Will Ulsan Hyundai, which has laid the stepping stone for a turnaround, continue its dominance in the league, or will its ‘east coast rival’ Pohang Steelers chase after it?
The 31st round of K League 1 takes place on this fateful weekend. ‘Defending champ’ Ulsan, which has been on a formidable upward trend since the beginning of the season, has recently lost momentum in the league. Since their 1-0 win over Pohang on July 8, they have only won 2 games (3 draws, 4 losses) in 9 games. Meanwhile, Pohang showed the opposite momentum by recording 9 consecutive games undefeated (5 wins, 4 draws).
At the beginning of the summer, it seemed like no team could catch up with Ulsan, but Pohang narrowed the gap to 6 points. Ulsan has 19 wins, 5 draws, and 6 losses (62 points), and Pohang has 15 wins, 11 draws, and 4 losses (56 points).
Above all, Ulsan has a bad relationship with Pohang on its way to winning the K-League title. In the final league games of 2013 and 2019, they were caught by Pohang and missed out on the championship cup. This is the background for Pohang being called the ‘Kingmaker’.먹튀검증
So Ulsan fans are very conscious of Pohang’s pursuit.
Ulsan and Pohang will play away games in round 31 on the 24th. Ulsan will face Suwon FC, and Pohang will face Daegu FC. The opposing team is clearly motivated. Suwon FC remains in 10th place (29 points). We desperately need to escape the relegation zone. The point difference with 11th place Gangwon FC (24 points) is only 5. Daegu is also ranked 4th (44 points), but the point gap with 7th place Incheon United (43 points), which is equivalent to Final B, is only 1 point. In short, if you miss the 31st round, you cannot be guaranteed Final A.
Ulsan, which had faltered, turned around in the Asian Champions League (ACL) in midweek. On the 19th, Martin Adam (Hungary), who was silent in the first game of the group stage against Pathum United (Thailand), scored a hat trick and won 3-1. In the match against Daejeon Hana Citizen (1-1 draw) on the 16th, players who had not had a chance to play played a full role on the field. For Ulsan coach Hong Myung-bo, the last two games served as an opportunity to change the team atmosphere.
As Ulsan transfers its reversal to the league, whether it will start its dominance again or allow Pohang to catch up is expected to be the biggest highlight in the competition for the top spot in K-League 1 this weekend. In particular, Ulsan and Pohang will face off in round 32 on the 30th. The 31st round is a watershed in the fight for the lead.