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Top dogs, cellar dweller all victorious in K League

(Korea Professional Football League-Yonhap)
(Korea Professional Football League-Yonhap)

After playing their first 15 matches of the season without a victory, Incheon United have now won two consecutive matches.

Just like that, their hopes of avoiding relegation from the top division K League 1 to the K League 2 next year are very much alive.

The K League's cellar dweller defeated Suwon Samsung Bluewings, the club right above them in the 12-team table, by 1-0 on Saturday.

Song Si-woo delivered the winning goal in the 69th, lifting Incheon to 11 points for the season.

Suwon, whose winless streak reached four matches, remained at

14 points. With 10 matches left this season, Incheon have moved well within striking distance of Suwon.

At the top of the table, the two leading horses both won for the second straight weekend. The league-leading Ulsan Hyundai FC squeezed past Seongnam FC 2-1 on Sunday. Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors kept pace with Ulsan thanks to a 2-1 victory over Sangju Sangmu.

Ulsan climbed to 42 points, with Jeonbuk trailing by one. Sangju stayed in third place at 28 points.

Ulsan and Jeonbuk are clearly in a league of their own, with everyone else playing for third place. To wit, Sangju are closer to 10th place, occupied by Gwangju FC with 17 points, than they are to second place.

K League's leading scorer Junior Negrao had both of Ulsan's goals. The Brazilian striker opened the scoring in the 35th minute by converting a Hong Chul cross, and then five minutes later, scored on a penalty that he himself drew after his shot went off the hand of Seongnam defender Yeon Je-woon.

Junior Negrao now has 20 goals for the season, double the total of his closest pursuer, Stanislav Iljutcenko of Pohang Steelers.

Six clubs, or half the league, have yet to score 20 goals this year.

Jeonbuk stretched their winning streak to five, while also avenging a 1-0 loss to Sangju from July.

Fullback Kim Jin-su, subject of persistent transfer rumors, assisted on both Jeonbuk goals, setting up Lee Sung-yoon's header in the second and then Gustavo's header in the 87th.

Elsewhere in the K League 1, Busan IPark beat 10-man Pohang Steelers 2-1 for their first victory in six matches, behind a goal and an assist by Lee Jung-hyub. Pohang's winless skid reached five matches.

Gwangju FC and FC Seoul played to a scoreless draw Saturday. FC Seoul were going for their fourth consecutive win but stayed in sixth place.

Gangwon FC and Daegu FC also ended in a 0-0 draw Saturday. With one point earned from the draw, Daegu moved past Pohang for fourth place. Gangwon don't have a win in their past half dozen matches. (Yonhap)
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