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Where Do We Go From Here?: Three Takeaways

With a slate of midweek matches in the offing, results in both divisions turned a few heads, as Jeju United overturned a one goal deficit to defeat Suwon FC 3-1, while FC Seoul crept into the top six following a 1-0 victory over Pohang Steelers.  Gwangju FC opened up a four point cushion in the second division after Bucheon FC 1995 were held goalless against Chungnam Asan.  KLU's Branko Belan reviews the action from the weekend.


Tangerines Storm Back For Important Victory

After Jung Jae-yong gave Suwon FC a one goal lead in the 31st minute, Jeju United responded with three goals in the second half, as Joo Min-kyu, Kim Ju-gong, and Lee Chang-min all found the back of the net to move Nam Ki-il's men up to second spot in the table with a critical match against Ulsan Hyundai coming up on Wednesday night.

After losing all three matches against Suwon last season, the islanders have taken four out of a possible six points from the tie thus far this season after a 0-0 draw on Matchday Four.  Jeju kept up the pressure in the offensive third for much of the match and were fortunate that Kim Dong-jun was on great form as he has been on several occasions this year, making several key saves to keep his side in the match before the floodgates opened with just under twenty minutes remaining.  A relentless high press led to the first goal with Joo tapping in from close range.  Kim Ju-gong was in the right place at the right time to head home Jung Woon's cross from the right with the seconds ticking away, while Lee Chang-min added another insurance marker in injury time to seal three important points in what was a much-needed away win.

Jeju next face Ulsan Hyundai, a side they have struggled against in recent years, as they are winless in nine matches against them dating back to the 2018 season.  With the match being played at Munsu Stadium, the hosts will have a decided advantage, but the islanders know that a win would pull them to within two points of top spot and potentially create some distance from the teams in their rearview mirror.

FC Seoul Into the Upper Half

FC Seoul are one of the hottest sides in K League 1 at the moment.
FC Seoul moved into the top half of the table thanks to a 1-0 victory over Pohang Steelers this past weekend, on the strength of a six match unbeaten run in league play.  Na Sang-ho scored the only goal of the match with twelve minutes remaining in regulation time.  It was a deserved result as the club from the capital dominated proceedings for the majority of the match, with 69 percent of the ball and 21 total shots, although only four managed to find the target.

After a bit of a slow start to the campaign, the red and black have rebounded well and now sit just three points out of the top three.  Na's winner against the Steelers was his fifth goal of the season, to go along with one assist.  Their next three matches have them away to Gangwon FC, home to Seongnam FC, and away again to Gimcheon Sangmu in league play, while they also have an FA Cup date with Jeju United before playing the second Super Match of the season on June 19th following the international break.  Points are to be had, and now is the opportunity for positioning in the table to take priority if they want to be considered as contenders for at least a place in Asia next year.

Gwangju Go Four Points Clear

The Yellows have not lost in nine consecutive outings.
Gwangju FC recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over Ansan Greeners on the weekend and extended their lead atop the second division thanks to Bucheon FC 1995's 0-0 draw against Chungnam Asan.  Goals from Heo Yool and Ha Seung-un were more than enough to see the Yellows run their undefeated streak to nine consecutive matches.  The two sides are still well in front of the rest of the pack with the gap between second and third currently at seven points.

Gwangju are set to face Gyeongnam FC, Busan IPark, and Chungnam Asan in their next three league matches, so the opportunity to extend their lead even further is ever-present.  Despite some unconvincing performances in recent weeks, they have shown this season that they are capable of finding ways to win, and should they continue with good results into the near future, there may be little chance of anyone catching them in the title race as the season moves into the summer months.  While it is still early to make such a prediction, the other teams in the division have not done nearly enough to keep up.  June will be a telling month as to how things will play out for the rest of the season.  

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