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Preview: Suwon FC vs Seoul E-Land

K League 2 Preview: Suwon FC vs Seoul E-Land

It’s been another week, and another loss for Seoul E-Land in the K League 2. Seongnam finally managed to defeat the Leopards on a rainy, damp Monday evening, in what was an interesting, but controversial game to say the least. E-Land has well and truly veered off course in recent weeks. Their conquest to climb up the table has well and truly been foiled, and they now sit in 9th position, only one point ahead of Ansan Greeners.

This week brings the second division derby, for the 3rd time in 2018, between Suwon FC and Seoul E-Land. Both prior meetings ended in a solo goal for Suwon, to claim the all-valuable three points, and with the game being played on their turf on Saturday, they may fancy themselves once more.

(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Suwon and Seoul E-Land both played on Monday evening in the last round so both will have the same amount of preparation time for the tie on Saturday evening.

Suwon had the task of going down to Daejeon for the 7pm fixture. Daejeon Citizen were only three points behind Suwon before kick off, and a win for the home side would bring them level on points with both Suwon and even Gwangju. Gwangju currently sits clinging onto the last playoff position, showing that three teams are fighting valiantly for that last spot.

The two teams met on a very waterlogged pitch, as they got underway in the Daejeon World Cup stadium. Passes were struggling to be strung together after the ball was being stopped in the puddles around the pitch.

Daejeon Citizen and Suwon FC met in torrential rain on Monday evening, in the K League 2.
Just before the 20-minute mark, Lee Sang-min was taking no risk and attempted to kick the ball out for a throw-in, even though it was two Suwon players up against a solo Daejeon striker. Lee Sang-min completely sliced the ball however, and it went all the way out for a corner. The corner resulted in Go Myeong-seok heading the ball into the back of the Suwon net, and the home side found themselves 1-0 up.

Daejeon managed to actually hold on to their narrow lead in the game, and record another victory in the league. The result fires them ahead of Suwon, as they are level on points, but Daejeon has claimed two out of three victories against Suwon this season.

Final Score: Daejeon Citizen 1-0 Suwon F.C

Highlights of the goal can be found here.

Seoul E-Land welcomed Seongnam to Jamsil an hour later, at 8pm on the same evening. Seoul E-Land are getting desperate to record a victory, as it has been five games now without a win.

Both teams looked dangerous in the opening moments of the fixture, but nothing came of the early encounters. A controversial moment arose in the 30th minute in the game as assistant referee flagged for offside for Seongnam. The play had stopped for both teams, and Kim Do-youp lobbed the ball over Kim Young-kwang in a “here is the ball so you can take a free kick” kind of manner.

Suddenly, the referee blew his whistle and signaled for VAR. A wave of confusion swamped the E-Land stand, as they were baffled as to why he wanted to go to the replay. To make things worse, the referee then blew his whistle and declared a goal for Kim Do-youp, from him simply placing the ball into the net after the whistle was blown.

One of the worst VAR calls this season saw Seoul E-Land unfairly go down a goal in a game. It was only last week they had a very fair collection of the ball from Kim Young-kwang called for a penalty. The Leopards will surely feel hard done by once again.

Seoul did, however, try to get back into the game, and came very close less than ten minutes later. The ball was pinged around the six-yard box, as a corner was failed to be clear from the Seongnam defense. After bouncing off the woodwork, Seongnam found their attack outnumbering E-Land on the counter.

A strike from Oliver Bonnes was parried away from Kim Young-Kwang, but only to the feet of Jung Sung-min to fire it home and make it 2-0 to Seongnam as the half drew to a close.

Things didn’t look good for Seoul, they were cruising to another defeat in the league. However, in the last 20 minutes of the game, they showed a lot more character and fight in the match. They had a corner in the 74th minute, that was headed in by Jeon Min-gwang. The defender had a good game for E-Land, and deserved a goal for his efforts.

Jeon Min-gwang heads the ball in to pull one back for Seoul E-Land in the game against Seongnam in the K League 2
Seoul went from strength to strength and missed a number of opportunities to draw the game level. Seongnam hung on, however, and finally recorded their first victory against the Seoul based side.

Final Score: Seoul E-Land 1-2 Seongnam

Highlights of the controversial first goal can be found here. .

Previous Meetings

As stated earlier, this will be the third time the two sides meet this season. The first encounter was actually the first game of the 2018 season, where E-Land made the short journey down to the Suwon Civic Stadium.

On a cold day in March, the game was decided from a goal in the 39th minute from Suwon's Kim Dong-chan. The match will be remembered for the runs and long balls from Alex Lima in the tie, and the fumblings of E-Land to try and deal with the aerial threat.

Seoul E-Land's Choi Oh-Back attempts to block Kim Byeom-yong's play in the opening game of the K League 2 season back in March.

The second time the two met was the game played on a wet Saturday evening in Jamsil. Seoul actually managed to hold their own for the majority of the match, but in the 81st minute, Baek Sung-dong broke away from the E-Land defense and slotted the ball home for another 1-0 victory for Suwon.

Not only has Suwon got the best of E-Land this season, you have to go back to 2015 for any record of Seoul E-Land actually beating Suwon in the league. It has to be said that Suwon did spend the 2016 campaign in the K League 1, but the record currently speaks for itself. Five wins for Suwon, four draws, and only two wins for Seoul, with both wins coming in their first season back in 2015.

Team News

It’s becoming a case of, how to pick a squad for E-Land, that prevents them from bleeding any more goals in a 90 minute period. They still haven’t got over their 5-0 drumming from Busan last month, and they have conceded at least one goal in every game since.

In Chang-soo has accepted that Seoul E-Land is struggling with 4-3-3 at the moment, and reverted back to the traditional 4-4-2 formation for the game against Seongnam, with Cho Jae-wan and Cho Chan-ho on the wings for the Leopards.

In Chang-soo set up Seoul E-Land, in a changed, 4-4-2 formation for the game against Seongnam in the K League 2. Despite making the change, the Leopards fell once again, in a 2-1 loss. ( photo credit: www.facebook.com/seouleland
Despite the loss, Jeon Min-gwang showed up against Seongnam on Monday, and demonstrated why he has a big fan following when he plays in defense. Ahn Ji-ho was once again at center back. Ahn Ji-ho has still yet to partner with Ivan this season since his signing. Ivan was an unused sub in the last game, and maybe it’s time to see if they can link up well with one another.

E-Land fans quickly put down the news last week of the return of Joo Min-kyu when they saw that he wasn’t actually in the squad for the game against the Magpies. It was quickly made aware by the club that he was still not eligible to play until September 4th so he will be available for the tie against Suwon.

Also up top, it has been two games now, without Herrera even being featured in the squad, an added boost for E-Land if fit, the Chilean would bring pace if brought off the bench in the second half of the game.

Bielkiewicz is also trying to regain fitness, he showed up in the second half of the Seongnam game and will be still pushing for optimal fitness in the coming weeks.


As the end of a week concludes, and another round passes Seoul E-Land by in the K League 2, I lose more and more confidence in them as a side. It was only last month they were sat in 7th, with a game in hand, and not a million miles away from the play-offs. Now they go into Saturday’s game, with only one point away from being rock bottom of the table.

This season was supposed to be a turnaround from last year’s poor showing, but August has been harsh for the Leopards, and I can only feel with the record against Suwon in recent history, September will be more of the same.

Seoul is unpredictable, and I make a point of saying that every single week. However, they have shown stability recently, its just stability of straight losses, rather than wins.

Suwon will also be looking to push on into the playoff positions, and show that they can rub shoulders with the best in the league, they may look to humiliate Seoul in this one, to also boost up the goal difference, only Saturday will tell.

Prediction: Suwon FC 2-1 Seoul E-Land

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