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Santos, Jair net one apiece in Jeju United’s 2-0 victory over Gyeongnam FC, Nov. 3
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승인 2012.11.05  14:37:18
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Sometimes a team’s big guns need to remind everyone why they were given that billing in the first place. After scoring both Jeju United goals in a 2-0 victory over Gyeongnam FC on Nov. 3, Santos Jr. and Jair refreshed our memories as to their place on Jeju’s artillery rank.

After a shaky start by the home Orange, Santos got the scoring started for Jeju at the 19-minute mark, finishing off a penalty kick with a header that caught a stroke of good fortune and beat Gyeongnam goaltender Baek Min-Cheol. It was Santos’ 14th goal of the year, first of the championship round, and his first in seven games. It also proved to be the only scoring of the first half, and the game’s winning goal.

The second frame got scrappy, seeing Gyeongnam throw some aggressive tackles at the home team. It was an effective tactic that temporarily ran Jeju’s offense dry on quality scoring opportunities, up until the last 10 minutes of the game. The Orange then began to effortlessly string passes together, looking as good as they have all season. With Jeju taking over the game’s momentum, Gyeongnam grew frustrated and desperate, resorting to hopeful, long-range attempts at Jeju’s net that never really troubled goalkeeper Jeon Tae-Hyun.

At the 90-minute mark, just prior to injury time, Jair potted Jeju’s second of the game and sealed the Orange’s victory by finishing off a pretty United passing play with some stylish dribbling and a strong shot. It was Jair’s team leading 16th goal of the year, and second of the championship round. It was only his second goal of his last eight games – mildly concerning, considering he finished third in K-League regular season goals. However, it was also his second goal in his last three games, perhaps enough to give Jeju fans hope that the proverbial monkey is now off Jair’s back.

Saturday’s win sealed the season series against eighth place Gyeongnam in Jeju’s favor, besting their four encounters at a record of 2-1-1. It also gave Jeju three much needed points, and vaulted them ahead of Busan I’Park in K-League standings, as they desperately clamber to escape the basement of the championship round ladder. Now with 54 points and six matches remaining, Jeju can mathematically ascend as high as third place before the season is out.

Though you wouldn’t know it from their sixth place standing, Jeju United still has a reasonable chance of doing just that – the teams they play in their next six matches have by no means had Jeju’s number this season. In their upcoming three game road swing, Jeju will play the fourth place Pohang Steelers (Jeju’s 2-2-0 against them this season) on Nov. 11, seventh place Busan I’Park (2-0-1) on the 18th, and first place Seoul FC (0-1-2) on the 21st. They’ll then return home to Jeju World Cup Stadium to face fifth place Ulsan (0-0-3) on the 25th, and third place Suwon Bluewings (1-1-1) on the 29th, before rounding out the season on the road against second place Jeonbuk Motors (0-2-1) on Dec. 2. With a little good luck for the boys in orange, and some bad luck for others, it could very well be done.

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