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Pohang defeat Ulsan in K League regional derby

All News 21:23 September 11, 2022

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Yonhap) -- Midfielder Roh Kyung-ho scored his first career goal in the dying seconds, as Pohang Steelers rallied past Ulsan Hyundai FC 2-1 in their K League 1 regional derby on Sunday.

The dramatic victory by Pohang at Munsu Football Stadium in the southeastern city of Ulsan could have major title implications.

Roh Kyung-ho of Pohang Steelers celebrates his goal against Ulsan Hyundai FC during the clubs' K League 1 match at Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, 310 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Sept. 11, 2022, in this photo provided by the Korea Professional Football League. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Ulsan are still in first place but their lead over Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors has been cut to seven points, 62-55, with seven matches remaining. Jeonbuk soundly defeated Daegu FC 5-0 Saturday, as they try to win a record sixth consecutive title.

Pohang stayed four points back of Jeonbuk in third place. The top two K League 1 clubs each season earn a ticket to the group stage of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League, while the third-ranked club must first go through a qualifying playoff. Steelers were the runners-up at the AFC tournament last year.

In Sunday's "East Coast Derby," Martin Adam put Ulsan on the board with a penalty in the 36th minute. Yun Il-lok's shot attempt went off the left arm of Pohang defender Alex Grant, and a handball violation was confirmed following a video review.

Adam then converted the penalty kick with his left foot, scoring in his second consecutive match.

Goh Young-jun tied things up for Pohang three minutes into the second half, as he took a pass from Wanderson and beat goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo to the top left corner.

The two teams traded some jabs, and Roh, who had come off the bench in the 83rd minute, landed the knockout blow for Pohang during added time.

Lee Ho-jae almost became the hero for Pohang but his header struck the bottom of the left crossbar. Roh then collected the rebound from just outside the box, and fired it home for the unlikely 2-1 lead.

The final whistle blew moments later, as Pohang secured their second victory over Ulsan in three meetings this season.

Lee Kang-hyun of Incheon United celebrates his goal against Suwon Samsung Bluewings during the clubs' K League 1 match at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, 35 kilometers south of Seoul, on Sept. 11, 2022, in this photo provided by the Korea Professional Football League. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

There was also plenty of late drama in Sunday's nightcap, with Incheon United scoring two added-time goals to pull out a 3-3 draw against Suwon Samsung Bluewings on the road.

Go Myeong-seok scored two header goals in a four-minute span in the second half for Suwon, negating a 41st-minute goal by Incheon midfielder Lee Kang-hyun.

Oh Hyeon-gyu's 74th-minute penalty put Suwon ahead 3-1, but Incheon battled back in late minutes.

First, Kim Dae-jung's header cut the deficit to 3-2 two minutes into the seven-minute stoppage time. Then just as the clock nearly struck the 97th-minute mark, Kim Min-seok volleyed home the loose ball that had landed at his feet after Suwon's clearing attempt in the box. It was the 20-year-old forward's first K League goal.

With that one point, Incheon improved to 48 points to stay in fourth place and have secured a spot in "Final A," open only to the top six teams in the K League's split phase. Incheon were last in the top six in 2013.

All 12 teams have now played 31 matches so far. After two more matches, the top six teams will be grouped in "Final A" and the rest will end up in "Final B." Teams will then play five more matches within their own group to wrap up the season.

Through the weekend, the top four of Ulsan, Jeonbuk, Pohang and Incheon have all qualified for Final A. Jeju United (45 points) and Gangwon FC (42) are sitting in fifth and sixth place, and Suwon FC, currently in seventh with 41 points, can still crack the top six over the next two matches.


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