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What We Learned From the Weekend: Three Takeaways

There is a new entry in the top six following Suwon FC's 4-3 last-gasp victory over FC Seoul on the weekend, making it six matches unbeaten for Kim Do-kyun's side.  Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Ulsan Hyundai both drew, so the gap at the top is still five points.  Things remained very much status quo in the second division with no major surprises.  KLU's Branko Belan recaps the action from the latest round of matches.
 
Suwon FC, FC Seoul Play Out One of the Matches of the Season

Suwon FC have been in fine form of late and picked up yet another victory over the weekend when they managed to outlast FC Seoul by a final count of 4-3 at the final whistle on Sunday night.  The visitors opened the scoring just three minutes in through Park Dong-jin, and doubled their advantage five minutes into the second half courtesy of Kim Shin-jin.  Not to be outdone, Lee Seung-woo continued his scoring form of late, scoring Suwon FC's first of the match on 53 minutes.

The match was then completely turned on its head when Lars Veldwijk and Kim Seung-jun scored within minutes of each other with just under twenty minutes to go.  Just when it seemed that the hosts were clear for victory, Lee Han-beom found an equalizer in the second minute of injury time and it seemed that both sides would take a share of the spoils.  In yet another twist, Jung Jae-yong scored Suwon FC's fourth goal of the match two minutes later, giving his team what looked to be an improbable win after a flat start to the second half.

Suwon FC is the last team anyone wants to play in the first division at the moment.  The amount of resilience they have shown over their current stretch is some of the best football played in K League 1 this season.  They will have opportunities for points in the coming weeks as they next face an improved Gangwon FC side, followed by Daegu FC and Incheon United before hosting the next Suwon Derby at home on August 6th.  FC Seoul, meanwhile, have gone winless in their past five league matches, and need a turnaround soon as they are now five points adrift of the top half.

Top Four Unchanged

Pohang secured another important three points ahead of their clash with Jeju United.
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors had an opportunity to close the gap at the top of the division with Ulsan Hyundai this past weekend but both sides had to settle for draws.  Ulsan were held 1-1 away against Daegu FC while Jeonbuk relinquished a two-goal first half lead and had to share the points against Incheon United.  Jeonbuk's next three matches are home to Seongnam, away to Jeju, and home to Gangwon FC, while Ulsan play their next three at home against Suwon Samsung Bluewings, Gangwon FC, and FC Seoul.

Both Jeju United and Pohang Steelers came away winners in their matches against Seongnam FC and Suwon Bluewings, respectively, setting up a pivotal clash at the Steelyard between the two clubs this coming weekend.  Pohang will have the home-field edge and have also been on better form of late.  A major concern defensively for the Tangerines is the absence from the starting eleven of Jeong Woon, who picked up a facial injury in the match against Daegu FC on June 21st and has not played since.  Currently, his estimated return is unknown and that could spell trouble if he is indeed out for a longer period of time.  Of the twenty-six goals conceded this season, thirteen have been allowed since he has been out of the lineup following the loss to the Sky Blues.

Status Quo in Division Two

Kim Dong-jin was on the mark in FC Anyang's win over Gimpo FC.
Nothing really changed in the second division following the latest round of matches, except for Gwangju FC extending their lead at the top over idle Daejeon Hana Citizen to ten points following a 2-2 draw against Seoul E-Land which saw Eom Ji-sung convert a 95th minute penalty after Kim Yeon-soo was given a second yellow card under auspicious circumstances.

FC Anyang pulled level on points with the Purples thanks to their 2-0 victory over Gimpo FC, with Kim Dong-jin and Boadu Maxwell Acosty scoring the goals, one in each half.  The bottom three all lost and the margin for the final playoff spot stayed at four points after Chungnam Asan cruised to a 4-0 win over Jeonnam Dragons and Gyeongnam FC bested Busan IPasrk in the Nakdong River Derby on Saturday night.  The two will meet this coming weekend with the Owls having the opportunity to widen the gap with the Reds to seven points, but both previous matches between them in 2022 ended in draws.  Could it be more of the same again, or will there be a winner this time around?

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