2 July 2014 06:06
Defending champions the Pohang Steelers and Jeju United will square-off in a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday as the K-League resumes.
The K-League season was put on hold due to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, with South Korea’s top-flight on hiatus since May 18.
But the competition returns to action over the weekend as Korea attempt to forget about their national team’s disappointing group-stage exit from the World Cup.
League-leading Pohang and their trip to Jeju on Saturday highlights the weekend’s fixtures, with just four points separating the two teams after 12 rounds.
Prior to the World Cup break, Pohang – still in contention for the AFC Champions League title – had won four of their last five league games to sit atop the standings in Korea.
Korean forward Kim Seung-Dae – the league’s top scorer with seven goals – scored three goals in that period and Hwang Sun-Hong’s men will be hoping he is at his best against a Jeju outfit, who are level on 21 points alongside Jeonbuk Motors.
Jeju also boast an impressive record at home this season with four wins, a draw, a loss and three clean sheets at the Jeju World Cup Stadium, though they have failed to beat Pohang in their five most recent meetings in all competitions – losing four and conceding 12 goals in the process.
In other fixtures on Saturday, Jeonbuk Motors are away to seventh-placed Busan I’Park.
Veteran Jeonbuk captain Lee Dong-Gook – Korea’s ninth most-capped player with 99 appearances – missed out on World Cup selection and will be determined to make a statement at the Busan Asiad Stadium.
Suwon Bluewings are also in action on Saturday, playing host to Gyeongnam, who have the worst defence in the K-League after shipping 19 goals in 12 games.
While the Chunnam Dragons – five points off the pace in fourth position – go head-to-head with the inconsistent five-time league champions Seoul.
On Sunday, cellar-dwellers Incheon United take on Sangju Sangmu in a battle of the league’s bottom two.
Though they will have to improve in attack, having only scored four goals thus far – the least of any club in the K-League this season.
Meanwhile, fifth-placed Ulsan make their way to Seongnam in Sunday’s only other game.