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Preview: Seoul E-Land vs Busan IPark

K League 2 Preview: Seoul E-Land vs Busan IPark

Seoul E-Land have been living a bit of a fairytale in recent weeks. After such a poor showing to the start of the campaign, they managed to win four straight games in a row. This ended in the last round, however, as they fell short to a strong Ansan Greeners side. This week's focus will shift to Busan IPark, in what will also be their last game home game in Seoul until November. Can Seoul finish off the Olympic Stadium era with one more win under their belts? Or will it be business as usual for a Busan side still trying to claw their way into first place? 

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land welcomed Ansan Greeners to Jamsil on Saturday evening. It only took the away side three minutes to damage the Leopards. A cross which saw Gustavo Vintecinco completely unmarked, as he headed the ball home made it 1-0. Seoul E-Land got back into the game, however,  as Duarte, in the 25th minute, went on a great run.  The talisman beat a number of Ansan defenders before a long-ranged low shot found it's way into the back of the net to make it 1-1.

In the second half, Byeon Jun-byum once again fouled an opposition in the box, and Ansan had a penalty only minutes after the restart. Jang Hyeok-jin converted, and the Leopards found themselves behind once more. The nail in the coffin came in the 88th minute, as Kwak Seong-wuk, completely unmarked slotted the ball into the net. Seoul E-Land's defence was abysmal, and it showed.

Full Time:  Seoul E-Land 1-3 Ansan Greeners




Busan IPark welcomed FC Anyang to the Gudeok last weekend, as they were looking to finally gain some ground on  Gwangju FC. The two teams met the week prior in a 1-1 draw, and points are starting to become vital for the side. As the game kicked off, Anyang has the lion share of chances. A brilliant run by Lee Jung-bin saw his efforts blocked by Busan's keeper. However, Alex was there with the follow up to make it 1-0 to the away side.

Anyang had more chances in the game, but Busan started to respond. In the second half, a very crowded Anyang box was the setting for the second goal. A well swung in corner kick was met by a Novothny header, making it 1-1, with 24 minutes to play. A third goal did not come in the game, and the two teams shared a point. That is two draws in a row for Busan now, and panic stations may be in order.

Full Time: Busan IPark 1-1 FC Anyang


 

Previous Meetings

This will the first time the two sides will meet in Seoul, with the prior two fixtures being down in the seaside city. The first fixture ended in a 4-1 thrashing of the Capital club with a brace from Kim Myoung-jun, plus a single goal for Han Ji-ho and Novothny. For the Leopards, it was Coutinho with the consolation in the fixture.

The last time the two teams met, saw Seoul with the first goal. It was Douglas Coutinho again with the penalty only minutes into the game. Busan responded though, with a goal in the 12th minute by Kim Myoung-jun again. They took the lead in the 38th minute, with a penalty of their own. Lee Jeong-hyeop with the goals and they found themselves 2-1 up.  Busan put the game to bed in the 56th minute, as Lee Dong-jun made it 3-1, in what turned out to be the final score between the two sides.

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

Team News

Seoul may have an issue now, after relying on their 3-4-3 formation, it was finally exposed in the previous game. A player in Lee Tae-ho, who was praised the week prior, had a less than stellar performance at the back, finding himself ball watching for a lot of the fixture. Woo Sung-yong, the boss is faithful to his players, and has hardly changed any of his line ups since his good fortunes. This has been doing Durate wonders, as he recorded his third goal of the season against Ansan, also the third this month for the Brazilian.

Durate has been a changed man in recent weeks, picking up his third goal in the 2019 K League 2, can he add another one to his tally against Busan IPark?

The question now will be, will the gaffer start captain Ahn Ji-ho? He has come back from injury, and he may not want to play him for a full 90, but maybe the side are crying for some more experience at the back when playing Busan. It looks like the boss may keep the faith in his players and formations, as one bad performance can happen to any team in football. Seoul's most important thing to focus on now is, not to let their head drops and go back to their old, deflated ways. Yes, the winning streak has ended, but they need to play as a team, like they have done recently, and move on from their last defeat.

The Adversary

Busan IPark have had an almost identical season to the one prior in 2018. Even though they finished 3rd last time around, they find themselves, chasing the league leaders, in the hope of automatic promotion. Busan IPark can easily be the strongest team in the league, however, they are prone to slip ups against some mid-table, or playoff contending teams.  Defeats to Jeonnam Dragons, Asan Mugunhwa, and Ansan Greeners have really dented their promotion hopes. They also have a knack for dropping points, and drawing a lot of fixtures.

As a fully equipped squad, their goals come from the three frontmen in Lee Jeong-hyeop, Rômulo, and Novothy who have eleven, ten, and nine goals respectively. While they are a side running away with it in the goal-scoring tally with 49, they have been less than impressive in defence. The boys in red have conceded 30 goals this season, and look leaky at the back, to say the least.  In saying that, Busan are an attacking side, and rely on scoring goals, rather than defence to see out games.

Prediction

It will be an emotional occasion for the fans of Seoul E-Land. A near-perfect run back home in Jamsil comes to an end on Saturday, before their exile back to Cheonan. Busan will not get the memo however, for a possible fairytale ending. They will look to punish Seoul, and make sure that they are fully back on track for that automatic playoff position. The two sides have had entertaining encounters, with both sides always getting a goal or two. What will a cool summers evening in Seoul have in store this Saturday?

Predicted Score: Seoul E-Land 1-2 Busan IPark


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