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East Asia Domestic Wrap: Jeonbuk, Guangzhou seal title wins

Kuala Lumpur: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors climbed from second to first on the final day of the K League season to pip Ulsan Hyundai to the title in dramatic fashion as they were crowned champions for a third consecutive year and seventh time overall. 

Elsewhere, Guangzhou Evergrande secured their eighth Chinese Super League title in nine years while Yokohama F. Marinos moved ever closer to being crowned J. League champions.

Tatung wrapped up their third successive title in Chinese Taipei, while there were also fixtures in Hong Kong and Guam, so join as we review all the action across East Asia.

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Korea Republic: Heartbreak for Ulsan

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors leapfrogged Ulsan Hyundai on the last day of the K League season after Son Jun-ho’s solitary goal against Gangwon on Sunday coupled with Ulsan’s 4-1 home loss to Pohang Steelers meant the Jeonju team were crowned champions by virtue of goals scored.

Ulsan had begun the day three points ahead of Jeonbuk and needed only a draw to seal a first title since 2005 but, chasing the game at 2-1 down, ultimately succumbed to a 4-1 defeat following two late Pohang goals as their campaign ended in bitter disappointment.

FC Seoul’s goalless draw against Daegu FC saw the capital city side finish in third place to book their ticket to the 2020 AFC Champions League’s qualifying rounds as the capital city side finished above Pohang on goals scored.

At the other end of the table, Gyeongnam FC will face a relegation play-off against Busan I’Park to determine their future after a 0-0 draw with Incheon United meant they finished second from bottom, ahead of Jeju United, who drop down to the second tier.

China PR: Guangzhou regain title

After finishing runners-up to Shanghai SIPG last year, Guangzhou Evergrande recorded the victory they needed to return to the summit of Chinese football after a 3-0 win over Shanghai Shenhua on Sunday.

Fabio Cannavaro’s men went into the game two points ahead of Beijing FC and goals from Wei Shihao, Park Ji-soo and Elkeson secured yet another title for the Guangdong club.

Beijing FC came from two goals down to beat Shandong Luneng 3-2 and finish second, while Shanghai SIPG ended in third after Marko Arnautovic scored four in a 6-0 win over Shenzhen FC that also confirmed their opponents’ relegation alongside Beijing Renhe.

Jiangsu FC defeated Tianjin Tianhai 2-0 to claim fourth position ahead of Shandong Luneng, although the latter have the second leg of the Chinese FA Cup final against Shenhua to look forward to on Friday. The Jinan side hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg, with the winners to gain direct entry into the 2020 AFC Champions League.

Japan: Yokohama within touching distance

Yokohama F. Marinos will win their first J.League title since 2004 if they avoid losing by a four-goal margin against second-placed FC Tokyo next weekend.

A comprehensive 4-1 win against defending champions Kawasaki Frontale on Saturday means Ange Postecoglou’s team will go into the final day of the season with a three-point lead over Tokyo, who lost further ground by drawing 1-1 against Urawa Red Diamonds.

Jubilo Iwata have been relegated despite a 2-1 victory over Nagoya Grampus, as have Matsumoto Yamaga after they lost 4-1 against Gamba Osaka.

There’s all to play for in the battle to avoid the relegation play-off spot, with Shonan Bellmare’s 1-0 win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima giving themselves a fighting chance despite remaining in the bottom three.

Shonan are a point behind both Shimizu S-Pulse and Sagan Tosu, who will play each other next week. Urawa are now all but safe after their point against Tokyo. 

Chinese Taipei: Tatung go back-to-back-to-back

Tatung FC have been crowned champions for the third successive year in Chinese Taipei after a 2-0 victory over Taipower FC saw them finish three points above their opponents.

The sides went into the game level on 49 points apiece and Tatung needed only to avoid defeat to win the title. The victory meant they ended the season having been beaten just once in 21 matches.

Hong Kong: Eastern climb to top

Eastern SC have risen to the top of the Hong Kong Premier League following a 1-0 win over Pegasus on Sunday as Guangzhou R&F dropped to second after a goalless draw against Kitchee SC on Friday.

The top three sides, however, are all on 13 points, with Warriors currently occupying third place after seeing off defending champions Wofoo Tai Po 4-1.

Yuen Long are still in the hunt for their first win of the season and prop up the table after an entertaining 4-4 draw against BC Rangers.

Guam: Guam U-19 rout Shipyard

There was only one game in Guam at the weekend, with Guam Shipyard succumbing to a heavy 8-2 defeat to Guam U-19.


Photo: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

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