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Preview: Gwangju FC vs Busan IPark

After a thrilling 3-3 draw in Busan last weekend, IPark are on the road again on Monday night, looking to extend their unbeaten run to nine games. With six points between them and K League 2 leaders Seongnam, it's vital that the visitors don't drop more points in their chase for promotion. They're up against a revitalised Gwangju side who come into the game after a 3-0 midweek victory that puts them right in the playoff mix.

Last Time Out

On Wednesday evening Gwangju climbed up to fifth in the table with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Seoul E-Land. Goals from Na Sang-ho, Kim Jung-hwan, and Kim Min-gyu ensured Gwangju's third win in five matches and leaves them only three points behind Busan in fourth.

Gwangju FC vs Seoul E-Land highlights

Busan, meanwhile, hosted Daejeon FC last Sunday and they played out one of the matches of the season. A game involving penalties scored and missed, VAR controversy, defensive errors, excellent finishes, and a host of missed chances ended with a 96th minute equaliser from Busan's Shin Young-jun following a goalmouth scramble.

Busan dominated the match but Daejeon took a two goal lead in the first half through Kang Yoon-sung and Park In-hyuk, the second after a horrible mistake from the normally dependable Kim Myung-joon. Busan pulled one back through a Han Ji-ho volley from Kim Chi-woo's cross, and Ko Kyung-min scored an excellent equaliser after the break to give Busan the momentum. The home team wasted a number of chances to take the lead, none better than Ko's penalty miss after Kim Moon-hwan was brought down. Daejeon then won a bizarre VAR penalty of their own, even though video replays suggested the foul was outside the penalty area. Aurelian Chitu scored from the spot to give Daejeon the lead, before Shin's last-gasp equaliser.

Busan IPark vs Daejeon FC highlights

Team News

Busan IPark manager Choi Yoon-gyeom might decide to make some changes in defence after a shaky performance against Daejeon last weekend. The normally reliable goalkeeper Koo Sang-min was at fault for Daejeon's first goal and conceded the penalty for their third, so there could be a recall for Kim Hyung-geun, who started the season as first choice. Centre-back Kim Myung-joon, a revelation so far this year, should keep his place despite a poor error for Daejeon's second goal, but winter signings Park Tae-hong and Yeon Je-min have featured for the reserve team recently and could be in line for long-awaited debuts after returning from injuries.

Busan recently announced the signings of Dutch forwards Arsenio Valpoort and Sherjill MacDonald from Almere City to replace Brazilians Alemao Junior and Jonathan Balotelli. The former scored sixteen goals last year in the Dutch second division, while MacDonald has Premier League experience with West Brom. One of Busan's missing pieces this year has been a consistent goalscorer to spearhead the attack, and both new signings look capable of filling that role. Choi Yoon-gyeom will look to get them into the squad as soon as possible.

Who To Watch 


With eight goals in sixteen appearances, Gwangju look to have a real prospect in their ranks in Na Sang-ho. The 21 year-old striker has been prolific in his second season with the club, and Gwangju's only worry will be whether they can keep hold of him if they fail to win promotion back to the K1 this year.

Prediction

Gwangju come into the game on the back of a fine victory at home to Seoul E-Land, and they might fancy their chances against a strong but unpredictable Busan team. I don't think they will end Busan's eight game unbeaten run just yet, but Busan will need to be more clinical to get a result here.

Gwangju FC 2-2 Busan IPark



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