Suwon continues winning streak, leads the K-League by 2 pointsDaegu’s World Cup stadium was the site Sunday of one of the K-League’s more interesting coaching rivalries.
Both Daegu FC coach Park Jong-hwan and Suwon Bluewings FC coach Cha Bum-kun are former coaches of the Korean national team. Park stepped down from the country’s top coaching post in 1996 after the side lost 6-2 to Iran at the Asian Cup.
After Park’s departure, it was Cha who took the reins, but a poor showing by the national team at the 1998 World Cup in France resulted in Cha getting the boot as well.
Suwon has had Daegu’s number since Daegu joined the K-League in 2003, recording four wins and two draws in total. The match on Sunday was supposed to be a chance for Daegu to exact revenge for a loss to Suwon in their first encounter of the season on May 5.
Park, hoping to reverse the string of negative results against the Bluewings, spent most of the match seated on the bench because of a cast on his right foot.
He sprained his ankle in an exhibition match last month in Seoul that pitted former players born in North Korea and those born in the Seoul area.
His bad luck continued on Sunday, however, as Suwon edged Daegu 1-0 to record its fourth straight win and cement its standing at the top of the K-League’s second-half season. Suwon leads FC Seoul ― which defeated Gwangju Sangmu FC 1-0 on Sunday ― by two points.
In Daegu on Sunday, Suwon initially had difficulty in finding its balance on attack. Seventeen minutes into the second half, Cha called forward Woong Nam-kung to the bench and sent in substitute Kim Dae-eui, who is known for his pace. It was a strategy that paid dividends.
Kim Dae-eui found striker Kim Dong-hyun running across the penalty area in the 24th minute. The striker’s right-foot bullet flew over Daegu goalkeeper Kim Tae-jin’s head to put Suwon in front. That was the way it ended, denying Park and Daegu a third straight league victory.
In other K-League action, Seongnam Ilhwa FC’s Kim Do-hun completed a Lee Sung-nam cross to notch his 101st K-League goal and give Seongnam a 1-0 victory over Chonbuk Hyundai Motor FC.
Chonbuk Hyundai’s Andre Gomez was given a red card in the 35th minute, for striking another player with his hand.
Former Ulsan Hyundai star Kim Hyun-seog holds the record for most career K-League goals with 110.
In Busan, the hometown Icons defeated Daejeon Citizen 2-0. Ahmad Elrich, a member of Australia’s Olympic soccer team, assisted on both goals.
by Kang Hye-ran, Limb Jae-un
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