The Pohang Steelers, who are in second place in the K League 1 (1st Division), missed another chance to catch up with the ‘absolute favorites’ Ulsan Hyundai. Pohang drew 1-1 at home against Gwangju FC on Nov. 13. Ulsan’s loss to Gangwon FC on the 12th narrowed the gap to single digits. Ulsan coach Hong Myung-bo said, “The atmosphere is the lowest since I took over.” However, Pohang only managed to reduce the gap to one point after scoring the first goal against Gwangju. In the end, the gap between Ulsan (57 points) and Pohang (46 points) remained in double digits (11 points).
Pohang has also failed to earn a point against Ulsan this season. They drew 2-2 away in the first ‘East Coast Derby’ of the season on April 22, and welcomed Ulsan to Anbang on July 8, but lost 0-1. Time and again, they failed to capitalize on opportunities to end Ulsan’s dominance.
Photo credit=Korea Football Organization
바카라 If they can’t close the gap in their remaining two games in August, their chances of winning the title before the split will become increasingly unlikely. In September, “Stork Prince” Ko Young-jun will be called up to the national team for the Hangzhou Asian Games. Coach Hwang Sun-hong plans to field a full Asian Games squad starting next month on Sept. 4 during the A-match period, and then fly to Hangzhou for a domestic training camp between Sept. 13-15 before opening the tournament’s group stage against Kuwait on Sept. 19. This means that the Sept. 2 game against Incheon could be Ko’s last before the split system kicks in. Pohang coach Kim Ki-dong will have to play four matches without his key striker. The team will also need time to recover from the Asian Games after the split. On top of that, they have the Asian Champions League to contend with. Any injuries could spell trouble for Pohang.
That’s why they need a quick recovery from Hong Yun-sang, a big striker with experience in Europe. Hong Yun-sang’s physical condition and lack of experience have prevented Kim from naming him in the starting lineup.