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Preview: Seoul E-Land vs Gwangju FC

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

After approaching the halfway point of the K League 2 season, the table is starting to take shape and one thing is for certain, it has been another season to forget for Seoul E-Land. Round 19 of the league sees leaders Gwangju FC travel up to Cheonan to face the struggling side. In this top vs bottom affair, will Gwangju FC steamroll past another team in their impressive title challenge? Or will we see Seoul E-Land upsetting the odds and coming away from the game with the spoils? Only Sunday evening will tell.

Overview

Via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land vs Busan IPark

Seoul haven't had an easy ride as of late, facing 2nd place side Busan away in the last round. A handful of dedicated fans made the trip down to the Gudok stadium, with low expectations come to kick off.

Yet it was Seoul E-Land who drew first blood in the fixture, Lee Hyun-sung was brought down in the 3rd minute, to give the Leopards a penalty kick. Douglas Coutinho, the team's leading top scorer, converted the ball and made it 1-0 to the away side, his seventh of the season. Seoul had 87 minutes to defend a hollow lead, and a powerful Busan were not going to roll over. It took the seaside club only eight minutes from the restart to level the score, as a poorly defended set piece, saw Kim Myoung-jun make it 1-1.

Things went from bad to worse for the capital side, as fans had to watch a controversial penalty awarded to Busan in the 38th minute. Lee Jyeong-hyeop put Busan ahead in the second penalty of the game. Seoul fans knew this was it for their chances in the game (an indication of how poorly the side has been performing recently).

The second half came with more sorrow for the away support as another set piece, a swung in freekick, was met once again by Busan. Lee Dong-jun the scorer, made it 3-1 and putting the game to bed. Seoul did not play too badly in the game. They looked to find Countiho whenever they could to push the ball forward but, once again, it was set pieces which ruined the game for the Leopards and cost them vital points.

Full Time: Busan IPark 3-1 Seoul E-Land

Highlights can be found here


Gwangju FC Vs Ansan Greeners

Gwangju welcomed the Green Wolves in the last round of the K League 2. As a team who have not lost in four, this was to be an interesting encounter for both sides. The game went back and forth, with both clubs looking to push for something out of the game. Gwangju struck, however, on the stroke of halftime, as Yeo Bong-hun made it 1-0 for the home side.

Gwangju eased past Ansan Greeners in the last round of the 2019 K League 2, with a well-placed strike from Yeo Bong-hun

A game with two defensive sides, there was only the one clear cut change for Gwangju to make the difference and they kept their stability at the back. Gwangju held on and ran out the victors in this fixture. Gwangju had the lion's share of the chances, but Ansan kept Gwangju's defense busy throughout the 90.

It is games like this which separates real title contenders from the rest of the pack and Gwangju now find themselves seven points ahead of Busan.

Full Time: Gwangju FC 1-0 Ansan Greeners

Highlights can be found here


Previous Meetings

It will have been almost two months from when the two sides last met in the league, back in May. Seoul made the journey down to Gwangju, to face a team still neck and neck with Busan in the race. It took the Pheonix side only 29 minutes to put themselves ahead, with Kim Jeong-Hwan scoring and giving Seoul looked at another mountain to climb. Ten minutes later, Gwangju doubled their lead, with Willyan as the scorer. The game was done and dusted by the end of the first half and Gwangju showed that they are the real deal in the league.

In the second half, Seoul found a burst of energy. Douglas Coutinho made it 2-1 in the 76th minute. Seoul had 14 minutes to cause an upset. It wasn't to be, however, as Gwangju made it 3-1 only five minutes after the restart. Yeo-Reum in the 81st minute put the game to bed and sunk Seoul to another defeat.

Full Time: Gwangju 3-1 Seoul E-Land

Highlights can be found here

Team News

The boss Woo Sung-yong set up in a 4-4-2 formation against Busan, looking to rely on Lee Hyeon-sung and Kwon Gi-pyo on the wings to swing in some chances. Seoul E-Land find themselves without Duarte once again, as the Brazilian is rehabilitating an injury caused in the game against Ansan Greeners.

The standout player for the Leopards against Busan was Douglas Countiho. He was solid in pushing the ball and tracked back exceptionally in the game. A player who put a lot of effort into the game, it is a shame his efforts are not matched throughout the team.

It has been a brutal season for Seoul E-Land in the 2019 K League 2, with only one win recoreded in 18 games, 12 of them have come at a loss.

Kim Young-kwang has recently hit a bit of a bad spell between the sticks. However, with a defense as poor as Seoul's, it is easy to see why. Lee Kyung-Ryul will be suspended for the game on Sunday after picking up his 5th yellow card. It is a problematic situation for the boss, facing more challenges and dealing with an already shoddy defense. Seoul are struggling to find any real leaders and solid defenders in their side.

Some positive news coming out of the E-Land camp, however, is that the side have acquired the services of Gangwon defender Lee Tae-ho. The 28-year-old Korean could be a welcome addition to the side with valuable K League 1 experience.

It will be Seoul's second signing of the summer window, after first getting the signature of Choi Jong-hoan. Choi Jong-hoan played in the game against Busan in the right-back position and could link up well with the new man in the team.

The Adversary

Gwangju have been exceptional this year in the K League 2. Still undefeated in 18 games, it is more than likely that they will have this league wrapped up come November. A solidly defensive side, the leaders have only conceded eight goals this year. This is outstanding for a team so far into the league. The best form of defense is attack, and with Gwangju's midfield of Lee Ed-ddeum, Yeo-Reum, and Park Jeong-soo, it is easy to see why that is the case. They are solid in the midfield and have a powerhouse in Felipe upfront to score for the side.

The Brazilian is running away with the golden boot this year with 14 goals and, with him signing a new contract with the side, Gwangju are already laying down the foundations for survival in the K League 1, if they are to be promoted.

Prediction

One of the hardest things in the K League at the moment is being a Seoul E-Land fan. They have nothing to cheer about, and it doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon. The team is depleted of any real talent, they struggle with basic defensive set pieces, and they play with no passion and commitment.

They come up against a team that can not do anything wrong in the league this year, Gwangju have been solid. A real force who deserve their position in the league. This could get really ugly if Seoul don't pull themselves together defensively. This might be one for Seoul E-Land fans to look away from.

Predicted Score: Seoul E-Land 0-4 Gwangju FC

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