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Preview: Seoul E-Land vs Seongnam FC

K League 1 Preview: Seoul E-Land vs Seongnam FC

It's easy to say that normal order has resumed this past weekend, as Seoul E-Land was picked apart by another team in the K League 2 in Asan Mugunghwa. Asan are cruising at the top of the table at the moment so the result may not be of surprise to most fans. The loss, however, means E-Land have not won in four games now and will be desperate to not fall any further down the table.

This week, the Leopards have the grueling task of welcoming Seongnam F.C to Jamsil, a team close on the tails of Asan in claiming that desired automatic promotion place. The fixture will see a return of Monday night football for Seoul E-Land in the K League 2, with the last one providing a 2-0 victory over Ansan Greeners, can E-Land recreate magic this time around?

(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land will have had nine days to prepare for their game against Seongnam, as the last round saw them travel down to Asan for the Saturday evening kick-off. The game started the way many predicted, with a constant flurry of chances from Asan in the half.

Seoul were holding their own though and did have a number of corners in the first 45 minutes. As the half drew to a close, controversy stuck as the referee for the day blew for a penalty for the home side.

Seoul E-Land fans were perfectly in line to watch Kim Young-kwang collect the ball that was being chased down by Cho sung-Jun. They believe it is evident that he got hold of the ball first in the challenge. Kim Young-kwang didn’t even get booked for the penalty, which left many E-Land fans thinking the referee was picking and choosing the laws of the game.

Ko Mu-yeol converted the penalty in the 41st minute, after a couple of minutes of complaining from Glory. Seoul E-Land did get into the game, however, and made an instant response, letting Ko Cha-won slot the ball home in the 45th minute. A nice piece of passing play from Seoul saw the Korean level the scoring.

Asan, then went on to make the game look more of an exhibition, as only one minute from the restart, restored the lead, as Seoul failed to defend a shot from Cho Jun-sung. Fans went into the break with the score reading Asan Mugunghwa 2-1 Seoul E-Land.

Seoul managed to calm the play down in the second half and had a few more chances to be accounted for, but Asan proved their league dominance. Lee Myeong-jun in the 61st minute made it 3-1 and collected the three points for Asan Mugungwha. Not the scoreline Seoul would have hoped for, but they will have to move on if they are to stop this win-less streak from continuing.

Final Score: Asan Mugunghwa 3-1 Seoul E-Land

Highlights of the game can be found here

Seongnam welcomed Bucheon 1995 to Tancheon in the last round, in what was a close call for the Magpies. Seongnam left it until almost halftime to make an impact, as Éder converted the ball from a spot kick in the 44th minute.

Bucheon got back into the game however in the second half. Lee Kwang-jae in the 62nd minute equalized for Bucheon, and a draw was imminent for Seongnam.

Seongnam FC left it late to record a victory at home against Bucheon 1995 in the K League 2

The Magpies did show their strength however in the last ten minutes of the fixture, as Choi Byung-chan restored the lead for them once again in the 81st minute. Seongnam managed to close the game out to be awarded the whole three points, but it easy to say they made the game difficult for themselves.

Final Score: Seongnam 2-1 Bucheon 1995

Highlights of the game can be found here

Previous Meetings

It may come as a surprise to most K League fans when comparing the state of the two teams. In the six occasions that the two sides have met, five have resulted in a draw, and one has resulted in the favor of Seoul E-Land. So E-Land are actually undefeated against this once great Korean side.

The last time the two met was back in July at Tancheon sports complex. The Saturday evening kick-off saw Kim Jae-Hyun head the ball home for Seoul E-Land in the 25th minutes.

If a game of football was contested with just the one half, then E-Land would have claimed the victory, after they bombarded Seongnam with attacks for the entirety of the first period.

The second half saw a completely different story, and Seoul were on the back foot for the remainder of the game. It took Seongnam until the 66th minute to equalize, with a goal from Yun Young-sung. Seoul E-Land did manage to hold out for the fair point in the tie, and once again proved that they can excel against the bigger sides.

Team News

The biggest news coming out of the Seoul E-Land camp this week is the welcomed return of 28-year-old midfielder Joo Min-kyu The Korean was serving his military service with Sangju Sangmu and will be eligible to play in the game against Seongnam. Joo Min-kyu scored 37 goals in 69 appearances for Seoul, before his move to Sangju. He also kept up his goalscoring record whilst away, scoring 21 goals in 42 games.

Joo Min-kyu playing against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC in the K League 1. He will return to Seoul E-Land for Monday's game against Seongnam, after serving his military service with Sangju Sangmu.

Clearly a bit of a favorite amongst fans, Joo Min-kyu will come back with K League 1 experience and will be welcomed back with open arms into the team. Joo Min-kyu could be that missing link to give the defense an option when trying to push the ball out from the back and push it into a goal scoring opportunity. His last goal in a Sangju Sangmu shirt was against Jeongbuk, which is a clear indication that he can score, and he will score.

Seoul E-Land once again, are sticking to their guns with their 4-3-3 formation in recent weeks. In Chang-soo is constantly relying on the wing backs to push the ball forward and make use of the two flanks to get the ball into dangerous positions.

In Chang-soo has kept with his 4-3-3 formation for Seoul E-Land despite their recent poor form.

The game against Asan saw Gam Han-sol replace Ahn Sung-bin in the right back position, a player who has not featured for a while in blue and white, but was running the wing quiet well in the encounter.

Ivan was on the bench for the tie and made an appearance in the second half, Ivan is strong in defense for E-Land so his presence on Monday will be much appraised by the Jamsil faithful.

Seoul are still experimenting with a rotation of different players at the moment, and to call a team will be almost impossible, looking on form. Cho Jae-wan hasn’t started in a while for the leopards, so their might be a start for the young Korean on the cards.

Prediction

It’s tough to ever predict what Seoul E-Land are going to do on a game to game basis, It appears that they are in the middle of a long line of tough fixtures, which could see them continue to fail to pick up wins for quite a while.

However, Seongnam have not been as great recently as earlier on in the season, and have been knocked off the top spot by Asan in recent weeks. Also taking into account that E-Land are undefeated against Seongnam, that may add to the momentum for the Seoul based side.

Monday evening kick-offs have been friendly to Seoul this season, and they will hope for this to coninute, and they have a point to prove after their last two straight home defeats .

Predicted Score: Seoul E-Land 1-1 Seongnam F.C.

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