Only twice in K-League history… Ulsan, 20 years of ‘great record’ challenge
Ulsan Hyundai will challenge the record of ‘opening 7 consecutive wins’ achieved by only two teams in K-League history.
Ulsan, led by coach Hong Myung-bo, clashes with the promoted team Daejeon Hana Citizen in the 7th round of the Hana One Q K League 1 2023 held at Daejeon World Cup Stadium at 4:30 pm on the 16th. It is the 7th game to be played after winning all 6 games after the opening, and it is the stage to challenge the record that will remain in the history of the K-League.
In the history of the K-League, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, there are only two teams that have won 7 consecutive wins. Suwon Samsung, led by coach Kim Ho in 1998, and Seongnam Ilhwa (now Seongnam FC), led by late coach Cha Kyung-bok in 2003. Ulsan is challenging to win 7 consecutive wins for the first time in 20 years since Seongnam and for the third time ever.
Ulsan, after Suwon and Seongnam, is walking the path of the two teams, running 6 consecutive wins in the opening season for the third time in history. So far, only Suwon and Seongnam have won 6 consecutive wins in the opening season, but Ulsan also climbed the high ground for the first time this year. Following the 7 consecutive wins of Suwon and Seongnam, the record for the most consecutive wins at the start was 5 consecutive wins of Bucheon SK (currently Jeju United) in 1999.
While winning 6 games in a row, Ulsan is showing the momentum of a ‘defending champion’. Starting with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over rival Jeonbuk Hyundai in the opening game, they beat Gangwon FC, FC Seoul, Suwon FC, Jeju United, and Suwon Samsung in succession. He also boasts a perfect air-defense balance with 13 points and 4 conceded points in 6 games. Except for the match against Gangwon (1-0), more than two goals were scored in every game, and no game conceded more than two goals.
Ulsan’s strength is its firepower, not knowing when and who will score. Ulsan is maintaining concentration in both the first half and the second half, scoring 7 goals in the first half and 6 goals in the second half. With Rubikson (Sweden, 4 goals) at the head, Joo Min-gyu (3 goals), Eom Won-sang (2 goals), Lee Cheong-yong, 메이저놀이터 Seol Young-woo, and Jung Seung-hyun (more than 1 goal) are also distributed in various ways. The fact that if Rubik’s hand is not in good condition, Bako (Georgia) and Martin Adam (Hungary), who can sortie instead of Joo Min-kyu, can give a glimpse of the quality of the attacking team.
The defense is also solid, including national team player Kim Young-kwon and captain Jeong Seung-hyun, as well as Jo Hyun-woo, who is putting on a show every day. In the opening six games, Ulsan conceded only three goals in field play situations. In particular, Cho Hyun-woo has been defending the goal with great performance throughout the season, such as saving a penalty kick against Suwon last time. There were no loopholes in both offense and defense, leading to the fruit of ‘opening 6 consecutive wins’.
In order to achieve a great record, we must face the storm of the Great War. Daejeon is causing a ‘promoted team sensation’ by climbing to 4th place in the league with 3 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss. Rather, the team score is recording 14 goals, 1 more than Ulsan. However, the opening undefeated streak was recently broken by a 3-5 defeat against Suwon FC, and with 11 league goals conceded, a big loophole is also revealed in the defense. The disciplinary gap of Daejeon defender Anton (Ukraine) can also be a boon for Ulsan.
The Ulsan team is calmly preparing for the match while recognizing that they are ahead of a great record. An official from the club said, “The players also know the contents through the media. Still, if you put a lot of pressure on the record, it may rather hinder your performance.” I am preparing for the game with the determination to move only with the goal of winning every game rather than dwelling on numbers.”