Archive | August, 2012

Hong Jeong-Ho aiming for a next spring return

30 Aug

Hong Jeong-Ho is currently recovering from a crucial posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury inflicted in April. His agent, Jang Min-Seok, told the press that he is currently receiving rehabilitation treatment in Hessingpark-Clinic, located in Augusburg, Germany. 

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“That clinic is one of Germany’s 3 best rehabilitation clinics. In addition, because Koo Ja-Cheol is living in Augusburg, I thought Hong Jeong-Ho would be encouraged a lot if these two friends stayed together,” said the agent. “He is aiming to return next spring. Maybe around May.”

Lee Yong-Rae answers to the rumours

28 Aug

Lee Yong-Rae answered to the rumours that followed him as he sought a move to Al Jazira Club (UAE).

“I am indeed disappointed for the cancellation of the transfer. But I was more disappointed with the attitude of media. They started to pour all these rumours about me and I was hurt,” said the 26 year old.

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“Some said that I was moving to the Middle East because my family was poor and we needed more money. I admit we are not rich. But we are not that poor. My father was hurt after reading those reports and I felt really sorry.”

“And then some sources said that the transfer was cancelled because the owner of Al Jazira did not like me after seeing my body small in size. That’s not true. I didn’t even meet the owner. The manager wanted me, and he really liked me. He told me that everything would be okay after the medical test did not go well.”

“It was shocking to hear that I had heart problems at the medical. I mean, I have only been playing football for my whole life and now they were telling me that I should not play football because I had heart problems. On the other hand, I felt strange about the result. I never felt any problems throughout my career. It was weird to hear that there was a crucial problem so that I should not play football.”

“After some examinations, what they told me was that the medicine I had been taking to reduce pain in my Achilles tendon could have made my heartbeat irregular. And because I have been playing football without rest for a long time, my body lacked water. Those things could have influenced the medical test. They are not the biggest problems, but I heard later that the team doctor at Al Jazira was the one who was involved after Patrice Muamba collapsed. Maybe he had some trauma.” 

Gyeongnam emerges victorious in the war of split

26 Aug

As expected, fans in South Korea witnessed one of the most exciting rounds in the history of the domestic K-League in the Sunday evening. 4 teams were fighting in 4 different stadiums to snatch the last ticket to the Group A, which consists of top 8 teams and will compete for the trophy and 3 AFC Champions League tickets.

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Before the round, Incheon United was the one that was holding the ticket, ranked at 8th with 39 points. Just behind was Daegu FC, also with 39 points but less goal difference. Gyeongnam FC with 37 points and Seongnam Ilhwa with 36 points were behind, hoping for a last-minute drama. And the last-minute drama did come.

Incheon drew with Jeju in a thrilling but goalless match, Seongnam drew 1-1 with the rivals Suwon and Daegu was defeated by Seoul. Meanwhile, Gyeongnam came back from 0-1 to make it 2-1 against Gwangju FC in the second half. Gyeongnam eventually stepped up from 10th to 8th and snatched the last ticket to the Group A to dream for the AFC Champions League tickets.

Gyeongnam coach Choi Jin-Han seemed very excited after the game. “I did not care about other teams’ results. I only focused on this game. Victory was the only thing that stayed in my mind throughout the game,” said the 51 year old manager.

While Gyeongnam was celebrating an unexpected triumph, the rest three teams could not hide disappointment. “Of course it is disappointing,” said Kim Nam-Il, Incheon’s veteran midfielder. “But I am proud that we made improvement after terrible performance early this season.”

“I learned a lot,” said Seognam coach Shin Tae-Yong. “I guess I was a bit complacent. I am very sorry for the fans,” he added.

Moacir Pereira, who led Daegu successfully throughout the season but failed to get the Group A ticket seemed exhausted after the game. “The players put in so much effort. I thank them,” he said shortly. After their dream for the Group A was gone, Daegu players stayed on the ground, unable to stand.

Now the league is split into two, K-League gets a short break until September 15. From then until early December, 14 additional rounds will be played to identify the champion, AFC Champions League ticket winners, and the first teams to be relegated in the K-League history. The excitement is not over yet.

 

 

 

Split War expected on Sunday in the K-League

25 Aug

Now, this is not just going to be ordinary football. South Korean football fans are expecting to see some drama on Sunday in the domestic K-League.

K-League introduced the split system this season. In this system, after 16 teams play 30 regular rounds, the league will be split into two groups; the Group A, which consists of top eight, will compete for the league trophy and the 3 AFC Champions League tickets while the Group B, made up of bottom eight teams, will fight to escape from relegation.

With the Round 30 scheduled to kick off simultaneously on this Sunday evening, fans are excited to see who will end up in which group.

In fact, seven teams have reserved their places in the Group A, and 4 teams are competing for the last spot in the Group A. Incheon United and Daegu FC have 39 points respectively but Incheon United is currently ranked above at 8th with better goal difference record. Gyeongnam FC has 37 points while underachieving giant Seongnam is clinging to the last hope with 36 points.

Obviously, it is Incheon United that has the momentum here. Weeks ago, Incheon was sitting on the bottom of the table and had not won any in the last 12 matches. Coach Huh Jung-Moo, who led South Korea to last 16 in the 2010 World Cup, had to step down and assistant manager Kim Bong-Kil replaced him as a caretaker with such burden. However, Kim Bong-Kil has shown some magic, and now the United could even compete for the AFC Champions League ticket if they secure the 8th place. Incheon has won the last 5 games consecutively and Thursday’s victory
against the reigning champion Jeonbuk was the climax showing Incheon’s determination and confidence.

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Daegu FC, ranked at 9th, cannot let this opportunity slip away. Before the season, Daegu appointed Moacir Pereira, who had been working for the Brazil U-23 team as the assistant manager. He brought with him quality Breazilians, such as Leandrinho who featured in the Brazil U-20 team and has shown “Moacir Magic”. Earlier this season, Daegu was one of the most impressive teams and although recent form is not as good, Daegu has been constantly staying in the middle of the table. Daegu FC cannot just pass on this opportunity.

For Gyeongnam FC, a place in the Group A could mean some breakthrough. Gyeongnam has had some inner problems throughout this season. As the main sponsor STX was financially struggling, Gyeongnam had to reduce
the budget significantly. In the process, there were some conflicts as the club tried to fire some staff and refused to propose contract extension to the legendary goalie Kim Byung-Ji. However, a place in the top 8 could clear up some problems for the club.

Seongnam has been embarrassing this season. One of the highest spenders, Seongnam was aiming for a treble before the season. After early exits in both the AFC Champions League and the FA Cup, Seongnam needs to chase at least the Champions League ticket. However, a failure to drive into the Group A would mean one of the worst seasons in the club’s history.

Four desperate clubs chasing one last ticket. Everything will be decided in 90 minutes. South Korean fans are about to witness one of the most thrilling moments in the history of domestic football.

Sergio Escudero: I am more suitable for the Korean football style

24 Aug

FC Seoul’s new forward Sergio Escudero expressed satisfaction with his life in Korea.

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“The reason I could adjust in Korea easily is simple. Everyone in this team treated me like a family,” said the 23 year old Japanese, who is playing at Seoul on loan from Urawa Red Diamonds.

“I guess Argentine football is similar to Korean football because they are both very passionate. On the other hand, Japanese football style is somewhat more reserved and defensive. I personally prefer more physical football. So in my view, I am more suitable for the Korean style.”

Ansan H FC moves to Goyang

23 Aug

It is not Ansan H FC anymore. It is Goyang H FC now.

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Ansan H FC, formerly known as Ansan Hallelujah FC, is going to move to the city of Goyang. The Goyang city council passed the bill for hosting H FC on Thursday. 

Goyang H FC will participate in the newly established Korean professional second division from the next season. 

Gyeongnam’s Luke DeVere called up for the Australian national team

23 Aug

Gyeongnam FC’s official twitter account today announced that Luke DeVere has been called up for the Australian national team for the World Cup qualifiers.

Australian national team is scheduled for a friendly against Lebanon on September 6th and a qualifier against Jordan on September 11th.

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The former Brisbane Roar star represented his nation at U20 and U23 level, but has not made senior debut yet. He has been on a good form for Gyeongnam recently and has been one of the fans’ favourite player at the Changwon Football Center.