Episode 141 – Once Busan, Twice Shy

Episode 141 – Once Busan, Twice Shy
The Ulsan tiger finally wakes up from its domestic slumber!

The boys meet up to wrap-up the 2017 K-League season as Ulsan hosted Busan in the final match of the year in the 2nd leg of the FA Cup final. The visitors had it all to play for as they came into the match 2-1 down but it was unfortunately not to be and the ‘fairytale’ ending that all the neutrals had hoped for wasn’t to be realised. Busan did give it their all and came close on a couple of occasions but for all their attacking play they were pretty limited in terms of chances. There was one moment at the end of the 1st half when they hit the post which might have changed the outcome of the tie but in the end Ulsan saw the game out comfortably and lifted their first trophy since winning the ACL in 2012 . This was actually their first domestic silverware since winning the league away back in 2005 and it’s been a long wait for the Horang-i. They will have a lot more time to prepare for next year’s ACL than this year’s and will need that time as they were paired with Kawasaki Frontale, Melbourne Victory and more than likely Shanghai SIPG

Also on this week’s episode Mark takes a trip back down memory lane and tells us about his experience at the 2013 East Asian Cup, the guys announce their winners and losers of the week, discuss the new managerial appointments in the Challenge, discuss the draw for the ACL group stages and more……

Advertisements

The 2017 Alternative K-League Awards – Soldier of the Year

The 2017 Alternative K-League Awards

Soldier of the Year 2017

This award goes to the best K-league player serving their military service with Sangju FC.

 

 

Runner-up – Kim Tae Hwan – You’ve got to take your hat off to a player who has played 30+ matches in five consecutive seasons in the Classic. For both Seongnam and Ulsan before his military service he was one of the first names on the team sheet and he continued that in the red of Sangju in 2017, making 34 appearances for the Army as they battled to stay in the top division. Deployed in the right winger role that he made his own during his spells at Seongnam and Ulsan he has gone on to be a mainstay of the Sangju team also, unlike other ‘big names’ such as Yoo Sang Hoon and Yun Young Sun.

Winner – Joo Min Kyu – There was a lot of hype surrounding ‘Joomes’ while he was playing for Seoul E-Land in the Challenge but a lot of people were still in doubt that he could cut it at a higher level … but enough about Uli Stielike. It didn’t take him long to find the net in an Army shirt though as he scored on his first start against Jeonnam Dragons. He did hit something of a dry spell afterwards, scoring only 3 times in the next 4 months. Fast forward to August 12th though and suddenly ‘Joomes’ was back as he scored a  quite incredible 11 goals in 7 matches. This feat took him to the brink of the K-League record for goals scored in consecutive games… unfortunately he would fall at the final hurdle, away to FC Seoul. The fact that it was Hwang Sun Hong’s record that was on the line is one of those footballing ironies that makes us love the game. He would end up finishing the season on 17 goals and it would be more than fitting that is was his spot-kick that was the decisive penalty in the shoot-out which kept Sangju in the K-League Classic and gives the man himself at least one more year to showcase at the top table.

Joo Min Kyu a quite worthy winner of Soldier of the Year 2017

Classic K-League – The 2005 Dolphins FA Cup Run

The Dolphins ‘school’ all on the way to the 2005 FA Cup Final

This year’s FA Cup may have fizzled out with a forgettable FA Cup Final played out over two-legs at the end of a long season when it’s too cold to play football. But it hasn’t always been like this. No, things used to be far worse! From that era of neutral grounds, 2pm weekday kick-offs and the final three rounds all crammed into one inglorious December week, one year does stand out though. Just like 2017, it was a year when a lower league team almost made it to the Asian Champions League.

Ulsan Mipo players celebrate Jung Min-mu’s stoppage time goal that sealed victory against Chunnam in the 2005 FA Cup semi-final at Seoul World Cup Stadium (Pic: OSEN News)

Continue reading “Classic K-League – The 2005 Dolphins FA Cup Run”

Episode 140 – One Game, Two Cups

Episode 140 – One Game, Two Cups
It was close but no cigar for Busan as the Army win the playoffs

The focus for this week’s episode is on the boys from Busan as their season draws to a close with two final appearances in the space of a week. It was a week which promised so much but ultimately delivered nothing but heartbreak, and VAR anger, as first they lost to Sangju on penalties in the playoff final before falling 2-1 at home to Ulsan in the first leg of the FA Cup Final….yeah I know it’s 2017 and Korea still has two-legged Cup finals :-). The playoff final defeat must really have hurt as they fought back from a 1-0 1st leg defeat to take the Army boys to penalties and were it not for a contentious VAR call (again I hear you say) they would almost certainly have killed the tie off in normal time. Joo Min Kyu would be the Army’s hero on the day as he scored the decisive penalty for Sangju to consign Busan to their third season on the bounce in the Challenge. Sangju have under-performed this year and when you look at the potential influx of players for the 2018 season you do get the feeling they might have won the Challenge in 2nd gear. As mentioned, Busan would then go on to lose at home in the FA Cup to an Ulsan team who on the day looked a division higher than their opponents. Can they turn it around in the 2nd leg???

Also on this week’s episode the 48 Shades boys look ahead to the World Cup draw and Mark gets his Anyone But England scarf out, they get their anoraks on to analyze foreigners in the K-League, preview the 2nd leg of the FA Cup, reveal their winners and loser of the week and more…….

 

Episode 139 – Open All Hours

 

Episode 139 – Open All Hours

On this week’s episode the boys discuss the final round of the K-League Classic as Suwon Bluewings confirmed their place in the ACL qualifiers and Sangju confirmed their place in the playoffs due to a quite ridiculous episode of shambolic defending as not one but three players trip over each other and fail to prevent Incheon taking the lead. Sangju would then go on to somehow return from Busan 1-0 to the good after being pummeled by the lower league team in the first leg of the playoff final and find themselves in pole position going into the 2nd leg. As mentioned The Bluewings fought their way into next year’s ACL with a spirited comeback in Jeonju with the departing Santos being the hero, coming off the bench and scoring twice to send the boys in blue back home with 3pts in their pocket and smiles on their faces. Both FC Seoul and Ulsan managed to round the season off with victories and all eyes will now be on the FA Cup final as Ulsan and Busan clash over two legs to see who will take home the silverware and that all important last ACL spot.

Also on this week’s episode the guys give their winners and losers of the week, discuss the upcoming playoff final leg and how Sangju’s captain still gets to play despite his red card against Incheon, they talk about the Gyeonggi Cup, all the hot news making the K-League forums buzz, FC Seoul’s new “fashion range” and more……

Episode 138 – It Was All Bus While!

Episode 138 – It Was All Bus While!

After Mark’s lengthy and rather alcohol-infused round trip to watch Asan defeat Seongnam in the playoffs the guys relocate to a “dry” venue for this week’s episode as they discuss all the big news in the K-League and beyond. The main focus is on the recent Korean National team games as they defeated Colombia in Suwon before drawing with Serbia in Ulsan. It was a double header of almost unbridled joy as Korea emerged unscathed from the matches….which is more than can said for Colombia’s chances of winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018. There was a double for Son Heung Min against the South Americans before Ko Ja Cheol grabbed an equalizer against the Serbians. We also saw a debut handed out to Daegu FC’s Cho Hyun Woo as the keeper got just rewards for a fine season and some pretty nifty attacking play from the hosts as, especially against Colombia, they opened their opponents up with relative ease……now if only they can find a natural goal-scorer (yes Joo Min Kyu I’m looking at you).

All in it was a good set of results for the Taegeuk Warriors as they hope to put on a better show than the abject performances in Brazil….speaking of abject, Mark is so disgusted with Seongnam’s showing against Asan that he has downloaded Football Manager 2018 Mobile and vowed to right the wrongs of 2017…..we’ll keep you posted on that one.

Also on this week’s show the boys preview the final round of the Classic, announce their winners and losers of the week, look ahead to Busan v Asan in the playoffs, give their tips for the drop from the Classic and more…….

Episode 137 – Suwon have only got one ball!

Episode 137 – Suwon have only got one ball!

The boys meet up this week to discuss all the great, great news happening in the K-League while a certain President is in town, hence the rather interesting background noise!! The boys look ahead to the first round of the playoffs featuring Asan and Seongnam and with no K-League matches on the weekend attention was tuned to the National Team’s upcoming friendlies. First up is the visit of Colombia to Suwon World Cup Stadium before the Taegeuk Warriors welcome Serbia to Ulsan. The Colombians have promised to bring James Rodriguez to Korea which should, hopefully, put a few extra on the crowd. Korea will of course have their own ‘crowd-drawers’ as both Ki Seung Yueng and more importantly Son Heung Min have made the trip over for the games. Coach Shin Tae Yong has come under quite a bit of flak as many don’t view him as a) being good enough or b) imaginative enough to lead Korea out of the group stages in Russia. He needs a good couple of performances from his players to get that much needed breathing space from an expectant fanbase and a less than patient media.

Also on this week’s show the boys discuss the final round of the K-League Classic and Seoul’s chances of an ACL spot, announce their winners and losers of the week, look at some of the Colombians who have graced the pitches in this week’s K-Classic and more…….