Pohang-Ulsan Leads Early Game, Leading Competition for Unusual ‘East Coast Rivals’

The “East Coast Rivals” Pohang Steelers and Ulsan HD are leading the early part of the K League 1 2024 season.
Pohang and Ulsan are ranked first and second respectively in the “Hana Bank K League 1 2024,” which played 10 to 11 games each. Park Tae-ha’s Pohang leads the league with seven wins, three draws and one loss and 24 points from 11 games, while Hong Myung-bo’s Ulsan ranks second with seven wins, two draws and one loss and 23 points from one less game.

The two teams seem to have forgotten their defeat. Pohang has been on an unbeaten streak of 10 consecutive games (7 wins and 3 draws) since it lost only in the opening match against Ulsan, while Ulsan has been on a five-game winning streak recently. Ulsan was defeated by Yokohama Marinos in the semifinals of the AFC Champions League in the 2023-2024 season, but it does not seem to suffer aftereffect.

Instead of Kim Ki-dong leaving for FC Seoul, which always delivered better-than-expected results despite unfortunate circumstances, Park Tae-ha took the helm and despite massive changes in the team, Pohang is showing off its unique potential. What’s most surprising is that it raises expectations for a goal until extra time in the second half. Pohang, which has scored 18 goals in 11 matches, has scored six goals en masse since 46 minutes after the second half. It only scored three goals in the first half, but scored a whopping nine goals after 31 minutes in the second half. It earned half of its goal at the end of the second half. 메이저놀이터

Pohang’s strength was also clearly demonstrated in the 11th round home game against Jeonbuk Hyundai at Pohang Steelyard on the 4th. There was no big difference in market share with 53 to 47 percent, but the team beat Jeonbuk 1-0 after 19 shots. The winning goal on the day also came from Kim Jong-woo’s tiptoe in the 49th minute of the second half. However, the best ace in Pohang at this point is Jung Jae-hee. With seven goals and one assist, he scored four goals in extra time in the second half, leading the image of a “strong Pohang to the end.”

On the other hand, Ulsan has evenly matched its performance in the first half and the second half. With 10 goals in the first half and 12 goals in the second half, there is no extreme concentration phenomenon like Pohang’s. Still, it is worth paying attention to the concentration level after the middle of the second half. Having secured a 1-0 victory through Martin Adam’s penalty kick (PK) winning goal in the 46th minute of the second half at an away match against Seoul on Saturday, Ulsan has continued its “offensive mode” even at the last minute of the second half by scoring the come-from-behind winning goal in the 37th minute of the second half at an away match against Daegu FC on Sunday.

Many wins are also needed, but the cohesion of turning over the drawn game and catching up with the quality game is a very important factor in the long-term race. It is also a big boost for Ulsan, which has been established as the strongest one-two punch in the league, although it is not possible to completely fill the gap of Lee Dong-kyung, who joined the military (Kimcheon Sang-mu) after scoring as many as seven goals and five assists in eight games.

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