Montenegrin striker Dejan Damjanovic struck twice for capital club FC Seoul as Nelo Vingada’s men leapfrogged Jeju United to claim top spot in the K-League after the two title challengers clashed at the Seoul World Cup stadium on Saturday.
Jeju, who were a point clear of rivals Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma and FC Seoul going into the weekend, fell behind in the fifteenth minute when Uzbekistan national team captain Server Djeparov set up Damjanovic for his sixth goal of the campaign, and the 29 year-old striker added his second of the game and seventh of the league season eight minutes from time to wrap up the points for the home side.
Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma suffered a shock home defeat to basement side Daegu as they went down 3-1 despite taking an eighteenth minute lead through Jo Dong-keun. Two second half strikes from Jo Hyung-ik and a third from Jang Nam-seok gave the visitors just their third win of the season and saw Seongnam tumble down to fifth in the standings.
Reigning champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors moved up to second as an injury time strike from Kang Seung-jo gave them a hard-fought 2-1 win over Busan I’Park and moved the Jeonju side level on points with Jeju in joint-second. Also on the same number of points are Gyeongnam who were twice pegged back by Incheon United before Kim In-han scored his second goal of the match in the 64th minute to wrap up the scoring in a five goal thriller.
Suwon Samsung Bluewings’ revival under new manager Yoon Sung-hyo shows no signs of faltering as a second minute opener from Hwang Jae-won on his debut for the club, and a 52nd minute goal from Shin Young-rok on his return to K-League action with Suwon following a one year spell at Turkish side Bursaspor, moved the 2008 champions up to tenth in the table and kept alive their hopes of a push for a championship playoff spot.
Just 2,022 spectators witnessed Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i pick up full points at home to Daejeon Citizen, with Jose Maria Ortigoza’s first half penalty being added to by Noh Byung-joon’s 66th minute strike to consolidate Ulsan’s sixth place in the standings, and Seol Ki-hyeon was on target for the second consecutive match as his Pohang Steelers side came back from two goals down to rescue a point against Chunnam Dragons in Gwangyang.
K-League Results (Saturday July 31st, 2010)
Seongnam 1-3 Daegu
Ulsan 2-0 Daejeon
Jeonbuk 2-1 Busan
Gyeongnam 3-2 Incheon
FC Seoul 2-0 Jeju
Chunnam 2-2 Pohang
Suwon 2-0 Gwangju
With the regular National League season on a break until the second stage kicks off on August 21st, the fifteen clubs have been competing in the 2010 Samsung Life Insurance National League Cup competition in Gangwon-do, with the last of the group stage matches having taken place on Saturday.
Defending cup holders Goyang Kookmin Bank became the first team to book their place in the last eight as they secured their passage with a 3-2 win over Chungju Hummel and a 1-1 draw with Ulsan Mipo last Wednesday. Mipo’s 4-0 win over Chungju on Friday put them through as Group A winners with Goyang progressing in second place.
2009 National League champions Gangneung City are also through to the quarter-finals as they finished runners-up in Group B behind Yongin City. 2010 National League First Stage winners Daejeon Hydro & Nuclear Power topped Group C on goal difference from Ansan Hallelujah, and though Changwon City also finished on the same number of points they missed out on a quarter-final spot by one goal. In Group D, Busan Transportation Corporation finished top of the table with Suwon City progressing in second place.
The quarter-finals, due to take place on Monday August 2nd, see Ulsan Mipo take on Ansan with Yongin facing Suwon City, Daejeon HNP going up against Goyang KB and Busan Transportation playing Gangneung City for a spot in Wednesday’s semi-finals.
In the weekend’s K3 League action, Jeonju EM were the big winners in Group A as they trounced bottom club Seoul Martyrs 7-1. Table-toppers Samcheok Sinwoo Electronics recorded a 3-0 win away at Asan, whilst Bucheon FC 1995 dropped from second to fourth as they lost 3-1 at home to Gyeongju Citizen.
In Group B, Pocheon were held to a surprise 2-2 draw against a Gwangju Gwangsan side that had lost their previous six matches, a result that allowed Yangju to move to the top of the standings following a 2-1 win over Chunnam Youngkwang.
K3 League Group A
Bucheon 1-3 Gyeongju
Asan 0-3 Samcheok
Jeonju 7-1 Seoul Martyrs
Goyang FC 0-2 Yongin FC
K3 League Group B
Seoul United 3-2 Cheonan FC
Yangju 2-1 Chunnam Youngkwang
Gwangju Gwangsan 2-2 Pocheon
Icheon 3-1 Chuncheon