Jeonbuk Hyundai and Suwon Samsung are famous players representing the K-League. Suwon, which has shaken the K-League game with its powerful financial power since the mid-1990s, and Jeonbuk, which have risen to the position of “absolute first-class” since the 2010s and built up splendid monuments such as 5 consecutive league victories, are clubs known for their strong fan loyalty.
However, the progress of these two teams this season is unusual. Until the 5th game, he is showing a disappointing appearance with lethargic performance. The fan spirit turned hostile, and ‘blocking the bus’, which can only be seen in teams with poor grades, came out. Round 6 of the 2023 K League 1, which will be held this weekend, draws attention as an important step that can determine the fate of the two teams this season.
Jeonbuk will have a 6th round match against Incheon United at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium on the 9th. Suwon will play an away game against Ulsan Hyundai on the 8th, a day earlier.
Both Jeonbuk coach Kim Sang-shik and Suwon coach Lee Byeong-geun are important matches. After five games since the opening, the current performance of the two teams is disappointing. Jeonbuk is in 8th place with 1 win, 1 draw and 3 losses (4 points), the same as last year’s first 5 matches. Suwon was worse than this, and fell to 11th place with 2 draws and 3 losses without a win.
As much as the grades fell, the fan spirit really hit the bottom. The club and fans are showing signs of conflict, such as fans blocking the team’s bus and hanging hooks criticizing the club in the stands. In particular, in the case of Jeonbuk, CEO Heo Byeong-gil posted an apology on the club’s homepage and social network service (SNS) on the 3rd, but fans’ hearts are hardly turning around. Suwon’s fans’ patience also reached its limit, with fans blocking the team’s bus twice. Coach Lee expressed his intention to take responsibility for the results of the game in April, but he was driven to the brink as he failed to win the match against Gangwon FC, the first game in April. Currently, supporters of both clubs have declared a boycott of cheering.
This round 6 match is more important for both teams. If even this match is not won, the fans’ anger is likely to explode bigger than ever.
Although it is a home game for Jeonbuk to meet Incheon, players who were selected for the national team during the A match in March suffered a rope injury, so they are worried. Fullback Kim Jin-su suffered a fracture of the left transverse process of the 2nd lumbar vertebrae and was unable to play for two months, while midfielder Baek Seung-ho and striker Cho Kyu-seong also returned with injuries. An official from Jeonbuk said, “Baek Seung-ho joined the training. However, since Cho Kyu-seong has not joined the training yet, we cannot guarantee whether he will participate or not.” At least, defender Park Jin-seop, who left the field in an ambulance due to bleeding in his temple during the game against Pohang, is expected to be able to play normally. An official from Jeonbuk said, “Park Jin-seop also returned to training. A wound occurred on the temple side, and blood vessels in that area burst and bleeding occurred, but the bleeding did not stop, so they called for an ambulance.” “I don’t think there will be much of a problem with his participation,” he explained.
Still, unlike Jeonbuk,스포츠토토 which plays home games, Suwon, who is leaving for an away game, is more burdened because its opponent is Ulsan, which is running at the lead with five consecutive wins. Suwon’s foreign player Mulich, who had been on hiatus due to a hamstring injury in the previous game against Gangwon, returned, increasing the number of forward striker options. Here, Jang Ho-ik and Park Dae-won, who were classified as central defense resources, succeeded in saving their quick feet by turning them into both flanks. However, the opponent, Ulsan, is showing a solid appearance with no weaknesses on both sides of the air and defense, and is ahead of them in terms of power. Suwon has no choice but to face it with the determination of a life-and-death decision.