Somehow, “Super Cup”…”East Coast The B” is coming with a special meaning
The ‘East Coast Derby’ has a special meaning. It’s not only a battle between the first and second place teams in the K League, but also the winners of this season’s K League and FA Cup. It’s a matchup of pride.
Ulsan, the K League champion, and Pohang, the FA Cup winner, will meet in the 36th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 (Final A Round 3) at Munsoo Football Stadium in Ulsan on April 12 at 4:30 p.m. The match will be the fourth of the season. This is the fourth and final East Coast derby of the season.
In addition to the fiercely contested derby, it has the added significance of a ‘supercup’ between league and FA Cup winners such as the English Community Shield. Ulsan clinched the K League title with a win over Daegu FC on March 29, regardless of the outcome of their remaining three matches. Pohang defeated Jeonbuk Hyundai in the FA Cup final on April 4 to win its first FA Cup title in 10 years. It’s a fitting end to the season for a tournament like the Super Cup, which disappeared from the Korean scene after the 2006 edition.굿모닝토토 도메인
Ulsan had already clinched the K League title, but the East Coast derby wasn’t enough to motivate them. Rather, they are determined to give their home fans an East Coast Derby victory after not winning at home in their last two matches, including a 1-2 loss last season and a 2-2 draw this season. They also need to bounce back from their recent 1-2 shock loss to Johor Darul Taqzim (Malaysia) in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL). The team has clinched the K League title, but with important ACL fixtures remaining, it’s important to turn things around quickly.
Pohang also secured a spot in the ACL Elite (ACLE) next season by winning the FA Cup. The Korean Football Association (KFA) recently announced that next season’s ACL berths will be awarded to the FA Cup winners after a controversial decision. The ACL will be divided into the ACLE and ACL 2 starting in the 2024-25 season. Compared to UEFA’s club competitions, these are the equivalent of the Champions League and Europa League, respectively. Despite achieving their biggest goal this season, they are still in the race for second place in the K League with pride on the line. Only two points separate them from third-place Gwangju FC. They need to win this East Coast derby to secure second place.
In their three head-to-head meetings this season, Ulsan has held a slight edge with one win and two draws. What stands out is the difference in Ulsan’s play between home and away. While the home match in April was a close affair, with a 14-13 advantage in shots on goal, the two away matches in July and September resulted in just two and one respectively. Coincidentally, the only victory came in July, when they only had two shots on goal. It will be interesting to see what tactical choices Hong Myung-bo will make this time around.
The key for Pohang will be how they overcome their serious power leakage. Oberdan and Wandelsson are out, as well as Kim Yong-hwan, Baek Sung-dong and Jung Jae-hee. Despite the recent successes, including an FA Cup win and an ACL victory over Urawa Reds, the East Coast derby in enemy territory is a different story. If they don’t win this time around, not only will it be a red flag for second-place Mercury, but it will also be the first time in two years that they’ve gone winless in the K League East Coast Derby.