Jeju, unable to overcome ‘summer jinx’, aims for Final A on cliffhanger

Jeju struggles in summer
1 win, 5 draws, and 8 losses in the June-August period… Ranked 9th
‘6 points’ to the Final A margin

Jeju United’s ‘summer jinx’ continued this season. They need a miraculous rebound in their remaining four matches to qualify for the Asian Champions League (ACL).

After two draws and three losses in the first five matches of the league, Jeju had a ‘breakthrough’ against Ulsan in the fifth round. Starting against Gangwon in 6R, they won eight, drew one, and lost one of their next 10 games, jumping from the relegation zone to second place. During this time, they defeated Gwangju, Daejeon, Pohang, Incheon, and Suwon FC in succession, tying the club record for the longest winning streak.

But as the summer began, Jeju began to lose steam. On June 3, they drew against the league’s lowest-ranked team, Gangwon, and didn’t win for 10 games. Despite a narrow win against Suwon FC, the team went 1 win, 5 draws, and 8 losses between June and August. The team’s ranking also dropped vertically from second to ninth.바카라사이트

Jeju has traditionally been weak in the summer. The “summer jinx,” in which a team fights for the top spot in the early to mid-season and then falls in the summer, has plagued Jeju every year. According to the ‘K League 1 Historical July-August Performance Comparison’ released by the Korea Professional Football Association on July 1, Jeju’s July-August performance is 6.8 percentage points lower than before July. Before July, Jeju’s winning percentage was 52.4% (56 wins, 42 draws, 49 losses), but in July-August, its winning percentage was 45.6% (26 wins, 30 draws, 34 losses). This is the biggest drop among all K League teams.

Jeju’s summer jinx is largely due to the accumulation of fatigue from long travel distances. It takes an hour to travel from the clubhouse in Seogwipo to Jeju Airport to catch a flight, and even after arriving at airports in Gimpo, Gwangju, and Cheongju, it takes a long time to get to the stadiums where away games are played.

The weather in Jeju, which is much more humid than inland, also plays a role. Some players have said that playing in Jeju in the summer is like playing soccer in a sauna. The federation explains Jeju’s summer weakness by saying, “It seems to be a combination of weather and travel fatigue.”

But now that the long summer is over, Jeju is looking to make a dramatic comeback. During the two-week break from the A-Match, the team focused on improving the individual conditions of players who were tired of the tight schedule and strengthening the organization through customized training and practice matches. With 29 matches played, Jeju is in ninth place out of 12 teams in the K League 1 with 9 wins, 8 draws and 12 losses (35 points), but an upset is not out of the question.

The K League 1 divides the top six teams into Group A and the bottom six into Group B based on the results of the first through 33rd regular rounds. Each group plays five more games from 34-38R (Final Round), with the winner coming out of Group A and the relegated team coming out of Group B.

To reach the ACL, Jeju’s goal, they need to advance to the Final A Group. They are six points behind sixth-place Daegu (41 points), which is the Final A cutoff. With four games left before the end of the regular round, Jeju will start with Incheon (7th) on the 16th, followed by Seoul (4th), Gwangju (3rd), and Daejeon (8th).

All four teams are ranked higher than Jeju, so it will be a tough matchup. However, the gap in points between the teams is not huge, so there is always a chance for Jeju to move up the standings depending on the outcome of each match. This season, Jeju has earned points against all four teams, with wins against Incheon, Gwangju, and Daejeon, so a positive result is expected.

Jeju’s current form is not bad. They earned a point against Jeonbuk (5th place) on the 3rd with an impressive performance. Koo Ja-cheol made his comeback as a substitute after missing over three months due to injury, and Seo Jin-soo, who was a key part of Jeju’s early season surge, has also been making noticeable moves in recent games.

“It’s a tough situation, but we have to keep going,” said Koo Ja-cheol, the team’s veteran and leader. We will do our best with the determination that every game is a final. During the break, everyone on Jeju came together as one,” he said.

“We’re in a good mood because we’re united as a team,” said forward Seo Jin-soo, “and we’re determined to win the rest of the games with the belief that we’ll advance to Final A.”

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