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Peview: Seoul E-Land vs Busan IPark

The final game of the 2019 K League 2 regular season upon us. In what has truly been a season to forget once again for Seoul E-Land. No one believed they could outdo themselves, on last seasons mute performance, yet they have done just that. The side was left heartbroken, on Saturday, as an injury-time penalty saw Bucheon the victors. The loss confirmed Seoul's faith to last position once more. 

Seoul will have to try to muster some pride on Saturday, as they welcome another powerful team in Busan IPark. Busan have already confirmed second place, and this shall be no more than a practice match for the seaside town. Can Seoul bring the smallest amount of respect back to the team, in what will be their first game back once again in Jamsil?

Last Time Out

Seoul traveled across the city on Saturday lunchtime, to face a Bucheon 1995 side going through a renaissance of sorts. They were looking for their fourth consecutive win in the league. To raise the stakes even further, if Ansan Greeners were to fail to win against Suwon later in the day. Then Bucheon would still have A chance to claim that last play-off position, on the last day of the season. Seoul did not get the memo, however, as on the stroke of halftime, Kwon Gi-pyo put the visitors ahead. A well placed half valley, saw the ball go into the back of the net. Bucheon did not give up in the game. It took them only 11 minutes into the second half to equalize. Some excellent control from Cho Soo-chul saw him chest down the ball, into an excellent volley from close range. This was Seoul's downfall once again.

Bucheon did not stop and kept on pushing Seoul. Their Second goal summed up E-Land's season perfectly. A cross into Marlon saw him completely unmarked. The Brazilian then hit a slightly scuffed shot, to only see it slowly trickle into the net. Some truly comical defending from Seoul, but nothing more than what the fans expect from the side this year. Seoul did not give up at top, however, and equalizer in the 82nd minute. Kim Gyeong-jun took a shot, which crept past Choi Cheol-won, and into the back of the net. It looked as if Seoul could do it, as moments later, Duarte came painfully close.

A heart-shattering moment then followed in injury-time. The goal scorer Kim Gyeong-jun kicked Bucheon player Lee Jeong-chan in the box. The referee pointed to the spot. Marlon converted, and tears flowed in the away stands. It was the most painful loss of the season. Another point that must be added to this game that, the referee had a stellar job. Cho Ji-um was in charge of the game and was completely different from the officiating the week prior. He allowed the game to flow and did not too many rash decisions. Maybe if more officiated happened like this, we would have a more balanced league.

Full Time: Bucheon 1995 3-2 Seoul E-Land

Sunday saw Asan Mugunhwa make the journey down to Busan. With Busan already confirming 2nd position, it was easy to presume they may rest up in such a fixture. However, Busan flew out of the traps and went a goal up in just five minutes. Lee Sang-jun put Busan ahead in the fixture. After a bit of back and forward, up stepped Park Se-jik in the 18th minute. A beautiful, sweet volley from a well-placed cross saw him equalize for Asan. The visitors did not stop there and continued to press. In the 40th minute, some Busan errors lead Asan to be one on one with the keeper. Kim Jeong-ho, in his first start between the sticks for Busan, brought down Park Min-seo. The referee called for the spot-kick, and Oh Se-hun converted. 2-1 to the Away side.

Busan were not going to lose at home, so close to the end of the season, and pushed on. They got their equalizer in the 69th minute. Lee Jeong-hyeop was pushed down by Asan keeper Lee Ki-hyun. After VAR intervened, a second penalty of the match was awarded. Diego stepped up, yet missed the penalty. Luckily enough for Busan, Lee Dong-jun was there to tap in the rebound, 2-2. Busan got their win ten minutes from time. As their now joint top scorer for the club, Romulo grasped all three points. A fantastic, wonderful goal, from well outside the area, saw the ball hit the crossbar and in. A truly great goal, which reflected the performance of Busan as a whole this year. Full time came, and it was Busan, who still look strong, going into the play-offs.

Full Time: Busan IPark 3-2 Asan Mugunhwa  

Previous Meetings

On the last three occasions the two sides met, it has been Busan who has got the best of Seoul. With two wins for Busan, both coming at the Gudeok, and a famous draw in Jamsil. Seoul E-Land have actually failed to beat Busan in their last 11 meetings (eight loses and three draws).  The last time the two met, was in late August in what was a truly memorable game. The away side went three goals to the good in only 35 minutes. A Novothny hattrick saw the Seaside men in cruise control. However, for one of the true rare occasions for Seoul this year, they fought back. It all started with a wonderful Kim Mink-yun strike in the 38th minute to make it 3-1. It must be added that this was the game that Kim Young-kwang suffered that horrific head injury, which forced him to get stitches in his forehead.

Seoul kept going in the second half and found themselves only one goal behind in the 55th minute. Another great strike, this time from Choi Han-sol. Seoul clawed back and equalized in the 79th minute. An excellent Coutinho header, secured Seoul a valuable point. Busan could of made it 4-3 in the dying moments of the game. It was the three-goal man Novothny, who missed an open net, late on. The two teams shared the spoils last time around, Seoul would pray for anything of the sorts on Saturday.

Team News

Seoul went back to 3-4-3 on the weekend, and it seemed to be working for the side. They had the better of Bucheon in the first half, and they were rewarded with a goal in the first half. Something of a rarity for them this year. A moment of madness then came from Seoul, as they took the goal scorer Kwon Gi-pyo off the pitch. One of the best players for the side in recent weeks, his substitution hurt the team badly. An excellent forward, he constantly looks promising when having the ball at his feet.

Seoul still have defensive issues, and once again conceded late on in the game. Seoul panic in the box, and have now conceded A penalty in two consecutive games. Against A Busan side, a shoddy defense will be torn to shreds. Seoul will also be without Seo Gyeong-ju, after another yellow card leaves him out of the game. It's probably best you try to come down to this game on Saturday, as I wouldn't be surprised if it was half the team's last game under the club. Players look as if they have already signed out for the season, a number of players have not been seen for months. Young players will look to get some big moves over the winter, some may just try to stay relevant. Regardless of their intentions, most of them will be looking to abort ship once that transfer window opens.     

The Adversary

Busan IPark finds themselves once again second in the K League 2 and favorites to go into the promotion-relegation tie between the 11th placed club in the K League 1. Another good year for the Seaside town has seen them only shadowed, by an excellent Gwangju side. The trio of Rômulo, Lee Jeong-hyeop, and Novothny have been outstanding for the side and flooded the team with goals. A team with 17 wins this year, and 13 draws. They will look to end the regular season off, with a win. They will have to do this however without the Brazilian Rômulo, who will be suspended for the tie.

Can Busan finally get out of the K League 2 this year?
A team with a lot of passion, and experience in all positions. Busan look to be world-beaters when the whole squad is singing from the same hymn sheet. Busan are growing tired of the K League 2 now, and are desperate to get back into the K League 1 and replicate their glory days.

Who To Watch

Busan will more than likely rest a lot of players on the weekend. They have nothing to lose, and have already confirmed that valuable home tie against either 3rd or 4th place. If they were to play anyone to get another three points however, it would be Novothny. The Hungarian ran rings around Seoul's defense in their last meeting and will look to replicate that once more.


A truly shocking and depressing season once more for Seoul E-Land, finally sees it come to a close on Saturday. A side embarrassing to watch and to be apart of, have managed to do even worse than the year prior. I remember writing my preview for the last game of the 2018 season. I made a point saying that Seoul could not have a season as bad as this next year. It could not be possible. They not only did so, they did it emphatically, with only five wins all year. It has been the lowest amount of points accumulated since 2016. Their only saving grace on Saturday, maybe that Busan will rest their big guns.

Busan are a respectful team, however, and take every game in their stride. I cannot see this fixture ending well for the home side. It could be another long day in the office, for the E-Land faithful.

Seoul E-Land 0-3 Busan IPark

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