Prior to the ACL break, Jeonbuk's league form had seen an upturn, too. The Green Warriors made light work of Seongnam FC in Round 9, putting four past the Magpies. The win was Jeonbuk's third in a row and extended their unbeaten run to four after previously losing three on the spin and being without a win in six. Such form moved Kim Sang-sik's men up to fourth in the table.
Opponents FC Seoul also began to see an improvement in their results prior to the ACL break. In league play, An Ik-soo's men are three unbeaten with two draws and one win. Said win was the 2-0 Super Match victory over rivals Suwon Bluewings but the two draws which precede it could be seen as 'winning draws'. Away to Pohang in Round 7 a Na Sang-ho penalty in the 81st minute rescued a draw then in the 2-2 draw with Gangwon, Seoul came from two goals down to earn themselves a share of the spoils. Seoul moved up to ninth place, just two points off the top six.
Although the two teams are both seen as genuine K League giants, Seoul have to hark back to July 2017 for their last win over Jeonbuk, 15 meetings ago. The Green Warriors have won each of the last five meetings and have nine wins and one draw from the last 10.
Team of the Round
Ulsan Hyundai (vs. Suwon Samsung Bluewings)
Looking to put their AFC Champions League exit behind them, attention now turns to the K League for Ulsan Hyundai. In league play, Ulsan are on a run of four wins from their last five outings, seven from their first nine matches of the 2022 season and are the only K League team to remain unbeaten. The Horangi are also the league's sharpest shooters with 15 goals scored the most in the division and a plus 10 goal difference bar far the healthiest, six goals more than their nearest rivals Pohang Steelers and Incheon United who both have a goal difference of plus four. Ulsan have made the most shots in K League 1 so far with 109 but actually slip to fourth in terms of accuracy at 37.6% but are second in terms of shots from open play. This Thursday, Ulsan are away to Suwon Samsung Bluewings, a side which is without a win in its last seven in the league but will have new manager Lee Byung-keun in charge following the departure of Park Kun-ha.
Player of the Round
Stefan Mugoša, Incheon United (vs. Suwon FC)
Stefan Mugoša is K League 1's joint-top scorer with seven goals already this season. Six of the seven goals have come in Incheon's last five matches and have helped earn nine extra points in terms of being the difference between turning defeats into draws and draws into wins. It is perhaps little surprise to discover that Mugoša is among the most trigger-happy players in K League 1 with 29 shots the joint-most in the division. And with 58.33% of all attempts finding the target, Mugoša sits fourth in the division in that regard. The Montenegro international is a huge threat in the air and leads K League 1 for headed shots made, three of which have ended up as goals which is also the most in the division. This Thursday Mugoša and Incheon take on Suwon FC. In this same fixture last season, at a similar time of the year too in May, Mugoša scored a 96th-minute penalty
to rescue a point.
Elsewhere in K League 1 Round 10
Elsewhere in K League 1 Round 10, Seongnam FC take on Jeju United for the so-called "Nam Ki-il derby" with the current Jeju manager heading back to his former employers the Magpies. Last season, for what was Nam's first visits back to Tancheon after leaving and joining the Islanders, his team picked up one win and two draws. The last meeting at Tancheon, however, ended as a 0-0 draw. Seongnam's last win over Jeju was when Nam Ki-il was at the helm in 2019.
Later in the afternoon, Pohang Steelers welcome Daegu FC to the Steel Yard who make the short trip across North Gyeongsang Province. Daegu will be full of confidence having finished top of ACL Group F, likewise Brazilian striker Zeca who bagged six goals in six matches in ACL. The Sky Blues' new striker had already gotten off the mark in the K League but the goal came in a 3-1 defeat to Ulsan. Daegu will be hoping that their form in continental competition can turn their fortune around in the league having gone four matches without a win with three losses prior to the ACL. Pohang, on the other hand, had moved up to third with just one loss in their last give.
And finally, Gimcheon Sangmu are at home to Gangwon FC in one of the day's late kickoffs. Gimcheon had managed just one win from their last five heading into the ACL break while Gangwon were on a run of five matches without a win. However, both teams picked up FA Cup wins while K League took a short hiatus and so will be looking to build momentum.
K League 1 Table
K League 1 Round 10 Fixtures
Thursday 5th May
: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (1st) vs FC Seoul (2nd) - 14:00 #SFCvJEJ
: Seongnam FC (1st) vs Jeju United (2nd) - 14:00 #SSBvULS
: Suwon Samsung Bluewings (1st) vs Ulsan Hyundai (2nd) - 16:30 #POHvDAE
: Pohang Steelers (1st) vs Daegu FC (2nd) - 16:30 #SUWvINC
: Suwon FC (1st) vs Incheon United (2nd) - 19:00 #GIMvGAN
: Gimcheon Sangmu (1st) vs Gangwon FC (2nd) - 19:00
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