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Preview: Bucheon FC 1995 vs Suwon FC

This Sunday in the K League 2, two local rivals who are also neighbours in the table face off to decide who should return to play-off contention. The hosts, seventh placed Bucheon FC 1995, have struggled for consistency all year but hold a 100% record over the visitors. Sixth placed Suwon FC, meanwhile, will be looking to recapture their early season form and give themselves some breathing space in the league standings.

Last Time Out

Asan Mugunghwa 2-3 Bucheon FC 1995

After losing to Seoul E-Land at the beginning of August, Bucheon picked up four important points with a draw against Gwangju and a win at Daejeon Citizen. Any hopes of putting together a good run of form were dashed by a disappointing 3-0 home defeat to Jeonnam Dragons, who are now only two points behind Bucheon in the table. This meant Bucheon needed to pick up points to not fall further down the table, however, a visit to Asan Mugunghwa is a tough match for anyone in the league.

It did not start well for Bucheon, as Asan took the lead in the 23rd minute with a long range effort by up-and-coming attacker Park Min-seo that was hit hard into the bottom right-hand corner. The inclusion of Ecuadorian striker Marlon, who came on for Jeonbuk loanee Lee Si-heon at half-time, brought a new dimension to Bucheon's attacking play. Marlon assisted his side's equaliser in the 53rd minute as he hit a low cross into the penalty area that was tapped in by midfielder Jang Hyun-soo, who scored his first goal for the club.

Bucheon took the lead in the 75th minute and Marlon's influence was even greater, as he scored his seventh goal of the season to become the club's top scorer. After receiving a flick on header from a long goalkeeper pass, Marlon fought off challenges from two defenders to hit a left footed shot that squirmed past the Asan keeper, despite him getting a hand to it.

The lead would not last long, as ten minutes later Bucheon captain Park Kun's clumsy foul allowed Asan a chance at a penalty, which was comfortably dispatched by 20 year-old forward Oh Se-hun. Bucheon did not give up and were rewarded when they were given a corner kick at the beginning of added time. A well worked set-piece routine saw defender Nilson Junior alone in the six-yard box and the Brazilian was able to hit a volley on the turn past the Asan goalkeeper and defender on the line.

Marlon would go on to receive the Man of the Match award and be named in the K League 2 team of the week alongside match winner Nilson Junior. A good performance from these two, and the squad in general, could cause problems for a Suwon FC side that has struggled with Bucheon this season.

Suwon FC 2-2 Jeonnam Dragons

After the conclusion of the Asan game the eyes of Bucheon FC 1995 would have turned to the result of this match, as Suwon FC and Jeonnam Dragons occupy sixth and eight in the table respectively. Despite their differing positions in the table, it was the lower ranked side that came into the match with the better form. Jeonnam had won their previous two matches, including the 3-0 victory over Bucheon, while Suwon had only won once in their last ten matches.

It was to be business as usual for Suwon, but it looked like it could have gone even worse as Jeonnam took the lead in the 21st minute through their forward Bruno Baio, scoring a header from one yard out after Suwon failed to clear their line. The Brazilian has now scored a goal in each of his last three matches and looks like he could be one of the best summer signings of the division. At the beginning of the second half Suwon were able to equalise thanks to an own-goal from Jeonnam defender Kwak Kwang-seon in the 47th minute, who was the victim of an unfortunate deflection that sent the ball looping over goalkeeper Park Jun-hyuk.

Suwon then took the lead in the 66th minute thanks to Pohang loanee Kim Ji-min's poke at the near post after the Jeonnam goalkeeper spilled the ball from a Suwon cross. Any hopes of Suwon recording a first win since July were dashed, however, as Bruno Nunes charged into the penalty area in the 94th minute and slotted home to ensure that the teams would share the spoils. Despite there being positives to take from the match, Suwon will need to improve if they are to return to winning ways, as they now appear to be a shadow of the team that looked like they could be dark horses for the title earlier in the season.

Previous Meetings

Across the 23 matches that Bucheon and Suwon have played each other the results are fairly even, with Bucheon winning eight matches, Suwon ten times victors, and the spoils being shared on five occasions. The two sides have even scored similar amounts, as Bucheon has found the back of the net 35 times and Suwon 33 times. In recent memory Bucheon has been the dominant side, however, as they have won five of the six matches that have been played over the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Bucheon won the first two of those games 1-0 away and 4-1 at home, but were then defeated by Suwon in August 2018 2-0 away.

Not only was this the last Suwon won in this fixture, it was also the last time that Suwon has scored against Bucheon. In October 2018 Bucheon was victorious 2-0 at home, and the opening game of this season was a 1-0 home win for Bucheon in March. The match winner on that occasion was Kim Ryun-do, who also scored in the most recent meeting between the two clubs. In July's 3-0 away victory, Nilson Junior and Lim Dong-hyuk joined Kim on the scoresheet for what has proven to be Bucheon's largest win of the season. Bucheon are clearly a bogey team for Suwon and the fact that Suwon have only won once since that match shows that they may not be ready to break the curse.

Team News

In the match against Asan, Bucheon defender Lim Dong-hyuk achieved his 100th K League 2 match, and all have occurred while playing for Bucheon. The 26 year-old remains as important as ever to the side and is likely to add many more appearances to that figure.

Bucheon have no injuries or suspensions, but one player that could be suspended soon is captain Park Kun, who has picked up two yellow cards in the previous five matches. Bucheon have been lucky in that the majority of the yellow cards they have received have generally gone to different people on each occasion, but Park is on thin ice and one small mistake could see him out of action for a future important match. If Bucheon are to challenge for promotion then they need all of the players at their disposal.

The Adversary

Like Bucheon, Suwon also have no injuries or suspensions. However, their star player Chisom Egbuchunam has received yellow cards in both of Suwon's previous two matches, which means the club will have to be careful in how they manage him. He is the team's top scorer with twelve goals this season and is in great form, having scored four goals in his last four matches. Suwon are definitely weaker with him out of the squad, but the dilemma is if they can risk dropping him to ensure that he is not suspended for vital games.

Due to the close proximity Bucheon and Suwon have with each other in the table he is likely to start, but he could be substituted early to limit opportunities for him to make mistakes that could cost his side. The problem is amplified with the fact that their second highest scorer, eight goal North Korean forward An Byong-jun, has not played since July. Until An returns, Suwon have limited options in attack and could be stuck with a problem if Egbuchunam gets suspended.

What To Watch

Fans who watch this match should not abandon the game early if it is goalless or things are not going their way. For both sides, the biggest proportion of their goals this season have occurred after the 75th minute of the game. Suwon have recorded 30.6% of their goals in this time period, while Bucheon have been slightly more productive with 32.4 % of their goals happening in the latter stages of the match. Also giving hope to fans and neutrals alike is the fact that this fixture has not experienced a goalless draw since November 2015, which was also the last time that the fixture has had a draw of any kind. Since then they have played ten times, with Suwon winning four times and Bucheon winning six times. One thing is for certain, viewers will almost be guaranteed a match with some drama, amplified by the importance of the occasion.


The match will likely have some goals and end in victory for one of the sides, and both teams will be keen for it to be them so that they can climb up the table and enter the play-off race. Suwon have the best goalscorer of the two sides, but Bucheon are in better form and have proven themselves to be the stronger team in this fixture over the past few seasons. It may be close, but Bucheon should edge it.

Bucheon FC 1995 2-1 Suwon FC

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