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A Lot to Unfurl: Three Takeaways

Incheon United came out the benefactors following last weekend's matches, as they were the only side in the top five to win, a 2-0 success in the Gyeongin Derby against FC Seoul.  The relegation struggle looks intriguing as well, thanks in large part to Seongnam FC's win over Suwon FC.  In division two, both Gyeongnam FC and Chungnam Asan won their matches, meaning there is just a one point gap between them as they are set to face each other in midweek.  KLU's Branko Belan recaps the latest action.


Incheon Remain In the Hunt

Incheon recorded an important victory against FC Seoul, winning in the Gyeongin Derby by a score of 2-0, thanks to goals from Hernandes and Kim Do-hyuk.  The win keeps the Durumi in fourth place, three points behind Pohang Steelers.  The win was even more impressive considering that they have less than thirty percent of possession over the duration of the match and their passing accuracy was below the threshold of eighty percent.

It was a reminder that taking chances in front of goal is what ultimately wins matches.  However, Incheon's confidence could be dampened depending on the severity of the injury sustained by Hernandes.  According to reports, he has ligament damage in his ankle and it has yet to be determined if it will need surgery or not.  If a procedure can be avoided, he could be out for a period of two to three weeks, but if he does have to go under the knife, he could be out for a period of two to three months.  In any case, Incheon's chances of staying in the picture for an ACL place for next season could be in jeopardy, especially knowing they will have to play Jeju United in a week's time, knowing that the result will be critical in terms of placing in the table.

Relegation Battle Still in the Open

Manuel Palacios bagged the winner to give the Magpies just their fifth win of the season against Suwon FC.
Seongnam FC's 2-1 win over Suwon FC was just their fifth of the season but came on the heels of Kim Nam-il's departure from the club.  The manager, who had offered to resign earlier in the season was not allowed to leave, and poor results followed.  There is still quite a bit of work to be done, as things will not get easier when they host Ulsan on September 4th, then travel to face fellow relegation contenders Daegu FC three days later.  With Gangwon, Jeonbuk, and Pohang remaining, chances for points will be paltry at best, but with just a six point gap separating them from automatically going back down to the second division, they may yet have a chance to hope to be in a better position heading into Final B.

Elsewhere, the Sky Blues and Gimcheon Sangmu both missed an opportunity for maximum points, playing to a goalless draw, while Suwon Bluewings came out on the short end against Gangwon FC, despite being the more dominant team in possession.  They won't envy the task ahead of them, either, as they prepare for the last Super Match of the season on Sunday afternoon and then the rest of their matches will involve teams in the top half of the table.  How the table looks at the end of the regular season will dictate their chances of staying up, although they should be able to stave off a move into Korea's second tier.

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A Heated Playoff Fight

Chungnam Asan have not lost to Gyeongnam FC this season.
Both Gyeongnam FC and Chungnam Asan recorded victories last weekend, meaning that the Reds still have a one point advantage over the Owls as the two sides get ready for their midweek clash on Wednesday night.  Mo Jae-hyeon scored what turned out to be the winning goal in the 43rd minute in a victory against Ansan Greeners, while Yoo Kang-hyun scored a pair of goals in Asan's triumph over Jeonnam Dragons.

Both teams looks to be fairly safe for the moment, as Asan has a nine point lead on Gimpo Citizen in seventh, but a Gyeongnam win would increase their cushion in fifth to four points, so Park Dong-hyuk's side knows they can ill-afford to lose.  The season series has favored the men in blue, who have won once and drawn twice, with Lee Min-ki's own goal being the difference the last time the two teams met.  Asan will have home field this time around.  Will it be enough to get them three points? 

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