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Preview: Suwon FC vs Seoul E-Land FC


Suwon FC hosts another home game this weekend following a disappointing performance against Anyang on Wednesday. Sunday afternoon sees them welcome a Seoul E-Land struggling for form and rooted to the foot of the table. Can Suwon capitalise on their visitor's woes and make up for Wednesday's defeat or will Seoul record their first away win of the campaign?

Last Time Out

Suwon FC 1– 2 FC Anyang

Suwon FC hosted a home match midweek. Bringing three points in the previous game against Asan, Suwon were hoping to continue their winning streak. As the starting line-up was released, it was noticeable that some of the players who started in the previous match were rested. Center back, Jang Jun-young replaced Yoon Jun-sung who was banned. Furthermore, nineteen-year-old striker, Kang Min-jae was trusted to start the game again. Kang led the team’s offence and gave life to the game which could have been very dull in the first half. Kang made shots although none were converted. It was the substitution in the second half that helped give FC Anyang the lead. From the start of the second half, Manager Kim Hyung-yeol replaced striker Mykola for 21-year-old striker Cho Kyu-sung. It was a superb decision from the manager. Cho netted two goals in the second half to bag three points in their away game. North Korean forward, An followed up with a header in the 80th minute but a poor foul from his teammate Lee Hak-min that led to a double-booking halted the team’s chase to equalize the game. FC Anyang emerged as the final winner of the game.

Busan IPark 4-1 Seoul E-Land 

Seoul E-Land visited the Gudeok Stadium this Wednesday for the ninth round of K League 2. The home team easily clinched a win and maintained their second position in the table while the visiting team remained at the foot of the league as well. It was a nightmarish game for the E-Land’s fans. Busan, who were instructed to play an attacking style of football by their manager Cho, furiously pushing forward from the start. Their several attempts to net a goal were successful as they scored two goals in the first half. In an attempt to reinforce their own attacking resources, E-Land substituted Róbson Carlos Duarte in from the start of the second half. The reinforcement from the manager proved to be right when Douglas Coutinho scored a consolation with his left foot. However, Busan never made their fans nervous of closing out the scoreline. Busan scored another two goals after conceding their first to make the score 4-1. It was an exhilarating match for Busan IPark.

Previous Meetings

The two teams’ latest meeting goes back to a month ago. It was the fifth round of K League 2 and Seoul E-Land were still winless by this game. This day was also the first game for E-land to play their home game at Cheonan Soccer Center Main Stadium. Welcoming the 2,887 fans, early goals were fired from both teams in the first half. Suwon FC captain, Baek Sung-dong netted the first goal of the game in the second minute of the game. Three minutes later, Seoul E-Land’s Brazilian import, Douglas Coutinho made an equalizer to set the balance in the game. Both teams struggled to make an opportunity afterwards, and 1-1 was the final score of the match.

Team News

Suwon FC right midfielder, Lee Hak-min is to miss this game due to receiving two yellow cards in the previous game against FC Anyang. None of the Seoul E-Land players are banned for the match. However, players like Róbson Carlos Duarte who were rested or did not play for the full 90 minutes may be given longer time to play during the upcoming match.

The Adversary

It’s too early into the season to start to panic, when it comes to performances of teams in the K league. However, in the case of Seoul E-Land, a certain strain of uncertainty has arose in recent weeks, as they are failing to win in the league. With only one win this season, and having lost two games in a row, Seoul E-Land need to start picking up points, if they are to avoid another embarrassing season in the second division.

 Their game against Busan IPark midweek showed that they are really ill-equipped in the league, and cannot stand shoulder to shoulder with the big hitters, pushing for promotion. As the side failed to deal with Busan’s strong front, their game was met with a constant flurry of home side chances. Seoul’s defense was comical throughout the entire game, leaving four Busan players to be marked by one solo defender for the third goal. The corner kick was easy pickings for Busan, who really enjoyed their evening.

 Seoul just cannot defend at the moment, and they struggle to have a unity at the back. The leadership of Ahn Ji-ho is severely missed, and a mismatched backline is in place. We saw the return of Duarte back for the Leopards midweek, so hopefully his presence will be added confidence for the game against Suwon. Suwon are a fickle side for Seoul, a team they struggled with in recent seasons. They actually managed to beat them 2-0 in their last encounter in castle park. The two sides have played out a 1-1 draw already this year, and Seoul may be lucky to have the same result on Sunday. Seoul need points and they are desperate for a win. Perhaps a big match feel will come over them in this one and they can take something from Suwon in the second tier super match.

- Michael Redmond

Who To Watch

Suwon FC – An Byong-jun



It has been two months and the North Korean striker is already making his name known in the league. Scoring three goals in five games, he is now the manager’s most trusted forward in the team. Being the third North Korean international to star in the K League stage, he is following the footsteps of his much-respected senior, Jong Tae-se. Firing a stunning header in the previous game against FC Anyang, An would be the player to watch for Suwon to clinch a win at home.

Seoul E-Land - Wesley Alex


Wesley Alex was not featured in the Busan game on Wednesday, yet whenever the Brazilian plays, E-Land raise their game. In his last game against Jeonnam Dragons, his 92nd minute equalizer saved the side. He has great positioning and always knows the best place to be for any cross and through ball from the midfield. Alex will be fit and ready for the Suwon game, and could be the difference maker if given enough time on the ball to punish the away side.

Prediction

The restless fixture schedule will make this game tough for both teams. It would be about the depth of the squad and also the players’ mentality. Suwon FC is set to play two home games in a row while the visiting team is to play two away games in a row. It is clear to judge which team has more of an advantage. Furthermore, Seoul E-Land has yet to win at an away game this season. Therefore, I predict the home team to be the winner of this game.

 Suwon FC 2-1 Seoul E-Land FC

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