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Busan vs Jeolla-do

Welcome to the first post for Busan IPark (and yes, please note that "IPark" does not contain an apostrophe) here at K League United. In this post we'll take a look back at the 2-1 loss to Jeonbuk in the midweek game as well as preview Sunday's match with Jeonnam.

Busan 1-2 Jeonbuk

Goals: Park Yong-ji (Busan, 51'), Lee Dong-gook (Jeonbuk, 77'), Leonardo (Jeonbuk, 86')

Starting Lineup

On paper Busan went with their usual 3-4-3/3-5-1 line up. Lee Chang-geun continued in goal in place of Lee Bum-young. Kim Chan-young coming in for Lee Gyeong-ryeol in defense with Nilson Junior and Noh Haeng-seok making the back three. Park Joon-gang made his season debut at right back in place of Yoo Ji-hoon while Yoo Ji-no continued at left back. Joo Se-jong and Hong Dong-hyun were in central midfield with Han Ji-ho and Bae Chun-seok playing hybrid wide midfield/wide forward roles. Park Yong-ji was the lone forward.

Jeonbuk went with their normal 4-2-3-1 with the notable changes coming in central midfield. Kim Ki-hee, who usually plays in central defense, moved up to the midfield (likely replacing the usual holder Lee Ho), while Jung Hoon came in for a more creative player like Leonardo. Otherwise it featured the usual faces like Edu, Lee Jae-sung, Han Kyo-won, Kwon Sun-tae, and so on.

Match Recap

The first half was a rather dull affair. Busan was solid defensively, but lacking in attack. Jeonbuk looked uninterested and their attack was equally as lacking. Edu couldn't get free of Noh Haeng-seok's close attention nor could Lee Jae-sung get rid of his second shadow in the form of Nilson Junior.

The second half was where all the action was. In the 51' Joo Se-jong took a free kick that found Park Yong-ji at the near post where he managed to turn it into the goal giving Busan a lead. Jeonbuk boss Choi Kang-hee reacted immediately sending in Lee Dong-gook and Leonardo to give the green boys a much more attacking look. The flipside was that Jeonbuk basically had no midfield with just Kim Ki-hee holding the fort, and Busan took advantage of that to launch quick counterattacks. Han Ji-ho and Park Yong-ji were both guilty of missing excellent chances to increase the lead while Hong Dong-hyun also failed to really test Kwon Sun-tae with his opportunities.

Busan's poor finishing proved costly as Jeonbuk scored twice in 10 minutes to take the lead. Edu finally got involved as he held up the ball well just inside the area, turned Noh Haeng-seok and his cross-cum-shot found Lee Dong-gook at the far post where he had the simple task of tapping in the equalizer. Nine minutes later Leonardo stepped up and snuck a free kick into the bottom corner just out of Lee Chang-geun's reach to snatch all three points.

Bottom Line

Busan probably didn't think they would get points from Jeonbuk, but in the end they were unfortunate (to an extent) not to get at least one. For Busan fans, a worrying point is the team's inability to close out games. Busan has lost their last four matches in a row, but all the winning goals came in the last 15 minutes of the match. Three of the winning goals came in the last 10 minutes, and two of them came in the last five. (*vs Gwangju - 80', vs Suwon - 93', vs Seongnam - 78', vs Jeonbuk 86') Granted it's early in the season, but take those four late goals away and Busan goes from being an early relegation candidate to being a top half team.

Can Busan stop conceding late goals and throwing away points? I wish I could be more positive about it, but I'm not sure Yoon Sung-hyo really knows how to do it. In past seasons he's shown a tendency to go uber-defensive late in matches, sending on substitute center backs to close things out, but that has often backfired as Busan faces a barrage of shots and pressure since they can no longer keep the ball. The ideal solution would seem to be an increased level of tactical knowledge and positional discipline to simply clog the midfield and central areas in front of goal (without resulting in fouls) to frustrate and stifle opposition attacks. Again, though I'm not sure Yoon has the knowledge and ability to teach that style of play (as opposed to say, former boss Ahn Ik-soo) and the current player pool has the ability to play that way.

The Table after Round 6

1. Jeonbuk: 16 points/+6
2. Ulsan: 12 points/+6
3. Jeju: 11 points/+6
4. Suwon: 11 points/+3
5. Pohang: 9 points/+1
6. Seongnam: 8 points/0
7. Gwangju: 7 points/-1
8. Seoul: 7 points/-2
9. Jeonnam: 7 points/-2
10. Incheon: 4 points/-2
11. Busan: 4 points/-3
12. Daejeon: 1 point/-12

Busan vs Jeonnam

Last Season

4/13: Jeonnam 2-1 Busan
8/24: Busan 0-1 Jeonnam
9/21: Jeonnam 2-1 Busan
11/15: Busan 1-1 Jeonnam

All-time (68 matches)

Busan wins: 25
Draws: 14
Jeonnam wins: 29


Jeonnam certainly has the historical edge, both recent and all-time. Neither side has been particularly good this season however, as Jeonnam recently got blown away by Pohang 4-1 midweek, and otherwise has been closer to solid than spectacular. Jeonnam is mainly noted for their forward line, the trio of Stevica Ristic, Ahn Yong-woo, and Lee Jong-ho. Those three should cause Busan's defense problems, but hopefully not too many.

Who will Busan roll out for this one? Difficult to say simply because teams rarely give too much away in terms of starting line ups, injuries, and so on. Some rotation may be in order given the midweek match, but not too much.

Best guess XI: Lee Bum-young; Noh Haeng-seok, Nilson Junior, Lee Gyeong-ryeol; Yoo Ji-hoon, Joo Se-jong, Kim Yong-tae, Yoo Ji-no; Han Ji-ho, Park Yong-ji, Weslley

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