Weekend Picks

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Weekend Picks

BASEBALL

Korea Baseball Organization

SK Wyverns at Doosan Bears

6:30 p.m. Friday, Jamsil Baseball Stadium, Seoul

With about four months left in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) season, it is becoming clearer how things could end in October before the post season of the Korean professional baseball starts.

The Doosan Bears are undoubtedly the current frontrunners for the Korean Series, and as the defending champions, their goal is a back-to-back title.

But teams like the SK Wyverns, led by skipper Kim Yong-hee, are hoping to throw them off, even though the Incheon-based club doesn’t have a great record against the Bears.

The last time the Bears and the Wyverns met was the second week of May.

Playing a three-game series from May 10 to May 12, the Bears won with two victories and one loss. The Bears’ loss came in the final game when the Wyverns topped them 5-2.

During that game, Doosan Bears pitcher Chang Won-jun recorded a loss with a disappointing earned run average of 3.06.

Against the Wyverns, the Bears have nabbed four wins and two losses so far this season.

The Wyverns see these games this weekend as opportunities to avenge the last two series in April and May, both of which the team lost two games to one.

The two teams will play at the same venue on Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m.



FOOTBALL

International friendly

Honduras U-23 team at Korea U-23 team

1:30 p.m. Saturday, Goyang Stadium in Goyang, Gyeonggi

Korea’s U-23 national football team takes on Honduras on Saturday in an international friendly match.

With former national team attacking midfielder Shin Tae-yong at its helm, the U-23 national team is in the final countdown for the upcoming Olympics. In anticipation for the Summer Games, the Korea Football Association (KFA) prepared a series of friendlies for the team to test its readiness and see where it needs to improve.

Korea’s Olympics team placed third in the 2012 London Olympics. Back then, the squad was led by wild card Park Chu-young.

This year’s team will be led by Son Heung-min, although Son will be absent from the upcoming three matches to participate in the senior team’s European friendlies.

The U-23 team looks solid at the moment. In 2016, it played 10 games, six in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship, and lost only once.

In the final game of AFC U-23 Championship in January, Korea initially went ahead of archrival Japan 2-0. But its defensive line came crashing down in the second half and the team conceded three goals to hand over the championship title to the Japanese side.

After Saturday’s game, the Korean team will conclude the three-game series of international friendly against Denmark on June 6 at Bucheon Stadium in Bucheon.


K-League Classic

Jeju United FC at FC Seoul

3:50 p.m. Monday, Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul

Park Chu-young’s FC Seoul will be taking on Lee Keun-ho’s Jeju United FC during Korean Memorial Day on Monday.

The match is a make-up game for the 11th round of K-League Classic matches, which were originally slated for the third weekend of May. The game was postponed by FC Seoul to let them prepare for the Asian Champions League (ACL) Round of 16 match against Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds.

FC Seoul is currently ranked second in the K-League standings. The team conceded the top position to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors after tying the 12th round match with Jeonnam Dragons FC.

The match against Jeonnam on May 29 came only four days after the ACL match against the Diamonds. The game against Diamonds had to go all the way to a penalty shootout as 120 minutes, including overtime, was not enough to settle the score.

As a result, Seoul’s players were exhausted going into the game against Jeonnam, and this was evident in the players looking unfocused and sluggish throughout the match. The game should have been an easy win for the Seoul as the Jeonnam Dragons have been ranked at the bottom pool in the K-League standings.

Meanwhile, Jeju team is coming out of 1-2 loss against Ulsan Hyundai FC last week.

For the rest of the K-League Classic’s teams, this is a bye week.



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