South Korea

Ulsan Top K-League After Resounding Win on Match-day One

Ulsan Hyundai emerged as the K-League leaders after a resounding win on the opening weekend. They are joined by Gangwon, Pohang, Seongnam and defending champions Jeonbuk, who also managed wins on Matchday 1.

The league’s curtain-raiser on Friday night saw Jeonbuk host Suwon at an empty Jeonju World Cup Stadium, with messages of support on the stands and artificial crowd noise to give the game some life. It was a tight game between the defending Champions and FA Cup holders, as both sides remained strong defensively.

The tide turned in Jeonbuk’s favor when Terry Antonis received his marching orders in the 75th minute, and the hosts took the advantage thanks to a goal from veteran forward Lee Dong-gook. The 41-year-old scored with six minutes left to play, sealing all three points for Jose Morais’ men.

Not to be outdone, Ulsan were eager to start the season strong after missing out on the title on goal difference last season. They wasted no time getting themselves in front, as Junior Negrao struck after just seven minutes. The Brazilian striker later doubled his side’s lead from the penalty spot.

Second-half goals from Lee Sang-Heon and Yoon Bit-Garam saw the Tigers take full points from the match, with the 4-0 goal-difference putting them on top of the league table.

Later on Saturday, a brace by Yang Dong-Hyeon within 12 minutes saw Seongnam emerge with all three points against Gwangju FC, while Incheon and Daegu played out a goalless draw.

On Sunday, Pohang Steelers picked up their first win over Busan I’Park by a 2-0 scoreline. Elsewhere, FC Seoul was beaten by Gangwon despite taking the lead through Park Dong-jin in the 36th minute. The hosts turned the game around with three second-half goals to pick up the win.