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Derby win pushes FC Seoul to 2nd place in K League; Ulsan grab point thanks to late goal

By Yonhap

Published : April 24, 2023 - 09:41

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Na Sang-ho of FC Seoul (right) celebrates after scoring a goal against Suwon Samsung Bluewings during the clubs' K League 1 match at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul on Saturday (K League 1) Na Sang-ho of FC Seoul (right) celebrates after scoring a goal against Suwon Samsung Bluewings during the clubs' K League 1 match at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul on Saturday (K League 1)

By winning a key derby match against a reeling rival, FC Seoul jumped to second place in the K League 1 over the weekend, putting some early pressure on defending champions Ulsan Hyundai FC.

Ulsan, for their part, barely avoided losing consecutive matches for the first time this season, needing a last-gasp goal to take a 2-2 draw against Pohang Steelers in their own regional derby on the weekend.

In the 100th "Super Match" derby, FC Seoul cruised past downtrodden Suwon Samsung Bluewings 3-1 on Saturday. Na Sang-ho pulled into a tie for the league-lead with his fifth goal of the season, while Hwang Ui-jo and Aleksandar Palocevic also had a goal apiece.

FC Seoul now have 16 points from five wins, one draw and two losses. Pohang Steelers also have 16 points from four wins and four draws, but FC Seoul hold the first tiebreaker with a 16-13 edge in goals scored.

Suwon Samsung, meanwhile, remained in last place with two draws and six losses. This was their first match under caretaker manager Choi Sung-yong, who was promoted from the assistant position following the dismissal of head coach Lee Byung-geun last Monday.

In the "East Coast Derby," Pohang built a two-goal lead on a brace by Goh Young-jun. Ulsan got within one thanks to Joo Min-kyu's goal at the hour mark, and Valeri Qazaishvili netted the equalizer in the 90th minute to secure a precious point for Ulsan.

Pohang remained the only undefeated team in the K League 1 this season.

Elsewhere in the league, Gangwon FC played Gwangju FC to a goalless draw on Sunday and they, too, are without a victory this year. At four points from four draws and four losses, Gangwon FC stayed two points above Suwon Samsung for 11th place.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, the league champions in five of the past six seasons, blanked Jeju United 2-0 on Sunday, to climb from 10th to seventh on the table.

Jeonbuk scored a goal in each half and picked up their third win of the season, despite playing the late stretches without forward Rafa Silva and head coach Kim Sang-sik.

Silva picked up his second yellow card in the 75th minute, and Kim was tossed from the match after getting into a heated argument with officials.

On Saturday, Daegu FC defeated Daejeon Hana Citizen FC 1-0 to snap their three-match winless skid. (Yonhap)