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Recap: Jeonbuk edge past stubborn Gwangju


Jeonbuk Hyundai returned to the top K League 1 courtesy of a 1-0 win against Gwangju. In an unconvincing performance, Jose Morais' side collected all three points thanks to Han Kyo-won's late strike from close range.

What Happened?

Jeonbuk enjoyed the lion's share of possession in the first half but only mustered one effort of real note before the break. On the half hour Son Jun-ho rattled the cross bar from 30 yards with Gwangju keeper Lee Jin-hyung taking lots of credit for a fine finger-tip save. The Yellows created some chances themselves, most notably Willyan's 34th-minute strike, which crept past Song Beom-keun's left hand post.

Gwangju started the second half confidently and Felipe missed a gilt-edged opportunity to give his side the lead. Running past Choi Bo-kyung onto Willyan's through ball, he rounded the keeper but fired over when faced with an open goal. Jose Morais introduced Lars Veldwijk from the bench as Gwangju legs began to tire and the winter signing made an impact up top as substitute Lee Ju-yong put the ball back across goal for Han Kyo-won to grab the winner from close range. 

Gwangju holding their own

After taking a knock against Busan IPark and being unavailable in midweek, Eom Won-sang returned on the wing. Eom showed his effectiveness early on out wide, skipping past Kim Jin-su to find Felipe on the edge of the box. Lee Min-gi saw action for only the second time this season with Choi Jun-hyeok absent from the squad altogether. He slotted into the midfield well being chosen as a more defensively-minded option than Lim Min-hyeok who played well against Incheon United on Wednesday. In a similar battling performance to the one displayed against Ulsan Hyundai a few weeks ago at the start of their unbeaten run, Gwangju should take heart from another decent performance against a side packed with quality and internationals. With Pohang to come in next week's Friday night game, they will be glad of a slightly longer rest after three games in seven days.


Striking dilemmas for Jeonbuk

With Lee Dong-gook completing a training course and unavailable, Jose Morais' opted to play Cho Kyu-sung up top ahead of Lars Veldwijk. While allowed Takahiro Kunimoto to play in a more natural position on the left, Cho failed to hold much of a presence in the central striking role and Jeonbuk appeared more potent when Veldwijk came off the bench. A more physical option, the South African was involved in the build up to the goal and set up a couple of other chances. Jeonbuk will be pleased to see the return of 41-year-old Lee Dong-gook, who even at his veteran age appears to have the most natural eye for goal and movement in Jeonbuk's striking department.

Wasted set pieces

Gwangju's upturn in form of late has coincided with a lot of joy from free kicks and corners, in particular the stellar left-footed deliveries of Lee Eu-ddeum. However, neither he nor Yeo Reum could beat the first man from set pieces this evening. From a Jeonbuk perspective, Son Jun-ho's corners have also been a highlight of the opening rounds, whipping the ball in at pace as was seen with Lee Dong-gook's winner against Suwon Bluewings on the opening day. However, today he didn't get the opportunity to showcase that talent.

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