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Preview: Daejeon Citizen Vs Busan IPark

Following on from the much-needed win last time out, Daejeon Citizen welcome Busan IPark to Purple Arena this Sunday. Two back-to-back losses with goals conceded in the closing moments of the game did little to lift the mood around Purple Arena. However, last week's win over Seoul E-Land will have done Ko Jongsoo's team the world of good heading into Sunday's clash with promotion chasing Busan IPark. A win for Citizen would see them leapfrog their Sunday opponents whilst three points for Busan could ensure of a place into the top four, should results elsewhere go in their favour.
(image via Bubu Pictures)


from soccerway.com

Last Time Out

Last weekend the Purples picked up their first points of the season by defeating nine-man Seoul E-Land 1-0 at home. It was the second time in as many weeks that Citizen had ended a game which the opposition were without their full quota - Ansan Greeners suffered the same fate the week previous but actually came away with the points. Last time out, however Daejeon finally got their first points of the season on the board thanks to a spot kick in the second half from Brazilian forward Pedro.

Coming off the bench to make his debut, recent signing and Uzbek international midfielder Shohruh Gadoev, earned his side the penalty after being upended in the box as he was closing in on goal. Gadeov proved too slippery for E-Land and with the referee well placed the man in the middle pointed to the spot. Pedro, also on as a second half substitute, stepped up and coolly dispatched the penalty, sending the 'keeper the wrong way in the process. The result was absolutely huge for Citizen after two difficult results to start the new campaign. Manager Ko Jongsoo and the regime at Purple Arena have come under some scrutiny recently due to how the club is being run, and so will have been the most relieved men in Yuseong-gu that afternoon - especially Coach Ko who experienced victory for the first time as a manager.

Meanwhile, Busan IPark maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign by easing past Asan Mugunghwa at home with a 1-0 victory; Kim Jingyu in the 37th minute finding the net for south coast side. Goalkeeper Koo Sangmin sent the ball forward towards the right flank, Lee Jeongmin helped it on with a cushion volley into the path of Kim Moonhwan. The 22-year-old winger then showed great strength and determination to nip in and steal the ball away from Asan full back Min Sangki before making a beeline towards the penalty area. Moon's pull back to Choi Seungin took a ricochet off of Kim Jonggook, allowing the ball to fortuitously fall into the path of Kim Junkyu who tucked the ball away from close range.

Previous Meetings

The last time these two sides met was at the beginning of September last year when Daejeon suffered a 4-2 defeat to Busan down a the Gudeok.  Last season Daejeon failed to beat their south coast even once, losing three times and drawing once - a 0-0 stalemate at Purple Arena in August. Citizen's last victory over Busan IPark was in July 2016, a 2-1 win at homw with goals from Hwang Inbeom and Yoo Seungwan either side of a Jung Sukhwa strike for the visitors.

Overall, there have been 42 matches played between Daejeon Citizen and Busan IPark, Daejeon have 13 victories to their name whilst Busan have 20 to boast of.

Team News

For Daejeon Baek Jonghwan may have to miss out after the former Gangwon FC captain was taken off injured during Citizen's win over Seoul E-Land last week. The defender took a nasty-looking kick in the ribs from one of his own player, Kim Seongjoo, midway through the first half and was unable to continue. Kim Yeseong could deputise having replaced Baek as a substitute last weekend but Korea U23 international Park Jaewoo will also be vying for the right back spot should Baek Jongwon be ruled out.

In midweek Kim Chanhee and Kim Seungseop scored in a 2-0 Reserve League game over Busan IPark Reserves and will be hoping that their shooting boots has done enough to pique the interest of first team manager Ko Jongsoo. It was reported on Friday that Citizen were in talks with two-times capped Romanian international forward Aurelian Chițu but without any official announcement from the club it remains to be seen whether the Viitorul Constanța forward will be signed in time for Sunday

For Busan, with no suspensions of speak of manager Choi Yunkyum should, barring any surprise injuries, have a fully fit squad to choose from. Forward Choi Seungjin was dismissed in Busan's season opener against Seongnam but has already served his one-match suspension and featured against Asan last week.

The Adversary 

Busan IPark notched up their first three points of the campaign last weekend with a win at home to Asan Mugunghwa. They rode their luck at times, with Asan's Lee Myungjoo hitting the post in the first half, and later Busan captain Lee Jongmin saved a shot off the line following a corner. After starting the year with two successive draws, however, it was a vital result that could kick-start Busan's season.

Busan will need to show an improvement on recent performances if they are to seriously challenge for automatic promotion this year. Although they are usually fairly solid at the back, they surrendered leads in their first two matches and look less of a threat going forward than they did last year. Without national team striker Lee Junghyub (on loan to Shonan Bellmare in Japan) they have lacked a focal point in attack, with Choi Seungin yet to convince and Brazilian striker Alemao still adjusting. One bright spark, though, has been youngster Kim Jingyu, a central midfielder converted this year into a left-sided forward; he has scored twice already and looked lively in all three games. Manager Choi Yunkyum is still trying to get the best out of this group of players, but if their stubborn performance against Asan is anything to go by, they will be a tough nut for Daejeon to crack.
by Busan IPark Columnist Tom Marcantonio

Busan set themselves up in a 4-1-2-3 for the draws with Seongnam and Seoul E-Land, both at home, but manager Choi Yungkyum altered things slightly to a 4-3-3 for the away win over Asan Mugunghwa and so, given that it brought his side the three points on the road, may opt for this system again at Purple Arena.

Graphic provided by Lineup11

Who To Watch

Daejeon Citizen made a new foreign signing in the week leading up to the win over Seoul E-Land, bringing in Uzbek international midfielder Shohruh Gadoev. The 26-year-old was named amongst the substitutes but came on to great effect and so will be one to watch. His low centre of gravity and ability to turn quickly makes him difficult to mark.

Filip Hlohovsky is still looking for his first Daejeon goal. (Image via Bubu Images)
In addition to Gadoev, Filip Hlohovsky (pictured above) was in from the start last weekend and looked dangerous and is clearly not afraid to shoot on sight of goal. Last week's win will have given the team a huge boost, particularly for Gadeov and Filip. The former may have done enough to earn himself a place in the starting eleven, whilst the latter looked dangerous and will be looking to find the back of the net in the Purple of Daejeon sooner rather than later.

Busan IPark are blessed with an extremely talented squad and have so have several key players whom the Purples will need to watch out for. Winger Kim Moonhwan, who had a hand in Kim Jingyu's goal last week, central midfielder Romulo as well as lightening quick winger Lee Dongjun are the players that Ko Jongsoo's men ought to be paying particular attention to if selected.

Kim Jinhyu celebrates scoring the winner away to Asan Mugunghwa. (Image via Busan IPark)
Kim Moonwhan is a threat from wide areas, Romulo, if allowed, can dictate the pace of the game, whilst Lee Dongjun's pace and tendacy to play off the shoulder of the last man and, should IPark be looking to hit Daejeon on the counter being the away team, could get off the mark for the south coast side on Sunday.

Tom Marcantonio has highlighted five key players for Busan IPark this season, including the aforementioned Kim Moonhwan, Romulo, and Lee Dongjun: here


Daejeon will no doubt be buoyed by their win last weekend but Busan IPark are a different challenge entirely and will prove to be an extremely tough test. A draw wouldn't be out of the question should Ko Jongsoo's men maintain concentration levels until the final whistle but Busan will be seen as the favourites for Sunday's game.

Daejeon Citizen 1-2 Busan IPark

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