On the 20th of last month, at the opening media day of the Hana One Q K League 1 2023, Jeonbuk Hyundai manager Kim Sang-sik selected Gangwon FC along with Incheon United, FC Seoul and Jeju United as the ‘four-final candidates’. At the same time, he made a request, not a request, saying, “I hope Coach Choi Yong-soo’s Gangwon beats Ulsan Hyundai and enters the semifinals.”
Coach Kim, who persistently asked Coach Choi to “hold Ulsan” from time to time last season, may ask Coach Choi once again as he loses to rival Ulsan in the opening game of this season.
Gangwon and Ulsan will have a Hana One Q K League 1 2023 round 2 match on the 5th at 2:00 pm at the main stadium of Songam Sports Town in Chuncheon. Ulsan got off to a good start with a 2-1 victory over rivals Jeonbuk in their opening game, while Gangwon lost 0-2 to promoted team Daejeon Hana Citizen.
In fact, even if it wasn’t for coach Kim’s request, Ulsan is a team that must be defeated from coach Choi’s point of view.메이저놀이터
After losing 1-2 to Gangwon on May 26, 2012, Ulsan has not lost against Gangwon for over 10 years. During that period, he won 19 wins (4 draws) in 23 matches and reigned as the perfect enemy of Gangwon. The record for the most consecutive undefeated matches against a specific team in the K-League is 25 matches (17 wins, 8 draws) held by FC Seoul against Daejeon, followed by Ulsan’s 23 consecutive undefeated matches against Gangwon.
Director Choi, who took office at the last minute in 2021 and had his first full-time season as Gangwon coach last year, also clearly experienced Gangwon’s Ulsan jinx. He faced four times and never won. It was something he had never experienced during his time as Seoul coach, so his self-esteem suffered a significant blow. In particular, the 1-2 defeat at home on October 16 last year was a game that confirmed Ulsan’s regular league championship, so the pain was greater.
Coach Choi, who showed a strong will to beat Ulsan at the media day of the off-season training camp held ahead of the season, said in the words of coach Kim at the opening media day, “It is a jinx that I cannot accept. The sport is fair, but I will prepare to catch Ulsan this year. I don’t think coach Kim has to worry,” he said, revealing his will to escape from the Ulsan jinx once again.
Ulsan is in a position to continue its undefeated march against Gangwon again this time by operating a super-luxurious attacking team such as Joo Min-gyu and Bako in addition to Um Won-sang and Rubikson, who both scored goals side by side in the opening game. On the other hand, Gangwon is looking forward to the revival of Kim Dae-won and Yang Hyeon-joon, who remained silent in the opening match.
Meanwhile, the promoted teams Gwangju FC and Daejeon, which caused a sensation by winning side by side in the opening game, are challenging for a streak. Gwangju will bring Seoul home on the 5th, and Daejeon will have an away match against Incheon United on the 4th. Gwangju and Daejeon, which were promoted to the K-League 1 this season, earned three points by beating Suwon Samsung and Gangwon, respectively, in their opening matches. It was the first time in 5 years since Gyeongnam FC in 2018 that a promoted team won the opening match of the K League 1. At the time, Gyeongnam ran 4 consecutive wins in the opening season, and this is the only time that a promoted team has succeeded in winning streak in the opening of the K-League 1. If one of the two teams, Gwangju or Daejeon, wins, it will be the second promoted team in the history of K-League 1 opening streak after Gyeongnam.