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Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Seoul E-Land

Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Seoul E-Land K League 2
Daejeon Citizen will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches when the Purples host Seoul E-Land this Saturday. Ko Jongsoo's Daejeon side have managed to lift themselves into the playoff places heading into the business end of the campaign and will see the visit of E-Land as an ideal opportunity to make it four wins on the spin. However, Saturday's visitors to Purple Arena, Seoul E-Land, make the trip to Daejeon having won on the road last time out and will be keen to record back-to-back wins for just the second time this campaign. 
(image via K League)


via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Busan IPark 1-2 Daejeon Citizen

A dramatic late winner, with the help of VAR, gave Daejeon Citizen their third successive win and the first away victory over Busan in 10 years when the Purples travelled to the Gudeok last Saturday. Aurelian Chițu's close range strike, after converting a low, teasing cross by Park Daehoon, gave the Purples the points after Busan had pegged Daejeon back in the second half.

After a goal-less first half, the second 45 got off to an interesting start when Lee Jaekwon was given a straight red card for what referee, Kim Heegon, felt was a rash tackle on Citizen's Kang Yunsung. Four minutes later a thumping Park Inhyeok header from a well-lofted Kim Seungseop cross on the left wing gave the visitors the lead. However, Busan top scorer, Ko Kyungmin, levelled on 76 minutes with a tidy finish from a tight angle. But, it proved to be Daejeon's day when Chițu bagged his eighth goal of the campaign by tapping in an inch-perfect Park Daehoon cross in the 91st minute.

Highlights: here

Suwon FC 0-2 Seoul E-Land

Seoul E-Land got back to winning ways with an impressive 2-0 victory over playoff hopefuls Suwon FC last Saturday. The visitors took the lead just two minutes after the restart when Lee Hyunsung's persistence paid off, the midfielder chased down a loose ball before heading to the touchline and guiding the ball across goal. Diego Bielkiewicz was on hand to tap the ball home for his third of the campaign. E-Land doubled their advantage on 66 minutes when former FC Seoul winger, Cho Chanho, nodded home from the edge of the six yard box. The victory was E-Land's first in six matches.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

These two teams met just a few weeks ago, on Liberation Day in Jamsil where the Purples pulled off a 2-0 win with goals from Shohruh Gadoev and Aurelian Chițu. The August 15th encounter was the second in the space of four games with E-Land picking up a 1-0 win on the July 28th fixture at Jamsil, Cho Chiwon with the goal in what was Daejeon's last defeat.

The last time E-Land made the trip to Purple Arena, however, a Pedro Henrique penalty gave Citizen a 1-0 win and all three points, the Purples' first maximum of the campaign.

Since E-Land were founded in 2015 the Purples and the Leopards have met on 11 occasions with each side boasting of four victories with the three remaining games ending as stalemates. At Daejeon World Cup Stadium, E-Land have two wins to their name: a 1-0 win in August last year thanks to an Alex strike, as well as a 3-2 win in October 2016.

Team News

Daejeon Citizen will be boosted by the return of two international stars: Uzbek midfield duo, Shohruh Gadeov and Sanzhar Tursunov. However, it seems as though recent Korean National Team debutant, Hwang Inbeom will have to wait before the Daejeon native can pull on the purple shirt again. After being part of the goal medal-winning Korean U23 team, the 21-year-old midfielder was granted military exemption and is due to return to Daejeon but it is believed that the process of returning to his parent club in examples such as these takes around a month.

For Seoul E-Land, defender Ahn Hyeonsik is suspended after picking up his sixth booking of the season in the 2-0 win over Suwon. However, midfielder Park Sungwoo will be available again after serving a one-match ban.

The Adversary

Seoul E-Land continued to show their unpredictability and further confuse the fans, after a convincing 2-0 victory over Suwon FC in the last round. It was the first time the Leopards defeated Suwon in over three years, and it gives Seoul more than enough momentum going forward in their game against Daejeon Citizen.

It also seems that In Chang-soo has finally started to phase out his 4-3-3 formation that he has favoured so heavily over the last few weeks. The victory on the weekend came from a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Lee Hyeon-seong controlling play from a central defensive midfield position.

A great showing from Diego Bielkiewicz rewarded him a place in the K League Best 11 team of the week for the last round, and showed real quality after his lengthy injury and managed to get himself on the score sheet with the opening goal.

Daejeon can also boast of having Chițu in the same Best 11, the Romanian put in a real showing for the Citizen in the last round, capping off his performance with a last minute winner. If E-Land can control his movement and put a stop to his runs, then they could be well in for a chance to keep this good fortune up.

The main ask for E-Land is, that can they keep the wining mentality up now, they have not been able to get any kind of winning formula all season, and most victories have been dotted between defeats and draws. If Seoul fancy their chances and play attacking football, they are more than capable to come out of this fixture with a result.
by Michael Redmond

Who To Watch

Joo Minkyu

Joo Minkyu for Seoul E-Land before beginning military service in 2016
Making his second debut on the weekend, Seoul E-Land welcomed original fan favourite Joo Min-kyu back into the side. Joo spending just over a season and a half on military service at Sangju Sangmu, where he continued his eye for goal in the top division.

The Korean scored 21 goals in 43 appearances for the army side in his time at the club, an impressive feat with it being the 28 year-old's first season in the top flight.

An impact player who can really change a game with his movement and positioning, Joo Min Kyu will play a vital role on the weekend, if he is placed in the starting 11.

With the striker only coming on for 20 minutes in the game against Suwon, it wasn’t enough time to see how well he can gel back into the E-Land line up. But with more games under his belt, he could be the real difference between a disappointing season, and an improvement from last year.


Undefeated in eight, fourth in the league with a three point cushion over fifth, the Purples will be full of confidence heading into Saturday's match. Finding a last minute winner, as was the case against Busan IPark last time out, knowing that if they keep going then the rewards will come will also give the Purples encouragement. In- truth, the top four will have been the minimum expectation for this season. The team have got themselves into the playoffs and now it's time to make a statement to the rest of the playoff contenders and show them exactly why they are genuinely in with a chance of promotion. However, the return of Joo Minkyu to E-Land, and the 2-0 away win over Suwon FC last week will mean that Daejeon need to be wary.

Daejeon Citizen 2-1 Seoul E-Land

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