Week one of the 2020 K-league season has finally been completed and we had a global audience tuning in to watch the local game that we love so much. But what was the same and what was different? Below is my review of an opening weekend that tried but probably fell a little short on delivering.
Lee Dong-gook still has it and then some
He’s 41, has played and scored in 22 K-League seasons and is still the man that Champions Jeonbuk bring on when they need inspiration. There’s not really a whole lot more we can say about the legend that is Lee Dong-gook. A global audience tuned in to watch the opening game of the season as Jeonbuk and Bluewings were huffing and puffing their way to a definite 0-0 result. On the hour mark Jose Morais brought on the ‘Lion King’ and with one flash of his head just over 20 minutes later he opened the scoring and saved more than just Jeonbuk’s night.
Seongnam have finally found a striker?
Seongnam fans have been looking for a striker since as long as I can remember and down those years there has been one name that came up over and over and it was that of Yang Dong-hyun. In the close season they got their man, on Saturday at just after 7pm they got their wish as firstly with a flick of the head and then a cheeky turn in the box he had fired them into a 2 goal lead down in Gawngju. He could’ve and should’ve had his hat-trick in the 2nd half but the game was won and the fans watching on TV went home happy and hopeful that finally the hole up front has been filled.
Gangwon pass their way to victory
In the final K-League One game of the weekend Gangwon played host to FC Seoul and emerged as 3-1 victors coming from behind after Seoul opened the scoring. This was impressive enough and when you added in Cho Jae-wan’s ingenious goal for 2-1 it looked like things couldn’t be better for the hosts. That was until on Monday it was revealed that during the game Gangwon completed an incredible 614 passes, this was almost 3 times as many as their opponent made. An absolutely incredible stat that only emphasized their complete control in the 2nd half.
Ulsan don’t want a repeat of 2013 and 2019
Twice in the last 7 years Ulsan have blown the chance to win the title on the last day and both times it’s been their bitter rivals Pohang Steelers who have thwarted them and denied them glory. This year they got their campaign off to the perfect start as they scudded Sangju 4-0, now it is of course too early to claim them as Champions but given the fact they were one of the few teams to show real fight and spirit over the opening weekend it does look as if they have the bit between their teeth this year.
It’s still not VARy popular
VAR has been the bain of football fans the world over but it’s been particularly hated among K-League fans with some of the most ridiculous decisions being made. This year there was talk of designated VAR referees and there was the hope that the issues had been ironed out but alas it would seem not. From the strange decision to not punish Doneil Henry in the Jeonbuk v Bluewings curtain opener to the rather ridiculous Daejeon winning goal in their away clash at Suwon FC it is safe to say that VAR is going to be a major talking point again this year.