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Preview: Bucheon 1995 vs Seongnam FC

K League 2 Preview: Bucheon 1995 vs Seongnam FC


It will be a battle of second versus third as K League 2 swings back into action this weekend as Bucheon 1995 host Seongnam FC on Saturday evening.  The two clubs are looking to stay in the hunt for the league title and promotion to the top flight next season.  Both teams are struggling at the moment, so the result could have an impact on their respective fortunes later in the season.  K League United's Branko Belan looks ahead to what is sure to be a competitive match.

Match: Bucheon 1995 vs Seongnam FC
Venue: Bucheon Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday June 30th, 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Bucheon 1995 0-2 Daejeon Citizen

Bucheon, who were league leaders for a time earlier in the season, have been on a bit of a slide lately, and losing by a pair of goals last time out at home to Daejeon did not help matters.  Park In-hyeok netted a pair of goals for the visitors, the first coming after the match had barely been a minute old, the second only minutes before the half.

Bucheon has been plagued by a lack of scoring recently, and the first half was no different, as several opportunities in front of goal were squandered.  They were also unfortunate, being denied by the woodwork on two occasions.  Things did not change much in the second half, although the hosts had a goal called back after it was determined that William Popp handled in the area before slotting the ball into the net.  Bucheon need points from this match if they are going to stand any chance of staying in the title race.

Highlights: here  

Seongnam FC 0-1 Busan IPark

Seongnam dropped three big points at home their last time out against Busan IPark, with the winner coming in the 81st minute courtesy of Kim Hyun-sung.  It was their third loss of the season, but they remain only one point off the league lead.  

The first half offered very little in terms of offensive football, as both sides had difficulty making the 'keepers work.  Seongnam could have gone into the lead ten minutes into the second half, but Eder, who came on as a substitute after halftime, had his effort beaten away by Koo Sang-min between the sticks for Busan.

Busan carried the play for much of the match, and their industry was finally rewarded nine minutes from time, as a defensive blunder by Yeon Je-woon was pounced on by Ko Kyung-min, who laid the ball off for Kim to fire at goal.  His effort seemed to change direction leaving Seongnam goalkeeper Kim Keun-bae flat footed as the ball sailed into the back of the net.  Seongnam could have equalized in injury time, but Kim Jeong-hyun's last gasp effort finished over the bar.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The two sides met once earlier this season, with Seongnam winning by a margin of 2-1, thanks in large part to Bucheon being reduced to ten men for almost the entire second half after William Popp went into the referee's book twice.

Jung Sung-min converted from the spot in the fourth minute, while captain Seo Bo-min doubled the advantage on 66 minutes.  Bucheon would get a goal back through Brazilian defender Nilson four minutes later, but that is all they would be able to muster on the day.  

The head-to-head statistics are evenly split, with both sides winning twice in the past, so the expectation is that the finer details will decide the outcome once again.  It should be a low-scoring affair, with Seongnam having scored eight goals in five matches, while Bucheon have only netted seven.

The Adversary



Seongnam have enjoyed the view from the top of the table for much of the season, but their loss to Busan, coupled with Asan's victory over Seoul E-Land, meant that they dropped a place to second before K League 2 went into it's World Cup break.

They have struggled of late, coming into the match winless in their last three, including a 4-2 loss to Asan on Memorial Day.  However, thanks to their good form for much of the season, they are still in the thick of the title chase, but will have to take advantage of a Bucheon side which has been firing blanks on a fairly regular basis while looking to recover their own form in the process.

Prediction

This is a must win game for both teams, and for the same reasons.  Both are struggling for form, but both still very much want to remain in contention for a shot at the league title.

There is very little to choose between the sides, but Seongnam have a slight advantage having won the earlier fixture this year.  They also haven't been in the top flight of Korean football since 2016 and would desperately like to go up again at the end of the season.  It will be a close one, but it has the makings of an away win.

Prediction: Bucheon 1995 0-1 Seongnam FC

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