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Preview: Seoul E-Land Vs Seongnam


Another round of football has come quickly upon us, and Seoul E-land are still looking to pick up their first win of the season. If football wasn’t such a game of two halves, as the old saying goes, Seoul E-Land would already have three points registered. A valiant first-half performance against Bucheon 1995, saw E-Land go two goals ahead, yet once again, a lack of composer from the side saw Seoul’s second club concede four goals in the second.

This week, E-Land welcomes Seongnam to the Olympic stadium, for a Sunday evening kick-off. Seongnam have found good form recently in the league, and are once again, aiming to be in or amongst the top by the end of the season. Seongnam, see themselves still, undefeated in the league. Although, a few draws strung in, places Seongnam 2nd, level on points with Busan I’Park. .

(image via Facebook.com/Seouleland)

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land were faced with a Bucheon 1995 side on Saturday, who forgot to turn up for the first half of the game. Two goals in quick succession from Cho Jae-wan and Choi Oh-baek saw the home side cruising by the time the half drew to a close. Seoul was very fluid on the ball, and really showed dominance, something the fans have not yet seen this season.

It was rather welcoming to see the side perform in this way, and turn up for a big encounter against a top side. Daniel Febles on the left wing was pushing the team forward and crossing the ball, giving E-Land some real chances to score. Bucheon did have a few attempts on goal, but Glory was quick on the ball, and a shot which hit off the post, left them frustrated in the first 45 minutes.

Unfortunately, though for the leopards, a reoccurring issue arose for the side, and they slipped up in the second half once again. Their defense really let them down in conceding four goals in the one half, but nothing can really be taken away from Bucheon’s dominance. It all began with the inform man of the moment, William Popp, with a lovely chip over the keeper to make it 2-1 in the 56th minute. The goals then continued to flow and they found themselves level, with a Jin Chang-soo goal, only seven minutes later. Bucheon waited until the 80th minute to take the lead, a goal from Lim Dong-hyeok and another goal from Jin Chang-soo finished the game off and continued their flying form.

The result was met with a disappointing reaction from the crowd, and the players faces really emanated the same thought. Although my prediction was correct with the goal deficit of losing by two, it was hard to stomach, once again, watching a side go two to the good, to then go and concede four.

Previous Meetings

The 2017 campaign saw three draws and one Seoul E-Land win when the two sides met over the year. It all began with a 0-0 stalemate between the sides before Seoul picked up a 2-0 win away from home in their second meeting. Both goals were in the 84th and 89th minute respectively. Although it was a late win for E-Land, they would give anything to recreate that result when they meet on Sunday.

Their third game saw two penalties from both sides in the first half, to make it 1-1 at the final whistle, and the last encounter was an example of how a team can fight back and show determination throughout a poor year.

The game was a Saturday evening fixture in mid-September, Seongnam dominated the first half, being two goals to the good by halftime. Seoul E-land fought hard in the second half, and a Choi Chi-won brace, lead Seongnam failing to win against the side after all four games have been played.

As touched upon last week with Bucheon, Seoul E-Land, actually had a respectable record against Seongnam in 2017. Seongnam, however, will also be driven more than ever this time around, to make it back into the top flight. It will be difficult to see E-Land fair so well as the two teams meet for the first encounter of the year.

Who To Watch

Just like last week, a Brazillian will be in the spotlight, when Seongnam travel up to Jamsil on Sunday. Eder Luis is a midfielder who has already scored four goals in five games for The Magpies. K League fans will quickly note that this will be Eder’s 4th season in Korean football, having transferred from last year’s first division champions, Jeonbuk.

Although Eder has a top-flight medal in his pocket from last year, the Brazillian does have second division experience. He spent the 2015 and 2016 season in Daegu, scoring 6 and 10 goals respectively in his two seasons at the club. Furthermore, Eder has actually scored again E-Land, all being three years ago now when Daegu beat E-Land 2-0.

Two of the four goals for Eder this season have come from a spot kick, but he is really starting to become a vital role in their push for promotion. With 4 goals already this year, Eder will more than likely pass his personal best of 10 in a K League season, by the time the campaign draws to a close.

Prediction

I feel the same principle will apply this week when Seoul face off against Seongnam. Both them and Bucheon have really lit the league alight in the past few weeks, and It doesn’t look as if an E-Land side could ever stop that. Although, in saying that, last week I was correct on the result, but I was not on the scoreline. Seoul E-Land proved last week, that, when they can have structure and momentum in a game, they can score against anyone. Their biggest task will not be if they can score, but if they do score, can they hold on to it.

Seongnam however, look like they are ready for a possible return back to the K League 1. They have still yet to lose this year and they have played some higher end teams, such as Busan and Suwon. Seongnam should go to the game on Sunday with confidence, as long as they can cut out the short flurry of chances E-Land seem to create for 10-15 minutes in a game.

After recent results from both sides, I will be more optimistic in my prediction with the number of goals we will see in the game, but I will have to side with the majority on how they may believe this game will end.

Seoul E-Land 1-4 Seongnam



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