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Korean Football Round-up September 8th

A managerial casualty, an Incheon record breaker, and captain Sonny. All that and more in this week's Korean Football Round-up by Paul Neat.

K League

Hwang Sun-hong departs Daejeon

Daejeon Hana Citizen parted company with manager Hwang Sun-hong on Tuesday, despite the Purples' 1-0 win over Bucheon just a few days earlier. The win, and with Jeju and Suwon both dropping points, the Purples narrowed the gap from second and first to three and five points respectively. Assistant Manager Kang Chul is set to be placed in caretaker charge and will be tasked with guiding the Citizen to top spot with nine games left.

Title race, relegation scrap heat up


Júnior Negrão scored his 22nd goal of the season in Ulsan Hyundai’s 1-1 draw with Gwangju FC on Saturday to equal his best-ever tally, previously set in 2018. But, the Brazilian needs just one goal more from the remaining eight matches to guarantee himself the best goals-to-games ratio in K League history. Marcão of Gyeongnam is the previous record holder of 0.84 goals per match having scored 26 goals in 31 appearances in 2018. Ulsan’s draw and Jeonbuk’s defeat to Seongnam extended the gap at the top to five points. For Jeonbuk, it has been three years since they lost two league games in a row.


At the opposite end of the table, Incheon United picked up a huge win against Gangwon FC. A Stefan Mugoša hat-trick in a 3-2 victory which brings Incheon to within three points of survival. That is because Suwon Bluewings in 11th lost to 1-0 Sangju Sangmu on Friday night. The win for Sangju seals a top six finish, despite knowing they will be relegated automatically. Mugoša bagged his 39th, 40th and 41st goals for Incheon making him the club's all-time leading goal scorer.

The Weekend Preview (12th Sept.)


Women's Super League starts

In the UK the Women’s Super League kicked off over the weekend with some South Korean stars in action. Recent PFA Player of the Year nominee, Ji So-yun, started Chelsea's 1-1 draw away to Manchester United. Elsewhere, South Korean national team captain Cho So-hyun started for West Ham in a 1-1 draw away to Tottenham - sporting a new squad number.



The midfielder shifted from 20 to 14 because it was the first number she was ever given has special meaning to her. Meanwhile, Lee Geum-min was in action for Brighton and Hove Albion in a 2-0 home against Birmingham City. Midfielder Jeon Ga-eul recently joined Reading from Bristol City but was an unused substitute in the Royals' 6-1 defear to Arsenal.

Son captains Spurs

Son Heung-min captained Tottenham Hotspur during the North London club's final pre-season outing ahead of the new Premier League campaign. Spurs took on recently relegated Watford FC at Vicarage Road but lost by two-goals-to-one. Domingos Quina and Andre Gray gave the Hornets a two-goal advantage but Son halved the deficit with a spotkick on 79 minutes. Jose Mourinho's side take on Everton at home this Sunday.

Eulji Lewis

Hwang In-beom on life in Russia

In and interview with Goal.com, Korean international midfielder Hwang In-beom spoke about his move to Rubin Kazan and departing Vancouver Whitecaps.

"People in Europe acknowledged that, except for the top five leagues in Europe, the Russian league is in the top one or two. When I checked that it's a competitive league that's being recognized, I was 100% sure. That's why I came here.

"As you might know, I also spoke with Dinamo Zagreb but then all of a sudden Rubin Kazan made an offer. From that point on the Chairman and Manager at Rubin were in constant communication with me.

"When I asked, everything was explained to me. It is thought that playing me in an aggressive position is much more effective and that I can help their pacy strikers. The manager told me that they had a lot of good players but lacked players who can have a direct affect on a match. That's what he wants me to be able to do."

On leaving MLS:

"To be honest, over the last year and a half it has been mentally and physically stressful for me. I also wondered that if was a better player whether I could have helped the team a bit more. I knew I wasn't capable of changing a game by myself and becoming a player like Carlos Vela at LAFC. Nevertheless, I wanted to help the team and help climb the table. It was difficult. I felt like there were many thanks I was lacking and we spent a lot of the time defending so when an opportunity to attack did come and when the ball came to me, I didn't have the energy.

Full interview (Korean only): here

Bluewings appoint new manager

Image via Suwon Bluewings
Suwon Bluewings have appointed Park Kun-ha as new first team manager, taking over from Ju Seung-jin who was in caretaker charge following the departure of Lee Lim-saeng. Suwon were required to appoint a new manager with a pro license within 60 days of Lee Lim-saeng departing and because Ju did not possess the right qualifications, the Bluewings hierarchy moved to appoint their former midfielder Park Kun-ha. Park had a spell in charge of Seoul E-Land in 2016 and will guide a Suwon side which sits in 11th, three points above the drop zone and with the second Super Match of the season coming up this Sunday.

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