get the latest K League News

2023 Hana 1Q K League 1 Round 14 Preview

league 2023.05.18   I   hits 170

The second round robin of the 2023 Hana 1Q K League 1 season is now well and truly in full swing. This means that revenge will be in the minds of some teams, particularly Jeju United who conceded a late winner to FC Seoul when the two teams last met. Seoul in second host the Islanders in third with just goal difference separating them. Elsewhere, a relentless Ulsan Hyundai side hosts bottom-placed Suwon Bluewings, and Daejeon Hana Citizen host Daegu FC with young striker Jeon Byeong-kwan seeking a third goal in as many matches.

Match of the Round

FC Seoul (2nd) vs Jeju United (3rd), Sat. 20th May - 18:00

After a real return to form and an incredible run of five straight wins, Jeju United have shot up to third place in the K League 1 table. This makes Nam Ki-il's men, along with league leaders Ulsan, the division's form team. Last time out, Jeju put five past Suwon FC to equal their biggest win under Coach. The islanders fly to the capital this Saturday to take on an FC Seoul side that sits just above them in the table, separated only by goals scored. A win for Jeju, then, could move them up to second in the table and firmly in the race for an AFC Champions League place. FC Seoul lost last time out, falling 3-2 away to Ulsan Hyundai with a defeat that widened the gap at the top of the table to 11 points. Seoul, then, will be determined to get back to winning ways and will be looking to their attacking prowess to do so. The capital club lead the division for goals scored, however, with 27 having managed to score three goals on four separate occasions.

FC Seoul sit joint-second for total shots so far this season with 158, Jeju meanwhile are joint-seventh with 145. Jeju, though, have been one of the most accurate shooters and only Ulsan have managed more shots on target this season, and it's only one shot at that. In terms of each team's standout performers in front of goal, Na Sang-ho is the division's top scorer with eight while Seo Jin-su's four goals makes him Jeju's leading marksman. Kim Ju-gong, though, has registered the most shots on target for Jeju with 11 (joint 5th) along with Hwang Ui-jo while Na Sang-ho is just one behind with 10.

The head-to-head record between the two teams reads 62 FC Seoul wins, 51 for Jeju, and 55 draws from 168 total matches. Over the last 10, though, Seoul have managed just one win while Jeju have recorded six. Saturday's contest has been picked for English commentary. Tune in on TV.KLeague.com.

Team of the Round

Ulsan Hyundai (vs. Suwon Samsung Bluewings, Sun. 21t May - 18:00)

A 3-2 home win over FC Seoul last weekend earned Ulsan Hyundai an 11-point lead at the top of the K League 1 table. The Horangi have dropped points in just two matches this season, losing 2-1 away to Daejeon Hana Citizen in Round 7 just over a month ago, and drawing 2-2 with Pohang Steelers the following week but on that occasion, Hong Myung-bo's side fought back from 2-0 down to earn a late draw. It's perhaps of little surprise to see Ulsan top of the league given that the current champions are first for shots on target. Most of their efforts on goal come from inside the box (94, 2nd), offering some insight into how the Horangi like to play. This weekend, table-topping Ulsan take on the league's basement side, Suwon Samsung Bluewings. The Bluewings won last time out, earning three points on the road away to Gangwon FC.

Player of the Round

Jeon Byung-kwan, Daejeon Hana Citizen (vs. Daegu FC, Sat. 20th May - 19:00)

Daejeon Hana Citizen starlet Jeon Byung-kwan has been in and around the first team for the last three seasons, first breaking through in 2021 when he made seven appearances and scored once. Last year, he was limited to just one appearance, and that was a mere 28-minute cameo in a 2-1 defeat to Gyeongnam. But this season, the 20-year-old forward has made 10 appearances, six from the start and has scored two goals - both goals have come in his last two matches. Not only that, but both goals have been very sweetly struck. His first of the season - and first at K League 1 level - was enough to bring him to tears. It also proved to be the match-winner in a 2-1 victory over Suwon FC, drilling the ball into the top corner from just outside the area. His second was perhaps even better, a rocket from long range away to Pohang Steelers. Daejeon haven't needed to field an under-22 player for their last two matches having been given an exemption while Bae Jun-ho and two others are with the Korea U20 squad for the World Cup, but Jeon has been starting for the Purples regardless. So far this season, Jeon has shown 60% shooting accuracy and 100% during his last two matches. 

Elsewhere in K League 1 Round 13

Revenge will be on the minds of the Incheon United players this Saturday afternoon when Gwangju FC are in town. Incheon suffered a 5-0 reverse to Gwangju when these two sides met earlier in the campaign and so will be looking to pile the misery on a Gwangju side that is now without a win in its last five matches, losing four. Incheon one place and one point below Gwangju meaning a win would leapfrog them above their South Jeolla counterparts.

Gangwon FC are now on a run of three straight losses and have the unenviable task of trying to stop a Pohang Steelers side that's picked up four points from the last six available. Choi Yong-soo's Gangwon are four points from safety and so will be starting to feel a sense of urgency as the season heads into the thick of the second round robin.

Closing out the weekend's action is Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors versus Suwon FC. The Green Warriors, still under the stewardship of caretaker manager Kim Do-heon, are unbeaten in three under the former West Bromwich Albion midfielder. But two of those matches have ended in draws. The two sides are locked on 15 points in the table, Jeonbuk sit above their Castle Park counterparts, though, on goal difference. Former Jeonbuk striker Lars Veldwijk got the winner for Suwon when these two sides met in April. He also scored against Jeonbuk in a Suwon win at the end of the 202 season.

K League 1 Table

K League 1 Round 14 Fixtures

Saturday 20th May

#INCvGWA: Incheon United (10th) vs Gwangju FC (9th) - 16:30 
#SEOvJEJ: FC Seoul (2nd) vs Jeju United (3rd) - 18:00 
#DHFCvDAE: Daejeon Hana Citizen (5th) vs Daegu FC (6th) - 19:00 

Sunday 21st May

#GANvPOH: Gangwon FC (11th) vs Pohang Steelers (4th) - 16:30 
#SSBvULS: Suwon Samsung Bluewings (12th) vs Ulsan Hyundai (1st) - 18:00 
#JEOvSUW: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (8th) vs Suwon FC (7th) - 19:00 

Where to Watch

FC Seoul versus Jeju United and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors versus Suwon FC are the two matches picked for English commentary. Follow the action LIVE, for FREE, and in HD on TV.KLeague.com.