It has been a low-key start to the 2014 K-League season. Blame the Winter Olympics and the controversy surrounding Queen Yu-na Kim being awarded the silver medal to a local Russian skater despite most thinking she deserved to win. And then there was a big national team game away in Greece and then the 32nd campaign of Asia’s oldest professional league got underway. It started as the 2013 campaign finished with a late goal settling affairs between Pohang Steelers and Ulsan Horangi.
Readers will remember (how could they forget?) how Pohang scored in the last minute of the final game at Ulsan to take the title from their despondent hosts who had been five points clear with two games remaining. That day, Kim Shin-wook was suspended and went pitchside to celebrate for the final seconds only to arrive just as the Pohang end of the stadium was going crazy.
Three months on, he scored the only goal of the Dominoqq game to give the Tigers a winning start. It was a deserved win. Fans at the Steelyard, still celebrating their unlikely title win, got a reminder that Pohang may not be out in front this season after not strengthening, perhaps even becoming weaker over the winter.
FC Seoul fans know the feeling. Despite a classy win over Central Coast Mariners in the opening round of the Asian Champions League at the end of February, the club got a glimpse of life with stars Dejan Damjanovic and Ha Dae-sung, who moved to China at the start of the year. Seoul, who were beaten finalists in the 2013 Asian Champions League, lost 1-0 at home to Chunnam. Seoul habitually are slow starters and don’t have the best of records against the Dragons, one of the league’s smaller side, but …