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Early Season Indications?: Three Takeaways

Another round of K League action saw a bit of movement in the top division thanks to Jeju United's 2-0 home victory against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, while Daegu FC also made an impression with a statement win against Seongnam FC.  Meanwhile, title challengers in the second division played to a draw on Saturday afternoon.  KLU's Branko Belan has a look at the storylines from the weekend.


Jeju Secure First Victory Against Jeonbuk Since 2017

After a slow start to the season, the islanders seem to have turned a corner as they picked up a significant victory against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors over the weekend.  It was the islanders' first triumph over the men in green since 2017 when they finished runners-up to their compatriots with Joo Min-kyu and Kim Ju-gong is registering on the scoresheet.

Questions should be asked even if the campaign is in its early stages.  Are we to have a new champion this year?

Nam Ki-il's formula seems to have had some success in the past few seasons, winning K League 2 in 2020, bringing the club its first league title in three decades, and now swooping in the winter transfer window to strengthen an already potent club.

The new pieces have mended well in a short time and once the injury slate clears itself, the Tangerines will be a force to be reckoned with as the season moves forward.

Falling just short of an ACL place at the conclusion of last season, they will look to take the next step and look to return to Asia's premier club competition provided a good run of form in the league this year.  Following their win on Saturday afternoon against perennial trophy holders Jeonbuk, it should be seen as a priority.

Sky Blues Show Impressive Form

Edgar notched his first goal of the season against the Magpies.
Daegu FC put forth their best performance of the season in a 3-1 win against Seongnam FC thanks to goals from Edgar Silva, Ko Jae-hyun, and Bruno Lamas.  

The appointment of Alexandre Gama looks to be paying dividends as the experienced manager is bringing the squad to fruition early in the new campaign as evidenced by a comprehensive performance against the Magpies.  Several outgoings had many to believe it would be a rebuilding year, but their latest performance should give observers of the league some pause as Gama is proven mettle with several coaching plaudits to his credit.

Edgar is in the books having notched his first marker of the new season last weekend.

He has a complement of players surrounding him, including Cesinha, who has been a mainstay in K League for a number of years, and with a potential group stage position in the Asian Champions League to play for in the days to come, there is all to play for.

Title Contenders Play to a Draw

There was not to be a winner between Daejeon Hana Citizen and FC Anyang on the afternoon.
In one of the most anticipated fixtures of the season to date, Daejeon Hana Citizen and FC Anyang had to settle for a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon.  Both are considered favorites for promotion, and the first encounter had a bit of everything on offer.

Jonathan Moya continued his great run of early-season form finding the back of the net just minutes before the interval.  It was the home side that carried much of the play over the ninety and their endeavor was finally rewarded when Won Ki-jong equalized just one minute before the end of regular time.

The Purples would see it as a missed opportunity to put a stamp on the division in the early going, but with three more fixtures head to head over the course of the season, this could be the tie to decide who goes up and who may stay down come the end of the season.  In any case, both are candidates to move up and the remaining matches between the two will be marked on respective calendars with the next meeting ahead in mid-June.  

The table should be able to tell a better story by then.  In the meantime, both sides will be looking to amplify their form ahead of what will surely be an important early summer encounter.

FNR

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