the last three seasons. With so many talented players at such a high level, it is expected to be of great help to Lee's development. Lee Geummin will soon leave South Korea to join Man City's preseason training from July 27 ahead of the new season.

Source: Sports World (Kim Jinyeop)
Date: July 25th, 2019

[K League 1] Jeju United sign Oh Seunghoon from Title-Chasers Ulsan Hyundai

Jeju announced that they have signed goalkeeper Oh Seunghoon from Ulsan Hyundai. Oh, a former member of the national team for the 2009 Summer Universiade, made his professional debut at the Tokushima Vortis in the J2 League. He played 72 games in the next three seasons and moved to Kyoto in 2013 and played 79 games in two seasons.

Oh is a veteran goalkeeper with flexibility, quickness and leadership, as well as an overwhelming physical figure. With Oh's signing, Jeju's defence, which ranks second in the league's highest goals conceded (40 goals), is expected to harder to prise open.

Source: Sports Chosun (Park Chanjun)
Date: July 26th, 2019

[K League 1] Former Incheon United Player Lee Yunpyo Files Lawsuit against Club for Unpaid Wages

Lee Yun-pyo had been under a three-year contract with Incheon United, starting from Jan. 1st, 2017 and running through until Dec. 31st, 2019. However, ahead of the 2019 season, the Incheon United asked Lee to either transfer to another team or leave the side for only 15 per cent of the previous year's salary.

Lee applied to the K League for a salary adjustment on Incheon United's decision, but the K League decided to "Terminate the contract between the Incheon United and Lee Yunpyo, and with the compensation, the club should pay 30 per cent of the previous year's salary to the player." Lee objected the K League’s decision and filed a retrial with the KFA, but the KFA also decided that "The club should pay Lee 50 per cent of the previous year's pay instead of 30 per cent."

The above decisions of the Korean Football Association and the Korean Professional Football League are believed to go against previously set Supreme Court precedents and against the legitimate rights and interests of players. Therefore, after consultation with the Players' Association, Lee Yunpyo has filed a lawsuit against Incheon United for the payment of unpaid salaries.

Source: InterFootball (Jung Jihoon)
Date: July 23rd, 2019

[K League 1] From an Unknown to Byungsoo Ball’s Key Player; Gangwon FC’s Cinderella, Kim Jihyeon.

Gangwon FC's Kim Jihyeon is the hottest rookie in Korean professional football this season. It's only his second year as a pro, but he has already scored eight goals. After Kim Shinwook left Jeonbuk for Shanghai this summer, he has scored the most goals as a Korean player in the K League this year, beating the big stars such as Moon Seonmin (Jeonbuk) and Park Yongji (Sangju).

After almost being buried as an unknown player due to injuries in high school, he has been playing a huge role since making his professional debut. Gangwon FC, which finished in eighth place last year, is enjoying strong form and sits fourth with 10 wins, four draws and eight losses. Kim Jihyeon's performance is currently helping lead Gangwon FC and fans will be looking forward to seeing how far this young talent can go.

Source: Dong-a Ilbo (Lee Wonhong)
Date: July 26th, 2019

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