Five things we learned from Round 6
Yet again it would appear that the concept of attaining all three points in a game is alien to the poorer cousins in Jeolla Province. Leading 1-0 at home to Gwangju through a fantastic Orsic free-kick Jeonnam were only able to hold that lead for a total of 5 minutes before Hong Joon Ho squared things. They would then succumb to a strike from substitute Cho Ju Young with just over five minutes left. There was still time for the experienced figure of Stevo to miss a penalty as he squeezed his effort past the post although the penalty was a pretty harsh decision. They are still not bottom as that spot is currently occupied by Incheon but things are looking bleak for the POSCO boys.
A game lasts 90 mins when Incheon are in town
There’s an old saying in English football often coined by those soothsayers that are ex-pros which goes something like “a game lasts 90 minutes”. It’s up there with such classics as “the best team won” that make you want to throw your new 43 inch TV out the window upon hearing it after your team throw away the lead. In Incheon United’s case though it does ring true. After coming from behind away to Champions Jeonbuk with a 91st minute Song Si Jong goal in Round 5 they repeated the feat again in Round 6, this time leveling the score at home to rivals Suwon Bluewings with Song again begin the last-minute hero. They might still occupy last place in the table but it could all by so much worse for them if it wasn’t for their ‘never say die’ attitude or perhaps it’s simply down to their opponents lack of concentration.
Seoul’s ‘ghostly’ support
The sit atop the table, their hero has returned, they boast a rather impressive ‘goals for’ record of more than 2 goals per game so obviously the Seoul World Cup Stadium is packed to the rafters every home game right? Well it would seem not! It would appear that the simple threat of rain is enough to send the Suhoshin scampering for cover in the local malls as only just over 13,000 turned out for what had all the potential to be another goalfest at Sangam. It may seem unfair to target Seoul as K-League attendances are poor across the board but in a city of 10M and with the team looking like they could score against any opposition it is yet another shocking crowd in a stadium that’s only really close to being ‘full’ if they have closed off a stand and sold their soul to the the evils of K-POP.
Seongnam on the slide
It all started so well for Seongnam as they stormed to the top of the table with three wins out of four, which, coupled with Jeonbuk having a couple of unconvincing draws (including against cannon-fodder Incheon), resulted in renowned K-League talking head “48 Shades Mark” commenting that Seoul were Seongnam’s only realistic title-challenger. A draw at home to Jeonnam in R5 didn’t do much to quell Mark’s ebullience as he boarded the bus to Jeonju for R6’s 2nd place show-down at the rather grandiosely named Jeonbuk Castle (although to be fair the concrete is crumbling like the masonry on a 1,000 year-old castle). The game itself was pulsating as Jeonbuk twice took the lead before twice being pegged back only for Jeonbuk to snatch all three points at the death. With a couple of tough fixtures coming up we’ll have to see if this is a temporary set-back or if they are on the slide towards the bottom half of the table. Still at least he was able to console himself on the four hour bus journey back by looking forward to the next day’s Scottish Cup semi-final against a clearly inferior team….D’oh!!
The ‘goals scored’ rule is working?
One of the big changes in the K-league this season was the move from goal difference to goals scored in determining the order of the league table. Given that R6 didn’t have an obvious fifth talking point, 48 Shades has done some totally unscientific analysis of this years matches to date to determine whether the policy has worked.
Goals Scored: 83 (2.3 goals per game)
0-0 Draws: 5 (14%)
Teams failing to score: 23 (32%)
Goals Scored: 94 (2.6 goals per game)
0-0 Draws: 3 (8%)
Teams failing to score: (24%)
Could it be that the K-league authorities have finally got something right?