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Recap: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-2 Seongnam FC

Breaking a run of bad form: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors take the lead against vistiors Seongnam FC with a Ricardo Lopes strike.  (Photo Credit: Howard Cheng)
Breaking a run of bad form: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors take the lead against vistiors Seongnam FC with a Lopes strike.
(Photo Credit: Howard Cheng) 
With both clubs coming unbeaten into this match, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Seongnam FC ensured that the supporters who braved the wet Saturday afternoon were rewarded with a highly entertaining display, as the hosts put their poor run of form behind them to eventually overcome the visitors three goals to two.

Build-up to this game had seen both clubs engage in some light-hearted, and slightly cringeworthy, banter. Normally I would not be motivated to address this, but, after Jeonbuk had poked fun at Seongnam's use of the world "Royal" to describe themselves (by awkwardly claiming that Jeonbuk's Champions status is in fact Royal), Seongnam's admittedly excellent response below is worthy of note.

The joke would have been on Seongnam though if Kim Shin-wook scored from a Kwoun Sun-tae goal kick
(Photo Credit: Seongnam Official Facebook Page)
Jeonbuk's recent performances have come under a lot of scrutiny these last few games, with no win in their last three across all competitions. This perhaps came to a head in their most recent game against bottom side Incheon where they resorted to continuous mindless pumping of the ball toward their marquee target man Kim Shin-wook with absolutely no effect. One look at Motors' starting line-up though meant the support may not be forced to endure a repeat.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors Starting 11 (Image generated using Line-Up 11 App_
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors Starting 11 (Image generated using Line-Up 11 App)
Kim Shin-wook was pulled from the starting eleven, with Lee Dong-gook making his third appearance in seven days, spearheading the attack alone. Lopes was recalled to the line-up on the left wing, with Luiz in the AM role. Lee Jae-sung, after being restrained to a more defensive role against Incheon, was this time deployed down the right side. Whilst not his normal position, the recently Premier League-linked midfielder has held down this role recently for the Korean national squad.

Kim Bo-kyung continued his return from injury with his third start in a row, occupying the central midfield with 19 year-old Jang Yun-ho, making his third start of this year's campaign. Finally, there was one change to the defence, with Choi Jae-soo being removed for Lee Joo-yong.

Seongnam FC Starting 11 (Image generated using Line-up 11 App)
Seongnam FC Starting 11 (Image generated using Line-up 11 App)
After a disappointing goalless draw midweek against a struggling Jeonnam, Seongnam made only a few changes to their squad. Influential, yet ageing midfielder Kim Do-heon remained out of the squad after featuring against Incheon a week ago. Other changes saw the inclusion of Park Yong-ji on the left, Choi Ho-jung in central midfield, Kim Tae-youn in central defence and Lee Tae-hee at right wing back. Players removed from the line-up were Miguel Garcia (Pitu), Ahn Sang-hyun, Jang Suk-won and Kwak Hae-sung respectively.

The game got off to a subdued start as during the first five minutes of the game there was a dedicated "quiet" period in memoriam for the second anniversary of the tragic Sewol Ferry disaster. Some things are more important than football, with both fans duly paying their respects whilst the game played out.

After 12 minutes, Jeonbuk supporters were treated to an opening goal. A corner in from Luiz was punched out by Seongnam keeper Kim Dong-jun, but only as far as the edge of the area. Young Jeonbuk midfielder Jang Yun-ho clumsily controlled the ball into the path of an unmarked Lopes, who proceeded to turn and place his shot through four Seongnam players low into the bottom-left corner of the net.

Jeonbuk continued to create a number of chances throughout the first half, with a couple of good opportunities from Lee Dong-gook going to waste. The veteran striker looked like he would not be adding a third consecutive goal to his tally. Lee Jae-sung almost doubled the home team's lead in the 34th minute when he aimed a curling shot from just outside the penalty area, only for the keeper to push the ball wide.

Seongnam nearly were on the wrong end of some unfortunate luck when a through ball from Lee Jong-won hit the referee. The deflected ball found itself at the feet of Luiz who, along with Lee Dong-gook and Lee Jae-sung, proceeded to quickly counter. Luiz eventually relesaed the ball to his left into the path of Lee Dong-gook who took the ball into the area, only to narrowly send his shot wide. It would have been harsh on the visitors however if that were to have gone in.

The visitors were afforded a chance to level before the break, with a through ball to Hwang Ui-jo who then proceeded to take the ball into the area and pass back to an unmarked Tiago. Fortunately for Jeonbuk, the Brazilian opted to control the ball rather than hit it first time, allowing enough time for Lee Ju-yong to get back and cover. Jeonbuk's Choi Kyu-baek was at fault for the space created, rushing out to try and intercept the through ball but missing it and leaving room for Tiago to move in behind him. It was a questionable decision from the youngster who has recently surpassed Kim Hyung-il as the preferred centre back option.

Other than the defensive lapse, Jeonbuk played well in the first half, countering effectively against the Seongnam back line. Were it not for some unusual high and wide finishing from Lee Dong-gook, they could have taken a significant advantage into the second half with them. However this was not to be.

In the 55th minute, Seongnam found an equaliser from a corner. Jo Jae-cheol ran on to the cross in front of the near post and played a delightful flick of the head to send the ball past Kwoun Sun-tae. Lee Jae-sung found himself to far out, leaving space between himself and Kim Bo-kyung for the Jo Jae-cheol to occupy. This is to take nothing away from the Seongnam man however who's finish was of the highest quality.

Seongnam fans celebrating their team's equaliser against Jeonbuk (Photo Credit: Howard Cheng)
Seongnam fans celebrating their team's equaliser against Jeonbuk (Photo Credit: Howard Cheng)
The hour mark saw the introduction of Leonardo for Jang Yun-ho, with Lee Jae-sung moving into the central midfield role and Lopes across to the right, leaving Leonardo to operate down the left side. The Brazilian winger almost had an immediate impact when he played a perfect cross to an umarked Lee Dong-gook, who's volley was scuffed and sent wide. It was not the greatest of days for the 36 year-old.

Ten minutes later however, a free kick not far outside the box was awarded. Leonardo's shot took a fortunate deflection off the Seongnam wall and beyond the wrong-footed keeper. Jeonbuk had regained their one goal advantage.

Leonardo's free kick took a wicked deflection of the Seongnam wall (Photo Credit: Howard Cheng)
Leonardo's free kick took a wicked deflection of the Seongnam wall (Photo Credit: Howard Cheng)
Seongnam fought back though, and in the 76th Minute, Jeonbuk defender Lim Jong-eun failed to deal with a cross, heading out only to the edge of the box with Choi Kyu-baek backing out from an aerial dual with substitute Garcia (who had earlier replaced Park Yong-ji). The Seongnam striker headed the ball to his left where Tiago waited unmarked. Tiago took the ball forward before turning away from the Jeonbuk defence. He then twisted sharply and let fly an excellent left-footed shot into the bottom corner. It seemed as if both teams would be continuing their unbeaten runs to the benefit of FC Seoul.

Tiago celebrates Seongnam's second equaliser of the game (Photo Credit: Howard Cheng)
Tiago celebrates Seongnam's second equaliser of the game (Photo Credit: Howard Cheng)
The hosts fought back once again however. In the 85th minute, Leonardo played an excellent through ball to Kim Bo-kyung, which the central midfielder latched onto the end of and drove a high powered shot into the net to open his Jeonbuk account and take all three of the points.

Kim Bo-kyung is mobbed by his teammates upon scoring a late winner for Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors(Photo Credit: Howard Cheng)
Kim Bo-kyung is mobbed by his teammates upon scoring a late winner for his team (Photo Credit: Howard Cheng)
Overall, it was a much-improved performance from Choi Kang-hee's side. Without Kim Shin-wook to launch aerial balls into, the hosts played a much more incisive passing game. They looked the most-threatening though when countering, hopefully something they will look to adopt in their now crucial midweek fixture against FC Tokyo.

Choi's winning tactics were further revealed however after the game when their official Facebook page attempted one last (classless) retort to their visitors earlier jibe. It seems that, while they wanted to convey the tactics they had played were not of the long-ball variety, they also indicated they had fielded twelve men.

It seems also that Seongnam's had ten men. One of them must've been bought at half-time. Apparently another striker as well because we all know Jeonbuk does not have enough of these. (Photo Credit: Jeonbuk's Official Facebook Page
It seems also that Seongnam's had ten men. One of them must've been bought at half-time. Apparently another striker as well because we all know Jeonbuk does not have enough of these. (Photo Credit: Jeonbuk's Official Facebook Page)
I guess creating an extra slot in the team is one way to help placate all your winter signings.

Final Score: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-2 Seongnam FC

Highlights can be viewed on YouTube.

2 comments

  1. Whoever that Songnam banter guy is, but I love him/her so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even as a Jeonbuk fan, I enjoyed it. Superb putdown.

      Delete

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