Professional football’s Pohang Steelers have defeated Jeonbuk Hyundai to win the Korean Football Association (FA) Cup for the fifth time in their history.
Pohang came from behind to win the 2023 Hana OneQ FA Cup final against Jeonbuk 4-2 at the Pohang Steelyard on Thursday, thanks to a 32nd-minute strike from Kim Jong-woo and a second-half stoppage-time winner from Hong Yun-sang.
Pohang regained the FA Cup trophy for the first time in a decade after winning the 2013 edition, which they also won in the final against Jeonbuk.
The club also increased its total number of titles to five (1996-2008-2012-2013-2023), tying it with Jeonbuk and Suwon Samsung for the most wins.
The win was made all the more special because it came on the club’s 50th anniversary. Pohang was founded in April 1973.
With the win, Pohang will also qualify for the 2024-2025 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League Elite (ACLE).
The ACLE was created at the top of the existing Champions League (ACL) from the 2024-2025 season, with three ACLE spots allocated to South Korea.
By securing their ACLE tickets early, Pohang have taken the pressure off of their remaining three K League 1 matches.
Under the KFA’s existing ticket allocation policy, the second-placed team in the K League 1 receives an ACLE spot, and with three games remaining, Pohang is second (60 points), Gwangju FC is third (57 points), and Jeonbuk is fourth (53 points).
Jeonbuk, on the other hand, will need to win all of their remaining matches to qualify for the ACLE and hope for an ‘upset runner-up’ finish.
More importantly for Jeonbuk than Pohang is what the KFA will conclude about the ‘mistaken player substitution’ incident that occurred in the match between Jeonbuk and Pohang in Round 35 of the K League 1.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw, with Jeonbuk requesting a 0-3 forfeit from Pohang. 파워볼사이트