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Three Teams Struggle for Lead, ``Exhausting Weekend``

Posted October. 20, 2001 09:29,   


The top-three teams have contested for the champion of the professional soccer league, as the season is closing to an end. The Suwon Samsung and the Anyang LG are chasing `anxious` leader Songnam Ilhwa (41 points) just by three points.

These three champion chasers are expected to spend the craggy weekend facing unyielding low-ranking teams.

The leader Songnam will meet Bucheon SK at home tomorrow. The Bucheon has marched a 12-game streak without a loss under the command of Head Coach Choi Yoon-Gyum. The key point is the contest in the midfield. The struggle in the midfield between Songnam Shin Tae-Yong and Bucheon Nam Ki-Il is expected to draw much attention from the fans. From two games this month, Shin Tae-Yong earned one goal and one assist to become an all-time second member of 50 (goal)-50 (assist) club. Shin`s counterpart, Nam Ki-Il has also shown the best condition recording 2 goals and one assist in last month`s two games. So, the Songnam has to tread a thorny path in order to win the game.

The second-place Suwon is scheduled to play an away game with the Taejon Citizen. Viewed objectively, the Suwon has a superior power to the opponent. In the face-to-face matches this season, the Suwon has led the Taejon with two wins and no loss. However, the bad relationship with the Taejon irritates the nerves. Both teams have been vulnerable to fall into the overheated competition this season, which had once brought about the conflict between the supporters of both teams. Moreover, it is another irritating element for the Suwon that this is the first away game at Taejon. For Suwon, `best domestic player` Seo Jeong-Won has a key to offense. The Suwon definitely needs the contribution of Seo Jeong-Won to break off the two game scoreless game streak. The Suwon has failed to score for last two games in spite of having the most strong offensive line-up comprised of Seo Jeong-Won, Sandro, Denis, Lutz among the 10 professional soccer clubs.

The third-place Anyang needs to escape from the jinx in away game with the Chunnam Dragons. Strangely enough, the Anyang has exposed its weakness whenever facing the Chunnam this year. In four matches including the this year`s Adidas Cup, the Anyang just recorded one win, one draw and two losses. Moreover, since two losses came from the away games at Kwangyang, the Anyang will make every effort to break the away game loosing streak The Anyang cherishes the expectations for `an imported troika` comprised of Ricardo, Dragan and Andre. In particular, a hero in the game defeating Suwon on 17th, Ricardo has recorded 7 goals since changing his position from the defensive midfielder to the striker.

Joo Sung-Won swon@donga.com