‘2023 Ulsan’ hot run… ‘2018 Jeonbuk’ smells

In the 2023 professional football K League 1, the’defending champion’ Ulsan Hyundai is cruising toward a second consecutive victory with an overwhelming leading race.

As of the 7th, 안전놀이터when each team faced each other once, Ulsan is leading with 28 points (9 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss). Compared to the same period last year (8 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss, 26 points), when the championship was lifted for the first time in 17 years, there are 2 more points. Hong Myung-bo, the Ulsan coach, welcomed us by saying, “It seems we have won more points than we thought.”

Ulsan’s lead in the first round of this year is enough to recall 2018, when the Jeonbuk Hyundai Dynasty officially began. At this time, Jeonbuk, which was aiming for two consecutive losses for the second time since its founding, accumulated 30 points with 10 wins and 1 loss in the opening 11 games. This is the highest number of points in the opening 11 games since the promotion and relegation system was introduced in 2013. Jeonbuk, which was truly unrivaled, enjoyed the honor of winning the championship with the most points difference (21 points) that year.

This year, Ulsan is also tied for second place with the most points in the opening 11 games, following Jeonbuk in 2018, in the midst of losing only one game out of 11 games. In addition, Ulsan widened the gap with FC Seoul in second place to 8 points, but in 2018, Jeonbuk was only one point short of 9 points ahead of Suwon Samsung in second place that year. Among the fans, there is a voice that is cautiously looking forward to Ulsan’s second consecutive victory.

Ulsan is positive even if you look at the contents, not the results. The balance between offense and defense is good enough to record the most goals (22) and the fewest goals (9) while playing 11 games this year. Compared to the same period in 2022, the number of goals scored (18) and conceded (7) increased by 4 and 2 goals, respectively.

Ulsan’s attack, which has become stronger, is due to diversification, which makes it difficult to predict who will explode. While Rubikson and Joo Min-gyu, who wore Ulsan uniforms this year, lead the attack with 5 goals and 1 assist side by side, Bako (3 goals) and Um Won-sang (2 goals, 2 assists), who were the existing solvers, are still doing their part. Hungarian national team Martin Adam (1 goal, 2 assists) is on the bench, so the offense is abundant.

Hwang Jae-hwan (2 goals) made a new appearance in the under-22 card, which was a problem for Ulsan. Second-year striker Hwang Jae-hwan, who had accumulated experience in Cologne in the German Bundesliga, scored multiple goals against Daegu FC on the 5th. Kang Yun-goo also shows his presence with one goal and one assist, so players under the age of 22 are no longer Ulsan’s weakness.

Coach Hong is determined to bet the game with a more advanced defense from the second round, which resumes with a home game against Gangwon FC on the 9th. Manager Hong, who recently achieved 50 wins in the shortest time in K-League 1, said, “I think that this year’s goals can be reduced because they came from the mistakes of individual players.” We will prepare to do better in the next round.”

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