The second ‘Hyundai Street Derby’ of the season will take place in the 16th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023. Jeonbuk Hyundai and Ulsan Hyundai will go head-to-head for the first time in about three months after their official opening match. Other exciting matchups include the Suwon Derby and the Orange Derby.
Match of the Round – Jeonbuk Hyundai vs Ulsan Hyundai, the second meeting of the season
The most notable matchup in Round 16 is undoubtedly the Hyundai Derby. Jeonbuk and Ulsan have had a fierce rivalry in recent years. The second meeting of the season will take place at Jeonju World Cup Stadium at 4:30 p.m. on March 3.
The two teams will meet for the first time in nearly three months after Ulsan came from behind to defeat Jeonbuk 2-1 in the official opening match of the season. The two teams have been fierce rivals in the K League for four consecutive years since 2019, but their paths this season have been very different.
First, the home team, Jeonbuk, slumped to 10th place at one point in the season due to a poor start, but has since rallied to seventh place (18 points) with two wins, two draws, and one loss in its last five games. This is still an unfortunate position for Jeonbuk, which boasts the most championships in the K League (9), but they will be looking to bounce back.
It is positive that the flanking attack has been revitalized recently with wingers like Moon Sun-min and Song Min-kyu playing well. Together, they have the most offensive points on the team with three goals and one assist. However, up front, the likes of Cho Kyu-sung, Gustavo, and Hapa Silva have been silent with just one goal apiece in the league and will need to find the back of the net to rebound.
On the other side of the table, Ulsan (38 points) have been dominant all season long. They have only one loss through Round 15 and have won six games in a row twice. As a result, the gap to second place is now 11 points.
Their biggest strength is an even scoring attack. Ulsan has three of the top 10 goal scorers in the K League 1, including top scorer Lee Min-kyu (8 goals), as well as Rubikson (6 goals) and Bako (5 goals). In the previous round, they played Daejeon Hana Citizens to a 3-3 draw, and although they failed to win their seventh straight game, they showed their ability to come back from a 1-3 deficit.
Team of the Round – Gwangju FC breaks seven-match winless streak
Gwangju (18 points) snapped a seven-match winless streak (three draws and four losses) with a win over Suwon FC in Round 15. In the match, Timo scored his K League debut goal and Asani scored his fifth goal of the season in a 2-0 victory.
Especially Asani, who had been silent for nine consecutive matches after scoring four goals in the early part of the season, got a confidence boost with his first taste of goals in a long time. It was also the first time Gwangju had scored multiple goals in a game since a 4-3 win over Daegu FC in Round 7, but in the end, it was the goal that they needed more than anything else to get the win.
Meanwhile, Gwangju’s first win in a long time gave them a foothold in the mid-table. They are now level on points with seventh-placed Jeonbuk and three points behind sixth-placed Daegu, so a win could see them move up to sixth place. Their opponent in this round is Pohang (27 points).
Gwangju lost 0-2 in their last meeting in Round 6. Pohang is a formidable opponent, as they are unbeaten in their last four matches (2 wins, 2 draws) and are in good form, having won 1-0 against Jeonbuk in the previous round. The match will take place on March 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gwangju Football Stadium.
Player of the Round – Jin-Soo Seo: ‘From prospect to key resource’
Born in 2000, Seo Jin-soo has been a revelation this season. He made his professional debut in 2019 and has been with Jeju United ever since, except for a stint in the military with Gimcheon Sangmu. At the age of 24, he is already in his fifth year as a professional and has been a regular starter this season, appearing in 13 games up until the 15th round. In that time, he has scored five goals and one assist, topping the team and surpassing his previous season’s tally of four goals.
What makes Seo’s scoring even more special this season is that he has continued a pleasant formula in which Jeju has won all four games he has scored in. He scored against Gangwon FC in Round 6, then against Gwangju in Round 9, Suwon FC in Round 13, and Suwon Samsung in Round 15.안전놀이터
Jeju (27 points) are in high spirits, unbeaten in their last seven matches (6 wins, 1 draw). On the other hand, their opponents Gangwon (11 points) are in a completely different mood with no wins in their last five matches (one draw and four losses). Not only that, but Jeju also defeated Gangwon 1-0 in their first meeting. The match will take place at Jeju World Cup Stadium on March 3 at 7pm.