Hyundai versus Derby? Hong Myung-bo vs. Amano, it’s a pity!

The opening of the 2023 season K-League is right around the corner.

The derby between Ulsan Hyundai and Jeonbuk Hyundai, which will be the K-League opening match this season, has been noisy since the Stove League. This happened when Jun Amano, who was a key resource in Ulsan’s 2022 league championship, chose to go to Jeonbuk.

Coach Hong Myung-bo criticized Amano, who moved to rival Jeonbuk, saying, “At first, I said that money was not important. But in the end, I moved to Jeonbuk because of money. I lied and went. I have met many Japanese players so far, but they are the worst among them.” While doing so, the off-site modern derby unfolded. Here, Amano also confronted, saying, “It is regrettable that such a statement was made through the media. It was shocking, and I was disappointed rather than disappointed.”

Head coach Hong Myung-bo and Amano will look very hot in the opening match coming up on the 10th, but Hyundai’s derby is the most popular game in the K-League. There is a lot to eat at the rumored feast, so rumors are growing. It is a game in which attention should not be focused only on coach Hong Myung-bo and Amano.

# Even until the 2020 season, Joo Min-gyu and Cho Kyu-seong, the K-League 1 scorer race was a foreign player’s world. The player who broke this competitive structure was Joo Min-gyu. In the 2021 season, he scored a whopping 22 goals at Jeju United and won the top scorer. The top scorer by a Korean striker was the first time in 5 years since Jeong Jo-guk in 2016.

In the 2022 season, a desirable phenomenon occurred in which native strikers competed for the top scorer. The competition between Ju Min-kyu, who was ahead of him, and Kyu-sung Cho, who caught up, continued until the last game of the season. The two players got along well and scored 17 goals, but Cho Gyu-seong, who played 31 games, overtook Joo Joo-gyu (37 games) to become the top scorer for the first time in his life.

As Joo Min-gyu returned to his hometown Ulsan through the transfer market this winter, the competition between the two players to become the top scorer will now affect the direction of the championship. The higher the team looks, the more the striker’s performance is absolute. Hyundai, where Ulsan and Jeonbuk fight, is history that proves this in the derby.

Ilyuchenko’s theatrical goal that led Jeonbuk to a come-from-behind victory in the 2021 season, Martin Adam’s theater goal that gave Ulsan the 먹튀검증championship cup after waiting 17 years in the 2022 season. All of the goals came from strikers. A striker’s decisive shot has the power to change the game of the season. This is why Jo Min-kyu and Jo Kyu-sung have to do well.

The two players also have different personal goals. Joo Min-gyu had aimed to get on the Korean national team since his days in Jeju. There is no change even now. Cho Kyu-seong wants to advance to Europe. He sharpened his sword even more in the winter, as he intends to push for Europe through the summer transfer window. It is a completely different goal, but the path to reach it is not different. It is a task that cannot be achieved if he cannot show his performance and scoring goals.

# Eom Won-sang and Lee Dong-jun

In January 2022, when Lee Dong-jun left Ulsan Hyundai, there was a question that there would be a player in the K-League who could replace Lee Dong-jun. Um Won-sang was the player who solved the question at once. Um Won-sang was reborn as Ulsan’s ace by creating a better record (12 goals and 6 assists) than Lee Dong-jun, who scored 11 goals and 4 assists in the 2021 season. The only wingers who could match Eom Won-sang in the 2022 season were Barrow of Jeonbuk and Dae-won Kim of Gangwon FC.

In February 2023, Lee Dong-jun will now face Ulsan as a Jeonbuk player. In front of Lee Dong-jun is Eom Won-sang, who is heading to Ulsan as his replacement. The charms of the two players are very similar. The best performance comes from the right winger position, and space penetration through fast speed is the biggest weapon.

The rivalry between the two players will not simply end at the Hyundai derby. Eom Won-sang and Lee Dong-jun are players that would not be strange to be selected for the national team at any time. Unfortunately, both players were unable to attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The two players, who promised to return three years later, have no choice but to become competitors because they are in the same position. Um Won-sang of Ulsan and Lee Dong-jun of Jeonbuk will compete for the best wing forward in the K-League in the 2023 season.