Pohang Steelers' failure to win at mid-table Daejeon Citizen allows 2006 Asian champions to jump back into pole position in South Korea
Jeonbuk Motors prepared for their midweek AFC Champions League Round of 16 clash in fine style by moving into top spot with a 1-0 win over struggling Gangwon FC.
The Jeonju-based club leapfrogged previous leaders Pohang Steelers at the summit as they could only manage a goalless draw at mid-table Daejeon Citizen.
Jeonbuk, who will meet Chinese outfit Tianjin Teda in the Champions League on Tuesday, fielded a weakened team as boss Choi Kang-Hee opted to rest key players ahead of the midweek clash.
Motors produced a below-par performance but got the all-important points thanks to former Croatia youth international Krunoslav Lovrek's 24th-minute strike.
Fellow Korean Champions League competitors Suwon Bluewings and FC Seoul both suffered defeats ahead of their Round of 16 clashes against Nagoya Grampus and Kashima Antlers respectively.
Suwon were beaten 2-1 at home by Busan I'Park, who scored the winner on 88 minutes thanks to 25-year-old striker Yang Dong-Hyun's controversial penalty. The result sees Busan move into the play-offs places.
Champions Seoul were beaten 2-0 in the capital by battling Daegu FC, who celebrated their first away win of the season.
Reigning Asian champions Seongnam Ilhwa continued their poor start to 2011, slipping to a 3-2 defeat at Ulsan Hyundai.
Jeju United 0-1 Chunnam Dragons
Jeonbuk Motors 1-0 Gangwon FC
Suwon Bluewings 1-2 Busan I'Park
Gyeongnam FC 0-1 Sangju Sangmu
FC Seoul 0-2 Daegu FC
Daejeon Citizen 0-0 Pohang Steelers
Gwangju 0-1 Incheon United
Ulsan Hyundai 3-2 Seongnam Ilhwa