After late drama saw them rescue a point against the Champions in Jeonju thanks to Park Dong-jin's header, FC Seoul head into the weekend fixtures buoyed by their recent improvements on the field. Four games unbeaten, including three spirited comebacks plus a victory over local rivals in the Super Match, has seen the capital climb up to 8th with a view to pushing on into the top half.
Thursday's match also saw the much-anticipated introduction of Korean National Team midfielder Hwang In-beom, albeit from the bench. Hwang impressed in his debut though, causing Jeonbuk plenty of headaches as he showcased his passing ability to create opportunities for his teammates. Seoul supporters will be certainly hoping the former-Daejeon Hana Citizen star will be ready to start in front of a home crowd this weekend.
Suwon FC also were involved in an entertaining affair as they took on Incheon United at home. Having initially fallen behind to Lee Myung-joo's opener, newly-signed and former Incheon striker Kim Hyun was on hand to ensure things went in level at the break with a composed finish. Lee Seung-woo capped off a fine counter-attacking move to give the hosts the lead and claim his fourth goal of the season but a determined Incheon fought back. After late goals from Stefan Mugoša and Song Si-woo were both ruled out, April's Player of the Month Mugoša did finally force his way onto the scoresheet, reacting quickly to volley back Yoo Hyun's clearance.
Sunday's fixture will be the seventh meeting between these two sides, a clash that has seen Seoul dominate with five victories and a draw. That single draw saw Seoul's Aleksandar Palocević score a 90th-minute equaliser to cancel out Lars Veldwijk's earlier effort and deny Suwon FC their first win against the capital club. Could Sunday be the day when they finally chalk up that victory?
Team of the Round
Suwon Samsung Bluewings (Vs. Daegu FC)
A managerial change in the recent break saw Park Kun-ha replaced by former Daegu FC manager Lee Byung-geun. Lee is no stranger to the Big Bird, having not only spent time as a player at the club for nearly a decade, but Lee has also had roles on the coaching staff and was briefly appointed caretaker manager in 2018, overseeing Suwon's progression to the AFC Champions League semifinal after a thrilling quarterfinal with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
Lee's first league match in full charge last Thursday saw his side take on the division leaders Ulsan Hyundai, making use of Bluewings' man advantage after the dismissal of Kim Sung-joon to claim an unlikely victory and inflict the Horangi with their first defeat of the season. A single goal decided the clash in the end, scored by midfielder Elvis Sarić shortly after the hour mark.
Sunday sees Lee Byung-geun return to his old club after being replaced at the end of last season, despite guiding Daegu to Champions League football by finishing 3rd and also to an FA Cup Final. With a notable win under his belt, can Lee's Suwon side carry their momentum into Sunday and show his former employers what they might be missing?
Player of the Round
Modou Barrow, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (Vs. Incheon United)
While his side may ultimately have dropped two points last Thursday by conceding late on, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors winger Modou Barrow can be pleased with his performance as he tormented FC Seoul on the counter for the duration of the 90 minutes. Barrow had been late to join up with Jeonbuk this season having partaken in the African Cup of Nations for Gambia in an impressive campaign that saw them reach the competition's quarterfinals.
Barrow's return to action for the Green Warriors has also coincided with an upturn in form for the Champions, making his first appearance of 2022 in Jeonbuk's win over Gangwon four rounds ago and being part of the following two victories and Thursday's draw, and scoring his first goal of the campaign in the 4-0 win over Seongnam. Barrow also featured in some capacity in each of Jeonbuk's six AFC Champions League group stage matches as his side went unbeaten and progressed to the Round of 16 to be played this August.
With his pace and attacking drive being some of his key assets, not to mention his link-up play down the left with Kim Jin-su, Barrow could well be one of the key players to help expose Incheon United on the counter this Sunday.
Elsewhere in K League 1 Round 11
Ulsan Hyundai will kick off Sunday's Parents' Day celebrations with a trip to Gangwon as they look to bounce back from the first defeat of the season. Gangwon will also be hoping to pick up something in front of their own supporters having lost to Gimcheon last time out. This fixture finished 2-2 last season but it is a clash that has predominantly fallen in the Horangi's favour, with Gangwon last recording a victory against Sunday's opponents 10 years ago this month.
After being denied all three points against Daegu due to a 93rd-minute equaliser, Pohang Steelers will be hoping to get back on track as they take on a struggling Seongnam FC side. Seongnam only have one win this season but did taste victory on three of the four occasions these two sides met last season.
The other evening match sees Jeju United welcome Gimcheon Sangmu to the island with both sides separated by just a position and a point in the table. Jeju United previously faced Gimcheon Sangmu in last year's FA Cup, with the army side coming out 1-0 victors.
K League 1 Table
K League 1 Round 11 Fixtures
Sunday, 8th May, 2022
: Gangwon FC (9th) vs Ulsan Hyundai (1st) - 13:30
: Daegu FC (11th) vs Suwon Samsung Bluewings (10th) - 14:00
: Incheon United (2nd) vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (6th) - 16:30
: FC Seoul (8th) vs Suwon FC (7th) -16:30
: Pohang Steelers (3rd) vs Seongnam FC (12th) - 19:00
: Jeju United (4th) vs Gimcheon Sangmu (5th) - 19:00
Where to Watch
Fans in countries with K League overseas broadcasting rights can follow the game live on television. More information can be found here
Alternatively, the matches are also available for FREE on tv.kleague.com