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Jeonbuk return to top, clubs split into tiers in K League football

All News 18:09 October 24, 2021

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) -- Four-time defending champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors climbed back into first place in South Korean football Sunday, as the dozen clubs were split into two groups heading into the final stretch.

With 33 matches in the books, the top six teams made into "Final A," while the rest ended up in "Final B." They will play five more matches within their respective groups to finish out the season.

Joo Min-kyu of Jeju United (C) is grabbed by Kim Min-hyeok of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors during their clubs' K League 1 match at Jeju World Cup Stadium in Seogwipo, Jeju Island, on Oct. 24, 2021, in this photo provided by the Korea Professional Football League. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The last three spots in Final A were on the line Sunday, and Suwon FC, Jeju United and Suwon Samsung Bluewings grabbed those berths.

Suwon FC lost to Gwangju FC 3-1 to stay at 45 points. Jeju managed a 2-2 draw with Jeonbuk to move to 45 points as well, while Suwon Samsung Bluewings improved to 45 points thanks to a 2-0 win over Daegu FC.

The first tiebreaker, goals scored, determined the seeding among these three teams. Suwon FC have 45 goals, two more than Jeju and four more than Suwon Samsung Bluewings.

Pohang Steelers, who recently reached the final of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League, lost to Incheon United 1-0 to remain at 42 points, good for only seventh place.

Jeonbuk squeezed past Ulsan Hyundai FC, the 2-1 losers against Seongnam FC on Sunday, into the top spot.

Jeonbuk and Ulsan have identical records with 18 wins, 10 draws and five losses for 64 points, but Jeonbuk have scored four more goals than Ulsan, 58 to 54.

Ulsan finished runners-up to Jeonbuk in each of the past two years.

The league will announce fixtures for the remaining matches in the coming days.

Suwon Samsung Bluewings players celebrate a goal by Doneil Henry (C) against Daegu FC during their clubs' K League 1 match at DGB Daegu Bank Park in Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Oct. 24, 2021, in this photo provided by the Korea Professional Football League. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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