Jeonbuk Hyundai’s Final A DNA was on display in Round 33.
Jeonbuk won 2-0 against Seoul in the 33rd round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 at Seoul World Cup Stadium at 3 p.m. on Aug. 8.
With the win, Jeonbuk (14 W, 7 D, 12 L, 49 points) moved up to fourth place in the league standings and qualified for the Final A round. Seoul (12 W, 11 D, 10 L, 47 P), on the other hand, will look forward to next season after failing to reach the Final A for the first time in four years as Incheon (12 W, 12 D, 9 L, 48 P) drew with Ulsan in the match between the two clubs.
Seoul’s clash with Jeonbuk is one of the most anticipated matches of Round 33. This is because it will determine if both teams advance to the top split (Final A) this season. With Seoul sitting in fifth place in the league with 12 wins, 11 draws, and nine losses (47 points) and Jeonbuk in seventh place with 13 wins, 7 draws, and 12 losses (46 points), the outcome of the match could change both teams’ positions.
Seoul needed only a draw against Jeonbuk to clinch a spot in Final A on their own. A draw would give Seoul 48 points to Jeonbuk’s 47, meaning they would clinch sixth place or higher regardless of the outcome of the Ulsan Hyundai and Incheon United matches. If Jeonbuk loses, they can only advance to Final A if Ulsan loses and Incheon loses.
Jeonbuk would need a win to advance on their own. A win would put them on 49 points, independent of the Ulsan-Incheon match, and would mean that Seoul would have to win against Incheon to advance to Final A instead of Jeonbuk. If Jeonbuk drew without scoring, they would not advance, even if Incheon lost, due to their 38-goal advantage.
The goals were clear for both teams. Seoul hasn’t finished a season in Final A since the 2019 season. After a strong start to the season, they were expected to make it to Final A, but a mid-season slump saw them slip to the bottom of the standings, and it wasn’t until the 33rd round that they found out. Jeonbuk, on the other hand, has never finished a season in Final B since the split system was first introduced in 2012. As such, they were in desperate need of a win to avoid ending the season at the bottom of the standings for the first time since the split was introduced.
In the end, Jeonbuk secured their spot in Final A with a win, while Seoul, who fell short in the final minutes, ended round 33 in Final B after Ulsan and Incheon played to a 0-0 draw.
The home team lined up in a 4-4-2. Baek Jong-beom will be in goal, while Lee Tae-seok, Kim Joo-sung, Osmar, and Park Soo-il make up the back four. Ki Sung-yong and Baek Sang-hoon will partner in the midfield, with Kang Sung-jin and Na Sang-ho supporting the front two of Ilyuchenko and Palosevic in the second line.
The away team, Jeonbuk, will line up in a 4-4-2. Kim Jin-soo, Koo Ja-ryong, Jeong Tae-wook, and Jeong Woo-jae form the defense, with Jeong Min-ki in goal. Lee Soo-bin and Boateng in the center, Ahn Hyun-beom and Han Kyo-won on the flanks, and Lee Jun-ho and Moon Sun-min up front will look to score.
The game started with Seoul on the front foot. Seoul pushed Jeonbuk right from the start of the first half and headed toward the opponent’s goal. Na Sang-ho tried to shoot in front of the goal, but it was easily caught by Jung Min-ki.
Jeonbuk’s counterattacks were just as fierce. In the third minute of the first half, Jeonbuk received a pass from the front of the penalty box arc, and Kim Jin-soo attempted a sharp mid-range shot that unfortunately sailed over the goal. In the ensuing attacking sequence, Jeonbuk missed a great chance to take the lead as Uh’s shot was blocked by Baek Jong-joint.
Seoul pressured Jeonbuk from high up the field, looking for attacking opportunities. In the seventh minute of the first half, Ilyuchenko received a pass from Na Sang-ho and calmly attempted a shot, but it was easily blocked by the opposing defense.
In the 13th minute, Ilyuchenko led a counterattack after a Jeonbuk attack, passing to Na Sang-ho who cut in from the left. Na Sang-ho entered the Jeonbuk penalty box and fired a shot that unfortunately went wide of the goal. Na Sang-ho had another chance in the 17th minute when he broke free in front of the opponent’s penalty box, but his shot was saved.
Jeonbuk didn’t let up either, pressuring Seoul. Jeonbuk led the offense by pressuring Seoul in their own half through quick transitions from the back. In the 24th minute, Moon Sun-min broke through from the front of the Seoul penalty box, but the ball didn’t have the right impact and was caught by Kim Joo-sung.
Seoul counterattacked, looking for space in Jeonbuk’s backline. In the 28th minute, Na Sang-ho led the counterattack after cutting off the ball in the opponent’s buildup, and then Kang Sung-jin’s cross was met by Illyuchenko’s header, but the ball didn’t impact properly and was caught by Jung Min-ki. In the 30th minute, Ilyuchenko’s mid-range shot from the front of the Jeonbuk penalty box arc was blocked by a defender.
Seoul also attempted a counterattack after showing defensive concentration. In the 33rd minute, the counterattack developed when Na Sang-ho caught the ball that Osmar kicked away after Kang Sung-jin pressured his own ball from the right side to the center. Na Sang-ho even tried to shoot after breaking through, but was blocked by the Jeonbuk defenders who were already in position.
The two teams exchanged fast balls and went head-to-head. In the 35th minute, Moon Sun-min’s quick counterattack was blocked by Kim Joo-sung with a long pass, and Na Sang-ho quickly broke into Jeonbuk’s territory, but was blocked by Jeong Tae-wook’s tackle.
Seoul’s best chance of the game came in the final minute of the first half when Na Sang-ho found the back of the net, but unfortunately, it didn’t count. In first-half stoppage time, Ilyuchenko was off-balance as he received the ball in the attacking third, but he managed to pass it into the empty space in front of him, where Na Sang-ho, who was rushing forward, received the pass.
Na Sang-ho immediately unleashed a low, quick left-footed shot that rattled the net with an unstoppable corner that Jung Min-ki couldn’t stop. However, Na Sang-ho’s position was pointed out as offside, and the goal was disallowed after the video assistant referee (VAR)온라인바카라 ruled him offside. In the end, the score remained 0-0 and the teams went into halftime with no goals.
Seoul capitalized on their chances at the start of the second half. In the second minute of the second half, Na Sang-ho caught a long pass inside the Jeonbuk penalty box and tried to shoot, but he was not trapped properly and was called offside.
Jeonbuk capitalized on set pieces. In the fifth minute of the second half, Seoul cleared the ball out of the penalty box on a free kick, and Lee Soo-bin finished with a mid-range shot from outside the box that was well wide of the goal.
Seoul capitalized on another opportunity through Na Sang-ho. In the 11th minute of the second half, Na Sang-ho received a pass from Ilyuchenko and tried to curl a shot from the left corner of the Jeonbuk penalty box, but it went just wide of the post.
Ilyuchenko’s concentration also stood out. In the 12th minute of the second half, on a Seoul counterattack, Na Sang-ho broke through and played a cutback pass to Illyuchenko, who unleashed a left-footed shot that Jung Min-ki was able to parry away.
Jeonbuk fought back after the crisis. In the 14th minute of the second half, Ahn Hyun-beom played a penetrating pass to Lee Jun-ho inside the penalty box, and while Lee’s low cross to the center of the box appeared to be blocked by the defense, Han Kyowon was able to slide it home for the lead.
After conceding the first goal, Seoul fought to make up for it. In the 20th minute, Ilyuchenko’s ball from the front of the penalty box arc was collected by Ki Sung-yong, who aimed for the left corner of the Jeonbuk goal with a low, quick mid-range shot that was calmly caught by Jung Min-ki.
With the momentum on their side, Jeonbuk looked for an additional goal. In the 23rd minute, Han Kyowon’s cross was met by Gustavo, who volleyed past Osmar inside the penalty box, but Baek Jong-beom made the save, and Park Soo-il cleared the ball away shortly afterward.
Seoul’s best chance came from Ilyuchenko, who shot wide of the target. In the 21st minute of the second half, Ilyuchenko received a pass from Ji Dong-won near the arc of the penalty box and calmly tried to score with a turning shot, but the shot went into the side netting instead of the goal.
Jeonbuk rattled the Seoul net once again. In the 32nd minute, Ahn Hyun-beom saved a ball deep in the Seoul penalty box and sent a cross into the box, where Gustavo, who was rushing in front of the Seoul goal, finished with a precise header to split the difference.
Down two goals, Seoul squandered their chances on the counterattack. In the 33rd minute, Na Sang-ho broke free on a dribble and made a quick run into the Jeonbuk box, but Jeong Tae-wook stuck with him and denied him a chance to shoot. In the next attacking situation, Ki Sung-yong got the ball inside the penalty box and almost had a one-on-one opportunity, but Jung Tae-wook was quick to make the save.
Seoul continued to pound on Jeonbuk’s goal until late stoppage time, trying to create chances, but were unable to rattle the net as Jeonbuk’s defense held firm.
In the end, the game ended with a 2-0 victory for Jeonbuk.
Meanwhile, the match between Ulsan and Incheon, which also took place in Seoul, ended in a scoreless 0-0 tie despite the fierce competition between the two teams. Incheon needed a win to clinch a spot in Final A, but Seoul’s draw with Jeonbuk was enough to secure their spot. This is the second consecutive season that Incheon has advanced to Final A, having previously qualified in 2022.