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Bucheon FC 1995 0-1 Jeju United: Late Winner Seals Islanders' First Win in 2020

On Tuesday night, a bit of history was made, as it saw the unveiling of what is sure to be one of the fiercest rivalries in K League 2, as Bucheon FC 1995 faced Jeju United for the very first time.  As expected, it was a tightly contested match, with the islanders snatching all three points courtesy of a headed effort from Joo Min-kyu in second half injury time.  That put an end to three wins on the spin for Bucheon to open the season and was also Jeju's first win of the new campaign.  KLU's Branko Belan recaps the fixture.

The hosts lined up in a 3-4-2-1 with Kim Young-chan, Cho Beom-seok, and Kim Kang-san comprising the back  three.  Guk Tae-jeong, captain Kim Young-nam, Jo Su-cheol and Jang Hyun-soo made up the midfield, with William Barbio and Lee Hyeon-il sitting in behind Jefferson Baiano who was the lone striker up top.  Choi Bong-jin got the call between the sticks.

The visitors countered with a 4-4-2, with Park Won-jae, captain Kwon Han-jin, Kim Jae-bong, who was making his first start of the season and Chung Woon in the back.  In the middle of the park, Lee Kyu-hyuk filled the U22 spot, Kim Young-wook and Kang Yun-sung were in the middle and Jung Woo-jae took up a spot on the left.  The strike partnership for last night's match was Gong Min-hyun, fresh off being named to the K League 2 Best XI for Round Three and Joo Min-kyu.  Oh Seung-hoon started in goal.

First Half

Things went back and forth in the first fifteen minutes and the best chance for either side fell to the islanders when Gong Min-hyun laid off for Lee Kyu-hyuk, whose effort from outside the area was easily saved by Choi Bong-jin.  For good portions of the rest of the first half, Bucheon looked the more threatening side despite having much less of the ball, but they were not able to find the lead before the break.  Jeju had 57 per cent of possession in the first half, but only one shot on target to show for their efforts as they looked mostly tentative in the final third and posed very little threat of scoring.

Second Half

Jeju started the second half with more urgency and found themselves among the chances just under ten minutes after the restart, when Joo Min-kyu tried his luck with a long range shot, but Choi once again got down well to keep the ball out.  Im Chan-ul was brought on shortly thereafter to inject some pace down the right.  Jeju would have to make a second substitution just after the hour mark, as Kim Jae-bong had to leave the pitch with his leg wrapped.  Early indications are that he sustained a hamstring injury but the severity is yet unknown.  He was replaced by former Bucheon defender Lim Dong-hyuk, who played over one hundred matches for the club and was among the league's best defenders in each of the past two seasons.

Lim Dong-hyuk in action against his former team. Bucheon FC 1995 vs Jeju United 05.26.20
Lim Dong-hyuk played over one hundred matches for Bucheon FC 1995 before coming to Jeju United in the winter transfer window. 

A final roll of the dice would see Ahn Hyun-beom enter the fray with eleven minutes remaining after Park Won-jae looked to be shaken up in a collision and had to come off.  He looked to have some difficulty breathing, suggesting the possibility that he sustained a chest contusion and will have to be monitored day to day, but may not be available for the weekend.

There would be three minutes added for stoppages at the end of the match, and the islanders continued to press forward in search of a goal.  The ball eventually came to Kim Young-wook out on the right flank, and he sent a measured cross into the area where Joo Min-kyu was able to rise above his marker and head the ball into the back of the net.  The play would go to a review for offside, but upon checking the replay, the goal was deemed good, and Jeju not only secured their first win and three pointer of the season, but also now have staked their advantage in the new rivalry.

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A First Win For Nam Ki-il as Islanders' Manager

Speaking at a press conference, Nam Ki-il summed up the experience of returning to Bucheon, where he spent a good portion of his career as a player.

"I had mixed feelings coming to the stadium," he said after the match.

"Bucheon is a place that made me think a lot about becoming a professional player.  I have a lot of memories here.  We will have to play them again in the future, but those memories will always be in my heart, and Jeju will continue striving to be a team moving forward like Bucheon," he added.

Bucheon manager Song Sun-ho offered his impressions after the final whistle as well.

"There were big expectations ahead of the match, so I must apologize to the fans for the result.  I feel responsible for not changing strategy when it was needed.  The players executed the game plan, but our physical fitness fell off a bit in the second half," he concluded.

Up Next

Jeju will next play on Sunday afternoon when they travel to the Wa Stadium to face Ansan Greeners, who have lost three in a row, while Bucheon will face a stiff road test when they meet high-flying Suwon FC.

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