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Gyeongnam FC v Seoul E-Land FC: Recap

The rest of the K-League Challenge must be looking at developments at Seoul E-Land with some nervousness. In the space of a couple of weeks they have transformed themselves from a somewhat pedestrian looking outfit struggling to create chances to a well-oiled goal machine that seem to have adopted the old 'we are going to score one more than you' motto.

Entertainment is not in short supply. The last 2 games away from home have seen E-Land bang in eight and concede three while picking up all six points. In fact, Seoul's away games this season have seen a total of 20 goals in just four matches. Goals have not been so easy to come by at home but with matches against Gangwon and Chungju coming up that could be about to change also.

For Gyeongnam, they should be able to take some heart from a performance which threatened to take home all three points for a large part of the match but which, in the end, fell just short. If they play like that against other teams then they should start to pick up some points and lift themselves off the foot of the table.

The game itself didn't take long at all to burst into life. Cho Won-hee opened the scoring in just five minutes with a magnificent curled effort from outside the box which left the keeper flailing. That was two goals in two games for Cho who is starting to look like the player who just a couple of seasons ago was part of an EPL squad at Wigan.

Having lost a goal so early, Gyeongnam might have feared a Suwon-esque collapse but, in fact, they found themselves level just two minutes later. A corner from the Seoul left found a completely unmarked Woo Joo-sung and he headed home an easy equaliser while Kim Young-kwang wondered where his defence had gone.

Somewhat against the run of play, Gyeongnam surprised a few by taking the lead just before half-time with a decent finish from Kim Young-wook. This meant that they found themselves in the fairly unfamiliar territory of being in the lead at half-time.

After the break, Gyeongnam adopted a much more defensive approach and seemed happy to sit-in and try to hold onto the three points. Had they pressed more who knows what may have happened, but by dropping back they played into Seoul's hands allowing their creative players to have much more possession.

The introduction of Ryan Johnson off the bench also changed things up for E-land with a more direct style and a greater physical presence unsettling the Gyeongnam defence. Up to this point Tarabai had been a fairly frustrated figure playing largely as a lone striker but with a partner things started to look more promising.

What happened next though took everyone by surprise. Joo Min-kyu suddenly decided he was James Rodriguez and pulled out a carbon copy of the Colombian's World Cup goal of the torunament volley which pretty much earned him his $80m move to Real Madrid. We're not greedy though, we'll take $70m for Joo-mes. If you haven't seen the strike you can watch the video of the two efforts side by side. Personally I think Joo's just edges it.


E-Land's tails were up now and a third was looking more and more likely. It finally came in the form of a fairly simple set-piece. Kim Jae-sung swung in a cross from the right and Tarabai headed it home under little pressure from the home defence.

Having thrown away a lead, in the last couple of minutes Gyeongnam seemed to spark into life again but it was too little too late. Seoul had the points wrapped up for their second consecutive away win while other results conspired to send Gyeongnam to the bottom of the table on goal difference. For a team who were in the Classic just a few months ago that doesn't bode well for the future, but there were enough signs to suggest that they can at least obtain mid-table respectability over the course of the season.

For E-Land, this was an important win. To comeback from behind and take all three points shows a determination that will be needed over the course of the season if they are to be serious title contenders. Martin Rennie will surely now be looking to rack up a few more wins in the coming matches to close the gap between them and the leaders Daegu.

Man of the Match: Officially it went to Cho Won-hee and it could have gone to Joo Min-kyu for that strike but I think Kim Jae-sung just edged it for me.

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