Posted September. 24, 2008 08:59,
A heated three-way competition is being waged for the top spot in the domestic soccer K-League.
With Week 19 of play yesterday, each of the three leading teams has seven games remaining. Only a three-point gap divides the top three teams: leader Seongnam Ilhwa (41 points), No. 2 Suwon Samsung (41) and No. 3 FC Seoul (38).
Suwon had an 11-game winning streak between April 20 and Aug. 31, and once widened its league lead to nine points over Seongnam.
Then Seongnam struck back by beating Suwon Sept. 13. While the two teams were busy competing against each other, FC Seoul quietly caught up in the standings to add another team to the race for the league championship.
Suwon then fell into a slump by winning just one of six games and adding only four points. Seongnam won four of six games, with a tie and a loss. Despite being tied in points with Suwon, Seongnam is ahead in goal difference with plus 23 as opposed to Suwons plus 18.
Seongnam, however, has gotten no goals from star striker Lee Dong-gook over the last six matches, and fellow attacker Lee Chun-soo is out with a thigh injury.
Despite the loss of star Park Chu-young to the French league, FC Seoul is doing just fine. The Korean teams strikers including Jung Jo-gook are making up for Parks absence in growing stronger as the season winds down.
FC Seoul has won nine of its last 12 games to challenge for the league crown.
Ulsan Hyundai could be the fourth contender for the league crown, having won four of its last six games to amass 34 points.