|Jeonbuk Hyundai midfielder Takahiro Kunimoto, right, reacts after scoring Jeonbuk's second goal during the K League 1 ninth round match against Ulsan Hyundai at the Munsu Stadium in Ulsan, Sunday. / Yonhap|
By Jhoo Dong-chan
A small mistake often plays a decisive role in football.
England lost David Beckham early in the second half for kicking out at Argentina's captain Diego Simeone during the 1998 France World Cup second-round match. The ten-man England team ended up being knocked out on penalties in the match. Wayne Rooney was also sent off for stamping on Portugal's defender Ricardo Carvalho in the 62nd minute during the 2006 Germany World Cup quarter final. Once again, England suffered a 1-3 defeat against Portugal in the game.
Thirty-year-old Kim Ki-hee is also an indispensable defender for Ulsan Hyundai who has represented South Korea at the national level, but his trapping mistake led to a straight red card during the K League 1 ninth-round match against its title rival Jeonbuk Hyundai.
He violently stamped on Jeonbuk midfielder Kim Bo-kyung's ankle after he lost the ball in the 23rd minute. Kim was immediately sent off from the pitch, and the match between the top two K League teams suddenly turned into a one-sided game.
In the 44th minute, Jeonbuk's central midfielder Son Jun-ho connected a quick pass to the team's forward Han Kyo-won in a free kick before Ulsan players fully lined up for defense. Han netted Son's pass outside the penalty arc.
It was Han's fourth goal of the season.
Ulsan subbed Bjorn Johnson for Koh Myong-jin in the 53rd minute and the team's ace Lee Chung-yong for Junior Negrao in the 70th minute, but the team failed to recover possession of the ball even in the second half. Rather, it was evident the Ulsan players experienced difficulties in maintaining the pace past the middle of the match.
Jeonbuk's Japanese talent Takahiro Kunimoto destroyed the opposition's left side by dribbling past four players to score the team's second goal to conclude the game.
Beating its title rival, Jeonbuk enjoyed its fifth consecutive victory while Ulsan suffered its first defeat of the season. Achieving 24 points, the former widened the gap to four points with Ulsan in the sheet.
Sources said Ulsan is in talks with Suwon Samsung to sign South Korean international Hong Chul. Hong is a left fullback.
A number of experts claim the position is currently the team's weakest link, and the team is likely to rise to a new level if they sign Hong.