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Recap: Suwon Bluewings 3-1 Gyeongnam FC

Suwon Bluewings extended their unbeaten run to five and counting on Wednesday night with a comprehensive victory over a Gyeongnam team who now find themselves in free fall. The win for Suwon keeps them on pace, just behind leaders Jeonbuk Hyundai, but for Gyeongnam it is now five games without a win. 
(image courtesy of K League)

Suwon signaled their intentions from the start of the game and almost went in front in the third minute when a Yeom Ki-hun cross from the left wing found youngster Jeon Se-jin in space, but his delicately flicked header zipped past the far post.

Suwon continued to press forward and the Gyeongnam defence did well to stop Lee Jong-sung from scoring his first goal of the season. Some enterprising play from Christovam down the right sucked in two Gyeongnam defenders and as the ball evaded all three of those players, Lee Jong-sung found himself with time to run from his centre back position and strike at goal. The Gyeongnam defence stood strong and blocked the Suwon defender's powerful shot and the ball trickled out for a corner.

However, from the resulting corner, Suwon finally made their breakthrough in the seventeenth minute. That corner, delivered by Yeom Ki-hun, was only half cleared to a Gyeongnam player on the edge of his own box but as he dallied Lee Ki-je made a fine tackle and his awareness allowed him to find Jeon Se-jin. The 18 year old made no mistake with his finish, placing the ball to the goalkeeper's left hand side. It was the Suwon's academy graduate second goal in only his second ever professional start and the home side were 1-0 ahead.

Suwon had the opportunity to extend their lead even further in the 30th minute when yet more good defensive work from Lee Ki-je saw the defender steal the ball and play a fine pass to Yeom Ki-hun. The midfielder had plenty of time but he wasted his opportunity, waiting too long before playing a pass to Dejan. The striker would have been through with a clean shot at the goalkeeper if the pass had come earlier.

But in the 38th minute, Ki-hun rectified his error, when his early pass found Dejan in acres of space. The veteran striker carried the ball for ten yards but after no Gyeongnam defender came to close him down, the Montenigrin let an unstoppable shot fly into the top corner from 30 yards out. It was a marvelous goal and a fitting way for the striker to score his first league goal at Suwon World Cup stadium.

Suwon should have been heading into the half-time break 3-0 up but in the 45th minute they missed a golden opportunity to do so. That man, Lee Ki-je broke into the box and as he was tackled, the ball rebounded to Kim Jong-woo, whose first time shot rebounded off the post. The ball fell to young Jeon Se-jin, but with the goal gaping from 5 yards out, the forward placed his shot against the goal post and the attack came to nothing.

Suwon began the second half in the same fashion that they did the first and they found themselves 3-0 up in the 54th minute. Lee Ki-je topped off his impressive night by stealing the ball and sending in a delicious left-footed cross that bamboozled the Gyeongnam backline. As two defenders and the goalkeeper left the ball to fly across the six yard box, Kim Jong-woo was arriving at the back post to easily slot away his second goal of the season.

With all three points virtually assured, Suwon took their foot off the gas for the rest of the game and Seo Jung-won, understandably, substituted key players out of the game to give them valuable rest time. The game itself peetered out after that point until Park Ji-soo scored a consolation goal for Gyeongnam in stoppage time.

Overall, it was a confident, if not polished, performance from Suwon. There are still areas of improvement to be addressed, especially in defence. But the abundance of chances created by the forward line and confidence displayed by the likes of Jeon Se-jin and Dejan, bodes well for them going into their crucial match against Jeonbuk Hyundai at the weekend. Jeonbuk are in fine form themselves, but with Suwon growing in stature as the season progresses they will head south to the city of Jeonju believing that they can take something from the game and keep themselves in the hunt for the K League 1 title.

Full highlights of the game can be viewed here.

And following the game, our site's Suwon Bluewings columnist, Scott Whitelock, caught up with centre back, Matthew Jurman, after his first start of the 2018 campaign to see how it felt to be back and get his views on the upcoming clash with Jeonbuk Hyundai on Sunday.

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