After a brief respite during the A-Match break, professional soccer’s K League resumes today. Hwang Eui-jo (Seoul) will play his farewell match in the Super Match, while Jeonbuk Hyundai and Gangwon FC will play their first matches under new managers. The stars of the U20 World Cup quarterfinals that delighted soccer fans throughout the month of June are also back in action.
Hwang Ui-jo will play his final game in Seoul on June 24 in a supermatch against Suwon Samsung at 4:30 p.m. at Suwon World Cup Stadium.
After moving from Bordeaux (France) to Nottingham Forest (England) last summer, Hwang was immediately loaned out to Olympiakos (Greece), but struggled to find a place in the starting lineup. In February of this year, Hwang returned to the K League after signing a short-term contract with Seoul until the end of the European season in June. Therefore, the last game in June, against Suwon, will be a farewell match for Seoul.
In an interview after his call-up to the A team, Hwang said, “I gained a lot of good experience playing in Europe at a late age,” and then added, “I will challenge myself once more. I want to test myself once again,” suggesting a return to Europe rather than a contract extension with Seoul.
Heading into his final game, Hwang is in hot form. He scored back-to-back wonder goals against Incheon United and Pohang Steelers in the K League, and then followed that up with his first goal in a year against El Salvador for the A team.
Hwang is determined to ride that momentum and give Seoul the gift of a Super Match victory for reaching out to him in his time of need.
For Suwon, who sit at the bottom of the table with two wins, three draws and 13 losses (nine points), dropping the Super Match will make their rebound even more difficult. Suwon, who will be playing their first Super Match under head coach Kim Byung-soo, are also preparing for their rivalry match.
Jeonbuk Hyundai and Gangwon FC will be making their new managerial debuts side by side.
After parting ways with Kim Sang-sik, Jeonbuk has appointed Dan Petrescu, 54, as acting head coach after Kim Doo-hyun, and will look to rebuild the team. The away match against Gwangju FC at 7 p.m. on the 24th at Gwangju Football Stadium will be Petrescu’s K League debut.
“I came to Asia because it was Jeonbuk’s offer, not another team’s,” the Romanian coach said, adding, “I will quickly identify the problems and prepare to find the best solution for Jeonbuk.”
Jeonbuk, which has recorded 5 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss in eight games under Kim, and has risen to fifth place (8 W, 3 D, 7 L, 27 pts), is determined to capitalize on this momentum and join the race to the top with Petrescu. 안전놀이터
Gangwon FC, who are in 11th place with 2W6D10L (12 points), also made the decision to dismiss Choi Yong-soo and appoint a new coach, Yoon Jung-hwan.
Yoon was tasked with revitalizing a team that has gone eight games without a win (two draws and six losses), including two straight defeats. It will be interesting to see if Yoon can revive Gangwon, which has scored just 11 goals in 18 games, the lowest in the K League 1.
Yoon’s first game in charge of Gangwon will be against Suwon FC at Suwon Sports Complex at 7 p.m. on Nov. 25.