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Heightened expectationsJeju United still unbeaten
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승인 2010.04.19  16:57:36
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▲ Jeju United, seen here playing Daejeon Citizens on March 21, continues undefeated. Photo courtesy Jeju FC.

As Nick Hornby wrote in “Fever Pitch,” “The natural state of the football fan is bitter disappointment, no matter what the score.” How true that was as we traipsed away from Jeju United’s home on April 4 having just watched a game in which Jeju snatched a draw from the jaws of victory. Not only did Jeju go one-nil up early on in the game through a slick move by Kim Eun Jung, but they held onto that lead for the next 50 minutes and it was only a mixture of profligate finishing and bad luck that prevented them from scoring another goal and putting the game to bed. Those missed chances came back to haunt Jeju as Jang Hack Yong found the equalizer for a decidedly average Seongnam team in the 66th minute.

Even after this Jeju looked much the more likely to net a winner but couldn’t find that killer final ball (perhaps hinting at a slight lack of quality in the middle of the park). The previous weekend, Jeju drew a similar game with Gwangju, the score that time being nil-all. Could it be that Jeju’s familiar and all too obvious problem technically known as “not scoring enough goals” will come back to haunt them? They are the lowest scorers in the top six of the K-league. However it’s certainly too early to tell and it’s something that coach Park Kyung Hoon will be able to work on now that he has sorted out other areas of the team.

Back to the Hornby quote, do Jeju’s fans have any real right to be disappointed? Should they be, after having plumbed the depths of disappointment last year and emerged on the other side? Not really, as the side is still unbeaten, still playing well and are in playoff position. However, it only takes a couple of good results for expectations to skyrocket. That’s why instead of looking at the positives of getting another point in the bag and maintaining our unbeaten record, we were strangely disconsolate as we went home that Sunday. Jeju’s next two games are against current league leaders Ulsan and perennial high-fliers Suwon, and if Jeju are still unbeaten after those two tough tests then Jeju fans should be the antithesis of bitterly disappointed - perhaps sweetly satisfied? If they keep this up, maybe they’ll never lose again ...





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