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Recap: Seoul E-Land 0 - 0 Chungju Hummel


A disappointing 90 minutes of football at Jamsil saw Seoul E-Land play out a fairly listless scoreless draw with a Chungju side that on another day might have pulled off a surprise result. Both managers will no doubt say that they are happy to start the season with a point but Martin Rennie will surely be disappointed that his side again failed to win their opening day fixture against a side that most would have expected to have been dispatched with some ease.

There were a few surprises in the E-Land line up with Rennie starting all three of Joo Min-kyu, Belusso and Tarabai in a narrow 4-3-3 formation.  Debuts also for Lee Kyu-ro, Kim Dong-cheol, Lee Jae-hun and Kim Dong-jin. Lee Chang-uk was perhaps a surprise to start in the middle of the pitch alongside Kim Jae-sung.

The first half was a pretty turgid affair as, despite the firepower at their disposal, E-Land failed to impose themselves on the game in the midfield and created very little for the front three to feed off. Given his lack of pre-season with the team it was maybe a bit of a surprise that Tarabai was picked for this one and the forward line really failed to gel at all. It will no doubt take time to get the best out of them but they will need to get better service than they did today if they are to achieve what's expected of them.

Rennie's preference does seem to be for a fairly narrow front three and the lack of width in the team often makes it difficult to get in behind defences. Ultimately it might prove more fruitful to start two of the three in matches to make space for a more natural winger but there's still a lot of football to be played so it's too early to judge.

In the first half it was Chungju that probably created the better of the half-chances with the E-Land defence still looking prone to the odd error and vulnerable to direct running. A better team would probably have gone in at half-time ahead by at least one goal in this one and Glory had to look sharp at times.

The second half was more positive from E-Land and they looked the more likely team to snatch something but in all honesty they didn't deserve to take all three points. A header from Kim Dong-chul from a corner which forced a neat save from the Chungju keeper and a beautifully weighted Tarabai ball to the feet of Joo Min-kyu which the striker took a fresh-air kick at were probably the two best chances.

At the other end, the Bees could have stolen the points with a quick break that caught the defence napping but Glory was out quickly to block at the feet of the on-rushing Chungju striker to spare E-Land's blushes.

With time running down Rennie looked to his bench for inspiration but there was little available to make any real difference. Belusso came off for Kim Min-je presumably to try to add some width and look for decent balls into the box but he wasn't able to make any significant difference. Late in the game Lee Kyu-ro, who had a promising start to his E-Land career at right-back, looked to take a knock and was replaced by Jeon Min-gwang.

There was to be no late glory for E-Land though and a draw was all they could manage to start their campaign. Too many players were fairly anonymous on the day and the team lacked the intensity needed to force a win. It was a disappointingly flat display after showing some promising pre-season form and it's probably raised more questions than it has answered for now.

This one was reminiscent of a number of games at Jamsil last season and it seems the players struggle to get themselves fired up at times. Perhaps the lack of passion on the park sometimes mirrors the lack of  enthusiasm off it and again the small home crowd of less than 2,500 struggled to create any real noise or enthusiasm within the cavernous Olympic Stadium. Next Saturday it's Daejeon's turn to visit and E-Land will have to be better than this if they want to avoid defeat in that one.

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