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Recap: Jeju United 0-0 FC Seoul

A clean sheet and some resolute defending earned FC Seoul a credible draw away to last season's runners up Jeju United on K League 1 opening day but a lack of cutting edge will be a cause of concern for both managers heading into the rest of the campaign.
(Image via K League)

Following on from each team's contrasting seasons in 2017, there will have been a a great deal of intrigue to see how both Thursdau's hosts Jeju United and FC Seoul and under-fire manager Hwang Sunhong follow up in 2018. Jeju United finished as runners up but will have to improve dramatically in front of goal of they are to at least maintain last year's success. 

Likewise, questions have been asked of FC Seoul and their polarising manager Hwang Sunhong as to whether the 2016 Champions can bounce back from last year's disappointing fifth place finish. If Thursday's encounter at Jeju World Cup Stadium is anything to go by, questions will be asked of where goals and cutting edge is going to come from for both teams.

FC Seoul started brightly with new signing Anderson Lopes, operating from the right wing, proving to be a nuisance with his pace and direct style but never really looked too threatening. Park Chuyoung started as the loan striker with the right-footed Go Yohan operating from the left wing and although the latter worked hard, never seemed comfortable on the left hand side.

Park Chuyoung, who signed a three-year contract over the winter, was preferred through the middle but was limited to long range efforts, most of which barely troubled Jeju United goalkeeper Lee Changgeun, and seemed to be playing too deep to make an impact in front of goal.

Following the departure of Osmar, Hwang Sunhong opted for Jeong Hyeoncheol to sit in the holding midfield role once occupied so resolutely by the departing Spaniard; and in the centre of midfield, Shin Jinho and Kim Seongjun partnered for the first time in competitive action. Evanrdro was conspicuous by his absence from the matchday squad.

For the hosts, Cho Sunghwan opted for youngster Lee Eunbeom to partner Magno Cruz in attack the preference over Brazilian duo Roberson and Tiago. Roberson was named amongst the substitutes as was Korean international striker Jin Seongwook, but Tiago was absent from Jeju's squad.

The first half chance of the game came in the second minute through the industrious Go Yohan whosurged forward, played in left full back Shim Sangmin who then sent in a cross towards the edge of the box where Park Chuyoung was waiting. The former Arsenal and Monaco men let rip with a right-footed volley but the shot was well wide and wasteful.

The hosts first clear-cut chance came from an unusual yet clever free kick routine on 14 minutes whereby stand-in skipper Kwon Sunhyeong ,who appeared to be readying himself an out-swinging cross to the far post, gently rolled the ball into the path of Kim Soobeom.

Jeju's number 22, with no FC Seoul player within 10 yards of him, advanced towards the edge of the box before fizzing a shot towards goal from distance. Kim Soobeom's effort was but was comfortably seen out by Seoul 'keeper Yang Hanbin: plenty of power but not enough accuracy.

On 18 minutes Shin Jinho, who had a solid game all afternoon, gave FC Seoul fans a reminder of his range of passing by picking out Go Yohan with a deep diagonal ball. Seoul's new vice captain took the ball down on his chest but, being on his weaker side, didn't appear to be too comfortable and the ball bounced out for a goal kick.

Midway through the first half Jeju began to enjoy spells of possession further up the pitch. Magno Cruz and Lee Changmin looked to get involved, perhaps encouraged by Seoul's lack of killer instinct but never seemed to trouble the assertive Yang Hanbin between the sticks for Seoul.

Towards the half hour mark Anderson Lopes had his first sight on goal in an FC Seoul shirt. In the build up, however, Go Yohan took a tumble in the penalty area but, despite playing on, the referee stopped play to refer to the video referee before taking action.

With Jeju unable to string more than two or three passes together, Park Chuyoung picked up the ball and took yet another long range strike which didn't look to be hard enough to trouble Jeju goalkeeper Lee Changgeun. But, before the ball could even reach Jeju's young custodian, a slight deflection left the 24-year-old scrambling to prevent a corner.

The former Busan IPark and Suwon FC stopper couldn't keep the ball in and instead Seoul earned themselves a throw-in deep into Jeju's half. Full back Shim Sangmin cleverly threw the ball off of Go Yohan's back, picked up the ball and attempted to send in a cross but the back-tracking Lee Eunbeom blocked the cross and Seoul were awarded a corner kick.

Shin Jinho took the resulting corner kick and played the ball towards the edge of the box instead of into it. The ball made it's way back to Shin Jinho who attempted to play in Go Yohan who was arriving into the box at speed.

FC Seoul's vice captain took a tumble but without hesitation Shin Jinho sent the ball into towards the far post. The ball was headed back across goal but Lee Changgeun, under some pressure from Anderson Lopes, gathered with relative ease and released the ball to Magno Cruz as Jeju looked to hit Seoul on the counter.

Magno Cruz lost out to Shin Kwanghoon whose cross made its way to a more centrally positioned Anderson Lopes who then quickly turned and shot but his strike was straight at Lee Changgeun.

Despite it being several minutes since Go Yohan went over in the box, the referee called for VAR and after discussing the incident with the video referee via headset, it was deemed not a foul and play continued.

On 38 minutes VAR was consulted again, this time after Anderson Lopes took a fall in the box whilst being challenged by two Jeju defenders but it was adjudged to have not been a foul despite Seoul's new number nine having a case for it being a foul.

The visitors had the lion's share of the possession in the first half, 58% compared to Jeju United 42% but just didn't seem to know how to find their way in on goal. This was the case for both sides who, despite showing enough intent, just lacked cutting edge in the final third.

At half time Jeju United made a change with Jin Seongwook coming on for youngster Lee Eunbeom whereas FC Seoul's lineup was unchanged from that of the first half.

In the second half Seoul again looked to find Anderson Lopes, now playing down the centre, but Jeju United had the former Sanfrecce Hiroshima man well scouted. Seoul's best chance of the second period came from a free kick.

Won and taken by Park Chuyoung, the veteran forward's shot looked to be destined for the back of the net had it not have been for Jeju's 24-year-old stopper making sterling save, flinging himself  to his right to parry the ball out to deny Seoul's number 10.

On 62 minutes Jeju brought on Ryu Seungwon in replace of Lee Chandong to add some creativity in the middle and to try and find Jin Seongwook up top, which they almost did and won themselves a corner.

A Magno Cruz through-ball made its way into the path of Jin Seongwook, albeit under pressure from Hwang Hyunsoo who tried to play the ball back to goalkeeper Yang Hanbin but instead played the ball out for a corner. The corner was played short to Magno Cruz at the front post who then tried to flick the ball around the corner. Instead, however, Kim Seongjun picked the ball up and Seoul hit Jeju on the counter.

Kim Seongjun found Go Yohan who then laid the ball into Shin Jinho on the right flank. A deep cross made its way to Anderson Lopes at the far post who tried to play in Kim Seongjun but Jeju's Kim Soobeom intercepted. Anderson picked up the loose ball but his shot was blocked and the move came to nothing.

Jeju United's best chance of the second half came on 72 minutes. Jin Seongwook laid the ball out wide to Park Jinpo who passed first time to Kwon Sunhyeong. His cross was met by Ryu Seungwoo at the far post and, had it not been for some extremely brave defending, Jeju would have been 1-0 up. Lee Woonghee slipped when attempting to thwart Kwon Sunhyeong but despite laying on the ground, thrusted his head towards the ball and saved his team.

Not keen on settling for a draw Hwang Sunhong made a double substitution, Go Yohan and Park Chuyoung were replaced by Yoon Seungwon and Park Heeseong respectively in like-for-like swaps. Anderson Lopes shifted back out wide with Park Heeseong's height ensuring him of his place at the spearhead of Seoul's attack.

Park Heeseong did have a chance with a header late on; Shim Shangmin's cross was met by the towering forward but his header towards the top corner was a foot too high and summed up the afternoon.

Seoul huffed and puffed but shots were wayward and their movement in and around the box wasn't clever enough to break a resolute Jeju back three. The same could be said for Jeju who looked a little timid at times and lacked that little bit of spark needed to break the deadlock. In the end, 0-0 was a fair result.


Substitutes: Kim Kyungmin (GK), Jung Taewook, Jung Dahwon, Lee Dongsoo (Magno Cruz 89), Ryu Seungwoo (Lee Chandong 62), Jin Seongwook (Lee Eunbeom 45), Roberson

Substitutes: Yoo Hyun, Park Dongjin, Kwak Taehwi, Yoon Seungwon (Go Yohan 76), Cho Youngwook (Anderson 86), Kovacec, Park Heeseong (Park Chuyoung 76)

Attendance: 4979
Referee: Kim Heegeon
Assistants: Jang Junmo, Kim Youngha
Fourth Official: Jeong Dongsik

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