Champions beaten, Jeju triumph
A debut goal from Uzbekistan striker Alexander Geynrikh and a strike from Oh Jang-Eun meant that K-League champions FC Seoul started the defence of their title with a 2-0 defeat at home to Suwon Bluewings today.
Geynrikh scored twice against Korea Republic at the AFC Asian Cup and carried on where he left off just three days after arriving in the country.
Both teams had returned from punishing midweek trips overseas in the AFC Champions League with Seoul winning 1-0 at Al Ain and Suwon being held to a goalless draw at Sydney FC.
That was reflected in a flat opening period but Suwon took the lead five minutes before the break. Yeom Ki-Hu found Geynrikh on the left corner of the penalty area and the Uzbek star muscled his way past Hyun Yong-Min to fire a low diagonal shot past Kim Yong-Dae.
Suwon had chances to extend their lead and did just that on the hour. Choi Sung-Kuk whipped in a cross from the right for Oh Jang-Eun, another new signing, to head home.
"It was tough as it was my first game," said Geynrikh. "But I would like to thank the many Suwon fans who came and my team-mates." The striker was also happy to defeat national team-mate Server Djeparov. "I did think that before the game and thought that we had to win. We talked on the phone before the match."
There were surprises elsewhere. Jeonbuk Motors followed their midweek win over Shandong Luneng with a 1-0 defeat against Chunnam Dragons thanks to a goal from Kong Yong-Seon midway through the first half.
Ulsan Horang-I crashed to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Daejeon Citizen while elsewhere, Jeju United came back from a goal down to defeat Busan I'Park 2-1.