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FC Seoul Super Match Success and a Look at Both Ladders: Three Takeaways

FC Seoul picked up their second win of the season thanks to a 2-0 victory in the first Super Match of the year against Suwon Samsung Bluewings courtesy of goals from Aleksandar Paločević and Na Sang-ho.  Meanwhile, league leaders Ulsan Hyundai extended their lead atop the first division to five points following a convincing 3-1 home win against Daegu FC.  Gwangju FC maintained their slim advantage in first over Bucheon FC 1995, who bested FC Anyang this past weekend.  K League 1 now goes into intermission for the Asian Champions League group stage, while the second division rolls on.  KLU's Branko Belan examines the talking points from the weekend.

FC Seoul Take Bragging Rights in Super Match

In a match thoroughly dominated by the home side, FC Seoul finally managed to make their superiority count when Aleksandar Paločević put them into the lead with ten minutes left in regulation with a crisp finish just inside the post.  Na Sang-ho would add a second goal from the penalty spot in the second minute of stoppage time to seal a very important result for An Ik-soo's men.  The result moves them up to eighth in the table, while Suwon Samsung now find themselves in the relegation zone after going winless in their past seven matches.

Speculation has increased in recent days that Park Kun-ha could well be out the door, but it is currently unknown who his potential replacement could be.  Despite bringing in some key talent over the winter, namely Kwon Chang-hoon and Dave Bulthuis, the team has largely failed to gel thus far and it is thought that a change in management may be necessary as the team is off to perhaps its worst start in recent memory.

A Lot of Movement Going On

Eom Won-sang has quickly established himself as a key player for the Horangi this season.
The top two remain the same, as Ulsan Hyundai head into the league break with a five point advantage over Incheon United in second spot.  Pohang Steelers currently occupy third place, but were held by Gangwon FC last weekend away from home.  Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors have moved up to fourth following their third straight win, while Jeju United and Gimcheon Sangmu round out the top six.

The early contenders for relegation are Seongnam FC, who sit last in the division with just a single victory this year, and a minus thirteen goal differential after their first nine matches.  Recent reports suggested that Kim Nam-il wanted to resign, but was denied and will stay on with the club for the time being.  In the meantime, most of the teams in division one will now get a break as the group phase of the Asian Champions League is set to kick off this coming weekend.

Bucheon Turning Heads in Division Two

Park Chang-jun scored his third goal of the season in the win against FC Anyang.
Bucheon FC 1995 continue to be the surprise outfit in K League 2 this year.  After years of mediocrity, they have flown out of the gate after the first nine rounds, losing just once in that span, while conceding only four goals, the lowest number of any team in the league.  Will they be able to keep their momentum going, or will they taper off as the summer comes around?

Their latest success was a 2-0 win over FC Anyang last weekend, thanks to goals from Park Chang-jun and Lee Yong-hyeok.  The Violets only managed two shots on target the entire match while the hosts took advantage of their opportunities in the second half to snare all three points from the contest.

While it is a bit too early to start considering the playoff picture, especially with Jeonnam Dragons being idle in the league for their appearance in the ACL, the standings do look quite different at the moment with Bucheon being the wrench in the equation thanks to their early season success.  Daejeon Hana Citizen are up to fourth after back-to-back victories, but face an away trip to Chungnam Asan for the first edition of the Chungcheong Derby on April 18th.  The Owls are currently sixth, perhaps a bit higher than some may have had them by this point, even if it is still early days in the campaign.  Gimpo Citizen pulled off a bit of a shocker against Gyeongnam FC their last time out and are currently eighth, while Busan IPark and Ansan Greeners continue to languish at the foot of the table with just one win between them.

Will the leaders continue to assert their dominance or will there be a surprise team to shake things up a bit, especially with Jeonnam temporarily out of view for continental competition?  The next month could be telling in how things will look down the road as the campaign moves into the summer months.

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