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Six of the Best - Seoul E-Land's Rise to (Almost) the Top!


Saturday's 1-0 win at Anyang marked Seoul E-Land FC's sixth straight win the in the K-League Challenge (and a run of eight wins in nine games). This is an absolutely amazing run of form and a massive turnaround for a team that didn't win a game in the league until May. Even more impressively four of the six games have been away from home. What's been the secret? Some impressive attacking football, a more risk-taking approach, some deadly finishing and just a sprinkle of luck here and there have put E-Land right on track for a title challenge. Let's take a look at the six game run.

FC Anyang 0 - 1 Seoul E-Land FC - June 13th

Perhaps the hardest game of the run came at the weekend. Despite Anyang's lowly league position they put up stiff opposition and could have been ahead during the first half had their finishing been better. In the second half, Seoul put more pressure on the Anyang goal but their keeper pulled off a couple of excellent saves to keep the score at 0-0. It was looking as if the run was coming to an end with a whimper until the very last minute of the game when the referee awarded a very soft penalty to E-Land which was duly dispatched by Tarabai to steal the points. Win 6/6 for Seoul E-Land!

Chungju 1 - 2 Seoul E-Land FC - June 10th

A bit of a wobbly start to the match for E-Land in this one as Chungju came out of the blocks with a real will to win. A goal in six minutes from Cho Suk-jae was no more than they deserved and, in fact, they could possibly have got at least one more as Seoul struggled to get to grips with the game. A cracking Bobby strike from the edge of the box levelled things up for Seoul on the brink of half-time - his first ever for the club. The second half was better from Seoul but they still struggled to find a breakthrough, even missing a re-taken penalty on the second attempt, until supersub Ryan Johnson came on late in the game to mix things up. His last minute cushioned header set up Joo Min-kyu for his 12th league goal with a header from 8 yards out. Relief for E-Land and a fifth straight win.

Bucheon 0 - 3 Seoul E-Land FC - June 3rd

A real game of two halves this on as Bucheon were the better side in the first 45 minutes and could have been ahead. E-Land must have felt fortunate to be level at the break and whatever Martin Rennie said at half time must have had the desired effect. A spectacular 2nd half hat-trick from Joo Min-kyu put Bucheon to the sword and the home side just could not live with Seoul when they hit their stride. The first of three straight away wins was, in the end, achieved with some style.

Seoul E-Land 2 - 0 Suwon City - May 30th

A tough home match for Seoul E-Land this one, a stark contrast to the 5-1 win they had racked up against Suwon in the away tie just a few weeks earlier. The first half was a tense edgy affair and neither side really created too many chances. Early in the second half, E-Land were awarded a penalty and it was that man Tarabai who slotted it home to give Seoul the edge. There were loud claims from Suwon that they had the ball in the net midway through the half but the referee and his assistant adjudged that the ball wasn't totally over the line (if it wasn't then it was 99.5% over!). A late late Joo Min-kyu strike ensured the points went to E-Land and perhaps made the scoreline look a bit more comfortable than it was in reality.

Goyang Hi 2 - 4 Seoul E-Land FC - May 23rd

This game possibly turned on one moment midway through the first half. With the game finely poised at 1-1 after goals from Joo Min-kyu (SEFC) and Kim Yoo-sung (Goyang) the home side looked to have taken the lead. The ball was in the back of the net but the referee spotted an offside and ruled out the goal. While Goyang were still arguing with the ref Seoul took full advantage and launched the ball to Cho Won-hee who fired in an impressive strike from 30 yards. In the second half, Kim Young-keun hit a couple of worldies to give Seoul a comfortable and impressive 4-1 lead. Goyang picked up a late consolation in the 88th minute but in reality this was a masterful performance by the visitors displaying some pacy passing football and deadly shooting from range.

Seoul E-Land 4 - 0 Chungju Hummel - May 16th

The one that started the current run, this was one of the most one-sided games I can remember seeing for sometime. Chungju were simply never at the races in this one. That being said, it did take 35 minutes for Seoul to open the scoring with Joo Min-kyu finishing off a nice move on the left hand side. This opened the floodgates for Seoul. Tarabai made it 2-0 just after the break with a real striker's finish from close range. The third was an unfortunate own-goal from Noh Hyung-gu as he couldn't get his feet right after Kim Jae-sung fired in driven cross. To complete the rout Seoul were given a penalty in the 57th minute and Tarabai converted for the fourth goal. Little did we know that 28 days later we'd be celebrating 18 points out of a possible 18.

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