2010 National League Second Stage preview

2010 National League Second Stage preview

The second stage of the 2010 National League season will kick off on Saturday, with the race to join first stage winners Daejeon Hydro & Nuclear Power in the post-season championship playoffs sure to be a closely-contested one.

Daejeon, who edged out Busan Transportation Corporation and Incheon Korail during the final round of matches to win the first stage, open their second stage campaign away to Gangneung knowing that if they were to finish top of the standings again then they would lift the championship outright.

First stage runners-up Busan received a confidence boost during the summer when they defeated Ulsan Mipo Dockyard to lift the National League Cup trophy, and the two sides will square off against each other tomorrow in a rerun of the August 6th cup final.

Incheon Korail will travel to Yesan with high hopes of getting their second stage campaign off to a winning start against the side that finished second-bottom in the first stage, whilst bottom side Mokpo travel through to face Gimhae FC.

There will be a clash of two former league powerhouses when Suwon City travel the short distance north to face Goyang Kookmin Bank. The visitors are likely to have the league’s third foreign import, Brazilian forward Reginaldo de Souza (Naldinho) on display. Hopes are high that he’ll have a similar impact as that made by Ulsan Mipo’s two imports Alexandre Egea and Marcos Vinicius Dos Santos Rose.

Naldinho wasn’t the only signing of note during the summer transfer window, as former Daegu and Incheon United forward Park Jae-hyun has joined up at Ulsan Mipo from Greek side Ethnikos Piraeus. Also returning to Korea from foreign shores is Shim Jae-won, a right-back formerly of Eintracht Frankfurt, Busan I’Park and most recently Chinese side Changsa Ginde, who will now be turning out for Gangneung City. Ex-Anyang LG, Busan I’Park and Daegu FC midfielder Han Jung-hwa has joined Goyang Kookmin Bank and talented young striker Park Joon-tae will be swapping his Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i uniform for that of Ulsan Mipo Dockyard.

The second stage kicks off tomorrow (August 21st) and will run until November 6th. Provided Daejeon Hydro & Nuclear Power don’t win the second stage and thus claim the championship outright, the second stage winners will join Daejeon along with the two other sides with the best combined records in the post-season playoffs scheduled for November 12th, with the two-legged championship final scheduled for November 16th and 19th.

National League Second Stage Round 1 Fixtures (Saturday August 21st 2010)
Yesan v Incheon Korail
Chungju Hummel v Yongin City
Goyang KB v Suwon City
Gangneung v Daejeon HNP
Cheonan City v Changwon City
Ulsan Mipo v Busan TC
Gimhae v Mokpo City

National League First Stage Standings
Daejeon HNP 28
Busan TC 27
Incheon Korail 26
Goyang KB 24
Yongin 23
Changwon 21
Cheonan 21
Gangneung 21
Ulsan Mipo 20
Suwon City 19
Gimhae 18
Chungju 14
Ansan 10
Yesan 10
Mokpo 8

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