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scouting

Gwangju overcome spirited Incheon in 2-1 win

Gwangju overcome spirited Incheon in 2-1 win

Gwangju FC claimed a third straight win in K League 1 thanks to Felipe's first-half header and Kim Jeong-hwan's strike against Incheon United. Gordan Bunoza and Rashid Mahazi returning from the bench were not enough to inspire the Blues who stay bottom.

What Happened?

Gwangju started on the front foot with Incheon United's Kim Yeon-soo guilty of presenting Felipe with the ball on more than one occasion. The striker failed to capitalise on the one-on-one opportunity gifted to him just 10 minutes into the game, before setting up fellow Brazilian Willyan who saw his shot blocked. Felipe eventually gave the Yellows the lead on the half hour heading Lee Eu-ddeum's corner past keeper Jeong San. Incheon weren't without chances of their own with Stefan Mugosa slicing wide from 20 yards.

Lim Wan-seop's Incheon looked much brighter in the second half with Kim Sung-ju and Kim Jeong-ho firing efforts just wide. Rashid Mahazi made his first appearance in six weeks replacing Kim Joon-beom as the match continued in an end-to-end fashion. The basement boys were denied a penalty as Lee Jin-hyung appeared to push Jung Dong-yoon in the box. With Incheon pressing for an equaliser, Kim Jeong-hwan latched onto Kim Ju-gong's through ball to double Gwangju's lead. However, it still remained an uncomfortable one with Mahazi seeing a goal disallowed for offside and the visitors continue to press forward. Stefan Mugosa made things interesting late on tucking home his penalty in the 94th minute. However, it came as too little too late.

Settling into K League 1 life

Gwangju have played a lot of football in the past couple of weeks but still looked fresh enough to overcome Incheon. They did fade in the second half and invited a lot of pressure that on another day could have seen them surrender the three points. 

A midfield three provides sufficient cover for Park Jin-seop's preferred back four, although with only four recognised central midfielders at the club it does mean fatigue is likely. A worry when you face a third game in seven days against Jeonbuk Hyundai later this week.


Sloppy first half from Incheon

Lim Wan-seop's side looked like a team devoid of confidence having not tasted victory since November. Tight at the back in the early rounds of the season, Incheon's back line once again looked suspect tonight after conceding seven in their previous three games. Particularly in the first half, 12th-placed Incheon gave the ball away without any Gwangju pressure and presented Felipe a chance he really should have taken. 

Rashid Mahazi returned to the Incheon squad tonight after an injury lay-off of over a month. Fantastic in marking Daegu's star player Cesinha on the opening day, perhaps the Australian's return could encourage a tighter ship once more. Another substitute who tasted playing time was Gordan Bunoza, himself coming back from a lengthy injury and offering more hope for Incheon fans. Incheon's second half performance was some of the best football they have played this season, but at this stage they need points on the board.

Gwangju's biggest test

The Yellows make the short journey to Jeonju on Sunday to take on Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai in their own back yard. Retaining top of the league on Tuesday by virtue of a stoppage time winner in Pohang, Jeonbuk have looked susceptible at times this season and are by no means unbeatable. Gwangju's strength on the wings could prove pivotal, as was seen in Pohang's headed goal in midweek. Should Felipe find himself in a similar position, you would back him to make it four games scored in a row.

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