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Recap: Bucheon 0 - 1 Seoul E-Land

A Kim Young-nam own-goal was the difference between the two sides here and enough to give E-Land their second win of the season and a victory in their first away match of 2016. This was a hard-fought win and the players will be nursing a few bruises from this one but they'll take heart from the fact that they have yet to concede a goal in 270 minutes of K-League Challenge action this season.

Martin Rennie started the game with no changes in the starting line-up giving a vote of confidence to the eleven that have now started all three matches so far. Interestingly, Rennie seems to not be particularly worried about the U-23 rule as his preferred starting line-up doesn't feature one. The impact of this being that Rennie is generally limited to two subs during matches although this is maybe no great loss given Rennie's tendency not to make too many changes in any case. Looking at the squad there aren't really a great deal of U-23 options to start matches anyway - Choi Chi-won or Shin Il-soo could potentially come in to the side for Kim Chang-wook but other than that there doesn't really seem to be an obvious candidate to switch.

One of the more confusing aspects of Bucheon last season was their manager's insistence on rotating his foreigner options from game to game. Despite clearly being their biggest threats you would often find Rodrigo Parana or Lukian warming the bench for over an hour for no clear reason. It seems that he is continuing with this odd strategy for 2016 as Bucheon took the field with only Waguininho of their three foreign options with Everton and Lukian listed as subs.

The game was played in front of a healthy crowd of almost 11,000 though it's likely that 10,000 of them were only there to see Girlfriend dance at half-time. The football on the park was probably slightly less attractive to the watching fans but it was Bucheon who had the upper hand of the early exchanges. The home side managed to carve out a handful of chances in the first 20 minutes or so but a combination of Glory, the woodwork and a bit of luck managed to keep them all out of the net.

At that point E-Land started coming more into it. Joo Min-kyu fired a shot wide and Belusso had an effort deflect wide. From the resulting corner the unfortunate Kim nodded into his own net and Tarabai was quick to celebrate on the off-chance that someone might award him the goal!

Lukian was introduced midway through the first half and improved the threat of Bucheon going forward. It looked as if they had won a penalty when from my view it appeared as if Waguininho dived in the box and I had my head in my hands when the ref blew for a foul. Luckily he decided that the infringement had happened outside the box and nothing came of the resulting free-kick.

For a team that hasn't yet conceded a goal it's amazing just how many half-chances E-Land give up and with Bucheon fighting for a leveller they probably had the better of the match for the rest of the game. When E-Land did have the ball they were far too quick to give away possession with aimless balls played long for the strikers to chase. There were a few meaty challenges being dished out by Bucheon so maybe the E-Land players were trying to get rid of the ball quickly before they could be thumped but they'll have to pick up their game against better teams if they want to be serious title challengers.

That being said Bucheon can be a tricky place to go and a win is a win so overall there should be smiles around at the result. There's still plenty of hard work to be done on the training ground though as at the minute the results are probably better than the performances.


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