Korea Cup Archive

4

The Pain of Defeat

Eran Maman

Wednesday morning saw AS Uijeongbu 07 make the short trip to Seoul for the club’s much-anticipated Korea Cup semi-final clash against FCFC Ulsan. In addition to progressing to the final stages of the cup the two sides are also competing for top honors in the K-League, with FCFC Ulsan currently second and AS Uijeongbu 07 sitting third with an eye on the possibility of earning a double come the end of the season.

Au7 has struggled in their previous fixtures against FCFC Ulsan — drawing 1:1 at home in the league earlier this season and controversially losing 5:2 in the final of the Korea Cup two seasons ago — which added an additional layer to the atmosphere of the match. Training took a backseat to winning and several of the club’s best players found themselves playing their second match of the week as head coach Hyun-Seok Baek focused on exorcising memories of the previous final and progressing to the last stage of the current edition.

However, it seems Uijeongbu were unable to escape the demons of seasons past; the team immediately found themselves under pressure and conceded four goals in the opening 15 minutes. Despite once more controlling play in midfield the Au7 players were unable to capitalize on their advantage and recorded a meager 6 attempts at goal compared to the 9 chances generated by FCFC Ulsan. Former Korea Cup top scorer Güçlü Püser has been serving as the team’s sports psychologist for the past several seasons but may soon face some strong questions about the effectiveness of his work given the poor goal-scoring record of the team in important matches.

Güçlü Püser won’t be the only one working late into the night though; club medic Bum Shin will also be hard at work doing everything he can to bring Eran Maman back to match fitness as quickly as possible. The Israeli keeper was unfortunate to pick up a collarbone injury 79 minutes into the match that has left him unavailable for the next four weeks — an agonizing length of time to be without such a vital player.

AS Uijeongbu 07 has a five point lead over traditional rivals Jinzerg in the K-League standings but are themselves four points behind leaders Gangnam_ Style with a match against the league leaders this Sunday. Back-up keeper Temuder Vachir has served the club faithfully for nearly 13 seasons but there’s understandable concern that his skills are no longer adequate for the country’s top division, leading to rumors that the club may be seeking a short-term replacement for Maman.

5

Lim, &tc.

The start of the new season had been a relatively quiet one for fans of AS Uijeongbu 07. No new signings, no outgoing players, a mild hint of ginkgo trees still lingering in the air. Nobody had been as surprised as coach Jong-Jin Lim, who had fully expected to be shown the door in the lead-up to the new season.

The club’s first competitive match of Season 57 had been a comfortable 0-10 romp against dashine in the Korea Cup, Gu Xianjing scoring another hattrick to send the fans into rapturous bliss. Four days later came the league opener against Jinzerg, which ended in a 0-3 away mauling of last season’s champions. Coach Lim had thought the cup match would be his last in charge of the club, so to have the chance to embarrass the Jinzerg players and send their manager into a fit of depression was a fitting way to go out.

However, Lim was also responsible for organizing the 0-5 defeat of Heart of the Giant in Round 2 of the Korea Cup. The thought after the match was that maybe he wasn’t going to be replaced after all. Relief turned to distress for Lim the following morning though when he found a crisp white sheet of paper on his desk with three simple words:

« See me — paquebot »

That wasn’t a good sign. With snowflakes twinkling in the sky around him Lim trudged across the club grounds to the manager’s office. The brief meeting that followed was beyond anything he could have imagined. Lim was indeed asked to step down as head coach of the club but was then immediately installed as Player Union Representative. His replacement was to be Bum Shin. In an odd twist, however, Bum Shin was requested to lead the Hanguk U20 side even before taking charge of his first match for Au7. As a result, Jong-Jin Lim would be retained as a ‘coaching aide’ in addition to his standard duties as Player Union Representative. It seems Lim’s fears of losing his head were justified — but instead of death he’s been granted two positions at the club, like the mythical hydra.

 photo Jong-Jin Lim Hail Hydra

We hope Lim isn't the other kind of Hydra.

3

Turkish Top Gun

Guclu Puser S44 Korea Cup Top Scorer

Despite frustrations over failing to maintain first place in the K-League following a 0-3 win this afternoon there was one positive bit of news for the club. A letter from the Hanguk Football Association – arriving several weeks late – officially recognized veteran striker Güçlü Püser as the Korea Cup top scorer for local season 44.

Püser scored eleven times during his side’s cup run this season, beating out teammate Kiên Thắng Trường to the top honors as the Vietnamese forward finished joint-second with eight goals. From his six appearances in the cup this season Güçlü Püser scored in five and recorded a hattrick on three separate occasions — a respectable return from the 34 year old.

The goal-scoring rampage has continued in Au7’s friendly matches, with Püser scoring five more in three international fixtures so far. We can only hope he continues getting better with age!

4

Nearly 100

AS Uijeongbu 07 have made a strong start to the season following a 0-10 win in the Korea Cup and a 3-1 defeat of title rivals Ansan FC in the first round of league play.

Gu Xianjing was on target in his side’s cup encounter and grabbed four goals but had to settle for a Man of the Match nomination after missing twice in the match against Ansan. The Bruneian forward will no doubt be looking forward to opening his league account next week when the club travels to face FCStorm in round 2 of the K-League. Gu is currently sitting at 99 competitive goals for Au7, so expect plenty of celebrations the next time he finds the back of the net!

~

2

Hyungwu vs Anton

This morning’s cup match against Chungcheongbuk-do Darkwings ended in an impressive 0-12 win for AS Uijeongbu 07, a much-needed confidence boost ahead of the club’s league clash against Alphaville. Out of favor winger Anton Grigorenko started the match on the left but was replaced after 70 minutes by Hyungwu Park. The 23 year old scored soon after entering the match, which is more than Anton managed after more than an hour on the pitch.

There have been questions raised if regional differences may be creating a schism in the dressing room. The ethnically Korean Park hails from Uzbekistan, while the ethnically Russian Grigorenko is from neighboring Kazakhstan. Coach Lim’s decision to transfer-list Grigorenko while keeping the lower-skilled Park in the squad has raised a few eyebrows amongst fans and adds more fuel to the controversy surrounding the two players. Could this be favoritism by Lim, or merely a calculated financial decision to improve the club’s economy by selling the more valuable player? With Au7 facing bots in the cup it doesn’t matter who gets played wide at the moment — but this will soon change once the side faces human opponents in future rounds.

박 vs. Григоре́нко