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Recap: Seoul E-Land FC 2 - 0 Daejeon Citizen

Two goals from Brazilian striker Tarabai give E-Land their first win of the season and consign Daejeon to yet another defeat 

After a disappointing opening round for E-Land this was a much better performance all round and they deserved their victory at the end of ninety minutes. There were some strong individual performances across the park and the overall team showing looked more lively than the flat performance of Week 1. For Daejeon however things seem to be going from bad to worse. This is their second 2-0 defeat in two matches of their Challenge campaign and the fans seem to be already dreading the remainder of the season. Coach Choi Moon-sik is not exactly Mr Popular with the fans and results like this are going to do nothing to improve his standing.

Slightly surprisingly E-Land coach Martin Rennie decided to give the same starting eleven another chance in this one so the players had the chance to redeem themselves. For Daejeon goalie Lee Beom-soo dropped out of the squad entirely with Park Ju-won between the sticks. Kim Dong-chan led the line up front alongside Gustavo while man-mountain Jean-Claude (as his shirt refers to him) started in defence.

The initial stages of the match were pretty cagey with neither side really finding top gear. A breakaway from Daejeon after ten minutes was probably the best chance of the opening stages but it was Kim Dong-jin who managed to get back to nip the ball off the toes of Wanderson before he could apply the finish.

E-Land took a hold of the game with the opening goal however. Kim Jae-sung slid in strongly to win possession in midfield with the ball falling to Joo Min-kyu who slipped a lovely through ball into the path of Tarabai. The little Brazilian was cool, calm and collected as he slid the ball into the Daejeon net to make it 1-0. Cue the celebrations in front of a pretty disappointing home crowd of a handful more than 1200.

For the rest of the half E-Land were very much in the ascendancy although they couldn't quite do enough to get the second goal that their play maybe deserved. Martin Rennie was looking fairly pleased however and overall the team would have been pretty happy with their first half performance. The front three were looking sharper and combining better while the defence, and Carlyle Mitchell in particular, were in pretty good form in keeping the Daejeon strikers safely at bay.

In the second half Daejeon pushed forward trying to get the equaliser but they were never really able to carve out any clear-cut chances. Most of their efforts were limited to shots from long-range which either failed to find the target or were straight at E-Land keeper Kim Young-kwang. It took until 75 minutes for the keeper really to be tested. A free-kick from just outside the box was curled in by Wanderson and looked to be rocketing inside the post but Glory managed to hurl himself across the goal and get a strong hand to turn it away.

Daejeon were starting look a bit frustrated and Tarabai took a few heavy challenges. I'm glad it was him and not me that had to take the brunt of Jean-Claude Bozga's attentions as the guy looks to be a bit of a beast and at times not the most subtle of defenders. It wasn't a huge surprise then when, with two minutes to go, Bozga's despairing lunge in the box up-ended Tarabai and the ref pointed at the spot. The striker got up, dusted himself down and slotted home the penalty for his second of the day.

That was the end of the action for the day and at the end Rennie would have been able to reflect on a lot of positives. A much sharper looking performance, the front line looks better and a few individuals put in a real shift to get the win. Two clean sheets in two games will be a big plus for the coaching staff who really wanted to tighten up the defence for this season.

There's still plenty of room for improvement so there will be no room to relax as attention turns to next week's game away to Bucheon. On the evidence of this display though they can board the bus for that trip with confidence.


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