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Korean Football Round-up 9th Dec.

Two K League AFC Champions League quarter-finalists, Son Heung-min shines in the North London Derby, and manager ins and outs at FC Seoul and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. The latest Korean football news by Paul Neat.

#KLUPod: The Weekend Preview 12th December 2020

News Round-up

Bluewings soar, Horangi roars

Suwon Samsung Bluewings and Ulsan Hyundai both made it to the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League. Suwon did so with a win over Yokohama F. Marinos, helped by a Han Seok-jong goal from the half-way line, Ulsan sealed it with a comfortable victory of Melbourne Victory. K League's two remaining representatives in the ACL managed to avoid each other in the quarter-final draw, too meaning that an all-K League semi-final is possible. Ulsan were drawn against Beijing Guoan while Suwon were given a third match against Vissel Kobe this year.

A Seoul man

FC Seoul have appointed Park Jin-sub as new manager on a three-year contract. Park takes over at Sangam following a three-year stint with Gwangju, during which he guided the Yellows to the playoffs in 2018, the K League 2 title in 2019 and a club record sixth place in 2020. Seoul finished 9th in K League 1 in 2020 and ended the season with a fourth manager overall with three caretakers following the departure of Choi Yong-soo.

Son-forgettable Fire

Son Heung-min scored one and assisted one in Tottenham's 2-0 North London Derby win over Arsenal on Sunday. With just 13 minutes on the clock, Son guided the ball into the far corner from 20 yards out. Tottenham sit top of the Premier League table on goal difference and, following a 3-3 draw with LASK, have also made it to the Round of 32 in the Europa League. Having scored against the Austrian Bundesliga side, Son now has 13 in all competition, 10 in the league. The South Korean national team captain has hit double figures in the Premier League in each of the last five seasons. It was also a year to the day when Son scored his solo goal versus Burnley.

Replace Morais

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors are on the lookout for a new manager after announcing the departure of Jose Morais. The Portuguese enjoyed a two-year, trophy-laden spell but decided not to extend his stay in Jeonju, it was announced on Sunday. The former assistant to Jose Mourinho said that he has had an "unforgettable experience" and that he is "grateful for the passion and love" the fans showed him. Assistant Kim Sang-sik has been tipped to take over.

[READ: José Morais Leaves Jeonbuk Hyundai]

WSL Korean Derby

Ji got the better of Cho in the Women's Super League Korean Derby with Chelsea overcoming West Ham United in a 3-1 win. It was Ji's 100th match in the Women's Super League having joined Chelsea in 2014, making the Korean star the first non-Brit to rack up a century of WSL appearances for Chelsea. For West Ham and Cho So-hyun, it was a sixth defeat in eight matches.

In-beom with aplomb

Hwang In-beom was on the score sheet over the weekend, giving Rubin Kazan an early lead away to Lokomotiv Moscow. The 24-year-old let loose from distance to fire Kazan in front with a stunning strike but Leonid Slutsky's side went on to concede three and suffered a fourth defeat in five.

What's in a name?

Incheon United have announced that the club is selling naming rights to its stadium, Sungui Arena Park. Incheon say that it is a marketing plan that can positively affect not only the team but the club's stakeholders such as Incheon City Government, the fans, and participating companies.

Gimhae! Gimhae! Gimhae! (The Cup Over Two Legs) 

Gimhae FC have won the 2020 K3 title thanks to a 2-1 aggregate win over Gyeongju KHNP. After a 1-0 first leg win on November 28th, a 1-1 draw in last Saturday's second leg sealed the club's first ever league title. Gimhae were founded in 2007 and have a number of ex-K League players amongst their ranks including former Suwon Bluewing Kim Eun-sun, Park Hee-seong, once of FC Seoul, and Ahn Jae-jun from Seongnam.

My fellow (Gyeongju) Citizen! 

Meanwhile, at the opposite end of K3, Gyeongju Citizen managed to avoid relegation by overcoming Jinju Citizen in the K3/4 Promotion/Relegation Playoff. Gyeongju drew 2-2 with Jinju who finished third in K4 in a one-leg final. A semi-final was played between Jinju and FC Pocheon, which the South Gyeongsang side won 3-0 on Sunday 29th November to set up last Sunday's final.

Ki suspect

Father to Ki Sung-yeung and current Busan IPark CEO, Ki Young-wook, is facing a police investigation on possible embezzlement charges. It is alleged that Ki embezzled 300 million Korean Won, or around US$ 277,000, from Gwangju FC's budget where he served as General Manager. Two other members of staff from Gwangju FC are also accused of the same crime.

Booked in game that didn't happen

Suwon Samsung Bluewings secured their place in the AFC Champions League Quarter-finals on Monday night but had to do so without regular centre back Min Sang-gi who missed the game due to suspension. Min picked up two bookings in the group stages, one against Vissel Kobe in Match Day Six but the other was in a game that has since been declared null and void - the 2-1 loss to Johor Da'rul Tazim. Despite the game being struck from the record books, any cards picked up in the game remain valid. Suwon officials were made aware of the rule and deemed it strange, according to reports, so asked the AFC for clarification. The Bluewings were told that something similar happened in the Western side of the competition.  

[LISTEN: Patreon Exclusive Korean Football Round-up Audio Version]

Gustavo's Tat-two

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors ended the season with two trophies and striker Gustavo has decided to have them both tattooed on him. The Brazilian had both the K League title and FA Cup trophy tattooed on his leg after the North Jeolla side sealed its first ever league and cup double. Gustavo joined the Green Warriors in the summer and scored 11 goals in 21 matches in all competitions. 

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