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Ulsan coach Hong Myung-bo aims for second straight K League title “Every game is important”

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홍명보 울산 감독이 지난 9월 태국 BG빠툼 유나이티드와의 경기 기자회견에서 말하고 있다. 기사와는 관련 없음. /프로축구연맹

“I will wear one more star on my left chest.”

This is what Ulsan Hyundai head coach Hong Myung-bo said at the media day for the K League 1 (1st Division) 2023 Final Round on April 18. The star on the left chest of the jersey symbolizes the league championship. It means that the team will win the title again this season after last season. The event was attended by managers and players from the top six teams in this season's 12-team K League 1. The six teams will play five more games through the 33rd round in early December to determine the final standings for the 2023 season.

Ulsan, the leader with 67 points, will try to win its second consecutive K League title with five games remaining. They have a comfortable nine-point cushion over the second-place Pohang Steelers (58 points), but it's too early to rest on their laurels, as Ulsan has slumped to just one win, four draws, and one loss in their last six games. “Every game is important, so we will do our best until the end,” Hong said.

For second-place Pohang to pull off the upset, they must win against Ulsan on November 12. Then, 먹튀검증 they'll have to wait and see how the rest of their matches turn out. Pohang striker Kim Seung-dae vowed, “We will not lose our second place, and we will chase Ulsan to the end.”

The Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 Final Round kicks off on Nov. 20 with a match between Pohang and Incheon and runs through Dec. 3, with five games for each team. The six clubs in the lower division will also play five games to avoid relegation. The bottom 12 finishers will drop directly to K League 2 for the 2024 season, while the 10th and 11th place finishers will play a playoff. A team must finish at least ninth to remain in K League 1 next season.

Currently, 9th place is Jeju United (35 points). 10th-place Suwon FC (31 points), 11th-place Gangwon FC (26 points), and 12th-place Suwon Samsung (25 points) will also be in a fierce battle for retention.

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