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Re-cap: Gyeongnam 0 - 1 Seoul E-Land


Geoje Island isn't Las Vegas, and this wasn't quite Ocean's Eleven. No, this was a much more old fashioned robbery by E-Land with Dan Harris playing 'Bonnie' to Martin Rennie's 'Clyde'. The wild celebrations on the sidelines when Ahn Tae-hyun's injury time winner went in told you all you need to know about what had been a fairly frustrating afternoon for all involved. Still, at the end of the season they count up the points and not how they were won so I doubt anyone will be complaining except, perhaps, the Gyeongnam fans.

Almost exactly 12 months ago E-Land had taken the same trip to Geoje and provided some wonderfully entertaining football in a 3-2 win that spawned the nickname Joo-mes thanks to Joo Min-kyu's carbon copy of the Colombian wonder-kid's worldy. This time around there'll be no nicknames being handed out, no flattering ones anyway. The 90 minutes was fairly dour from both sides. E-Land's team had been rotated again with Kim Dong-jin returning in defence alongside Jeon Min-gwang, Kim Jae-sung returning to play up front and Shin Il-soo making his first appearance of the season in midfield.

The changes didn't really help the team gel and the midfield continues to mis-fire with the team too often resorting to long balls for Tarabai to chase, or worse still, to try to win in the air. Tarabai is a willing runner and seems happy to fight for the ball all day long but even he must be starting to get frustrated with the service he receives at times.

Not for the first time it looked like the opposition were dominating possession but Gyeongnam for their part were also struggling to carve out any real opportunities. Too many of their efforts were half-hearted shots from distance and Christian Danalache looked pretty much a shadow of himself trying to create something out of not very much.

Bright spots in the match were Ahn Tae-hyun's goal and the debut of 18-year-old Kim Hyun-kyu. It's not that common to see a teenager getting game-time in the K-League so it's promising to see the young guy getting his chance. Ahn, too, has snapped up the opportunity and has shown a lot of promise in his six appearances so far. It seems a bit strange to be calling a 23-year-old a youngster but thanks to the oddities of the Korean system that's largely what he is within the professional ranks. His goal here was his first in the K-League and was enough to earn him the man of the match award.

The winner did owe as much to some shaky Gyeongnam defending as it did to Ahn though. Deep into stoppage time Yoon Seung-yeul played a hopeful ball forward and the Gyeongnam backline pushed up to play two players offside but they managed to do a reasonably good impression of statues while Ahn ran through from deep to take pick up the through ball and apply a decent finish past Lee Joon-hee. No offside and no points for Gyeongnam who have now lost four on the bounce.

The win puts E-Land back in touch with the pack at the top of the table and just a point behind Bucheon in 4th place. The next league match will be another tough one as Daegu visit Jamsil but meanwhile they have what should be a relatively straightforward encounter with Sungkyunkwan University to deal with in the FA Cup.  Surely there'll be no mistakes there.

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