Domestic Leagues

East Asia & ASEAN Wrap: Seoul slump, Busan secure first win

Kuala Lumpur: FC Seoul dropped into the bottom two in Korea Republic after suffering a sixth successive defeat, while Busan Ipark picked up their maiden win of the campaign and the top two continued their winning runs. 

There are new leaders in Vietnam as Song Lam Nghe An moved to the top of the pile, Johor Darul Ta'zim and Tampines Rovers returned to training after a long layoffs in Malaysia and Singapore, while there were a pair of huge results in Chinese Taipei at both ends of the table.

Japanese international Yuya Osako is in desperate relegation trouble in Germany while international teammate Maya Yoshida finally returned to action in Italy and, despite his own good form, things are looking increasingly worrying for China PR's Wu Lei in Spain as RCD Espanyol prop up the standings.

With all that and more, here's's review of the action from East Asia and ASEAN.

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Korea Republic: FC Seoul suffer sixth successive defeat as Busan claim first victory

After winning their first two games of the 2020 K League season, FC Seoul have now lost six in a row as Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Ulsan Hyundai, following second-half goals by Bjorn Johnsen and Junior Negrao, saw the capital city side drop into the bottom two.

Unbeaten Ulsan stay second, a point behind leaders Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, who scraped a narrow 1-0 win over Gwangju on Sunday after Han Kyo-won scored the only goal of the game with four minutes remaining.

After drawing four of their past five games, meanwhile, Busan IPark claimed their first win of the season as Kim Moon-hwan's stunning long-range goal condemned bottom side Incheon United to a sixth consecutive loss.

Sangju Sangmu are up to third after Moon Chang-jin struck a stoppage-time penalty to claim all three points at the death following a 1-0 win over Seongnam, while Pohang Steelers returned to winning ways after seeing off Gangwon 2-0.

Finally, for the second week in a row, Dejan Damjanovic came off the bench to score against a former club as Daegu FC continued their excellent recent form with a 3-1 victory over Suwon Samsung Bluewings that saw them rise to fourth.

While the top two have been pulling away from the pack for some time now, both having recorded four wins on the bounce, something will have to give next weekend as the pair go head-to-head at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium on Sunday.

Vietnam: Song Lam Nghe An go top

While there were no V.League games in Vietnam at the weekend, a full set of fixtures took place over Wednesday and Thursday, with Song Lam Nghe An moving to the top of the table after Dang Van Lam scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over defending champions Hanoi FC.

Becamex Binh Duong are into second as the Thu Dau Mot City side came from behind to claim a 2-1 win over second-from-bottom Quang Nam, while Ho Chi Minh City FC are up to third after seeing off Viettel 3-0.

Saigon were top going into the latest round of matches but dropped to fourth as they played out a 1-1 draw against Hoang Anh Gia Lai to remain one of only two sides yet to taste defeat.

Elsewhere, Than Quang Ninh saw of Hai Phong 1-0, Thanh Hoa picked up their first win of the season by beating Nam Dinh 1-0 as the latter dropped to bottom and Hong Linh Ha Tinh ended goalless against Da Nang.

As the games come thick and fast, first plays third on Tuesday as Song Lam Nghe An host Ho Chi Minh City, while Hanoi will look to return to winning ways when they travel to Becamex Binh Duong a day later.

Japan: Osako's Bremen in deep trouble

Yuya Osako was on the scoresheet but Werder Bremen slumped to a 3-1 defeat against Mainz 05 on Saturday to leave their Bundesliga future haning by a thread with one game remaining.

Bremen are second bottom and must beat FC Koln next week to have any chance of finishing in the relegation play-off position, although should 16th-placed Fortuna Dusseldorf get a result against Union Berlin then it will likely seal Bremen's fate.

Daichi Kamada claimed an assist and Makoto Hasebe also played as Eintracht Frankfurt saw off Schalke 04 2-1 last Wednesday, although neither appeared on Saturday, when a 1-1 draw at Koln moved them into the top half of the table.

In Italy, Maya Yoshida was back in action for Sampdoria as Serie A resumed following the COVID-19 postponement, but the Genoa side suffered a 2-1 loss to Internazionale and remain worryingly close to the relegation zone .

China PR: Tough weekend for Wu Lei as Espanyol fall to defeat

After Wu Lei's impressive return to action for Espanyol a week ago, it was a different story over the weekend as the La Liga side were beaten 3-1 by Levante to leave them bottom of the standings with just eight matches remaining.

At RCDE Stadium, Borja Mayoral fired the visitors ahead before Espanyol defender David Lopez headed home the leveller before the half hour.

Enis Bardhi put Levante back in front in the 67th minute with Wu Lei then withdrawn shortly after for Spanish forward Sergi Darder. But an own-goal from another substitute, Adria Pedrosa, sealed the hosts' fate three minutes from time.

Australia: Carpenter joins European giants Lyon

Ellie Carpenter has become the latest big-name Australian to move to Europe after the full-back put pen to paper with the Europe's dominant side Olympique Lyonnais Féminin following a two-year spell with Portland Thorns in the United States.

Still only 20, Carpenter has been turning out for the Matildas since 2016 and has already appeared at both the Olympic Games and the FIFA Women's World Cup for her country. She joins a side that have won the past four UEFA Women's Champions League titles and 14 in a row Division 1 Féminine crowns.

Chinese Taipei: Taichung Futuro march on

Unbeaten Taichung Futuro came out on top of the big game in Chinese Taipei at the weekend, beating Hang Yuan FC 1-0 to remain top of the standings and move six points ahead of their third-placed opponents.

But Taipower FC are just a point behind after claiming a 3-2 win over Tainan City, while TSU FC posted a huge 6-0 victory against Ming Chuan University. The shock of the weekend, however, came as bottom side Taipei Red Lions picked up their first win by seeing off defending champions Tatung 2-0.

Malaysia: Champions return to training

Last week, Malaysia's league title holders and 2020 AFC Champions League participants Johor Darul Ta'zim finally returned to training for the first time since March 15 after a three-month absence due to to COVID-19 restrictions.

Following Covid-19 screenings and medical tests, JDT first-teamers were back in action on the training field ahead of the resumption of the Malaysian Super League at a yet to be announced date.

Singapore: Tampines Rovers back at it

Over the weekend, 2020 AFC Cup side Tampines Rovers of Singapore also returned to training with several protocols employed to ensure a safe environment for all the players.

The measures included check-ins with SafeEntry, temperature checks, periodic use of hand sanitisers and disfencting of balls and training cones after each session.


Photos: Busan, IPark, Tampines Rovers

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