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An Byong-jun fires Busan to victory over Gimcheon

An Byong-jun scored his first goals for Busan as they came from behind to beat Gimcheon Sangmu at Gudeok Stadium on Sunday afternoon. While Busan show signs of improvement, Gimcheon continue to underwhelm in the K League 2.  


Busan IPark 2-1 Gimcheon Sangmu FC

Key Moments

27’ – Save – Gimcheon midfielder Lee Jeong-bin lets fly from the edge of the penalty area, but Busan keeper Choi Pil-su keeps the drive out with a flying save. 

49’ – GIMCHEON GOAL – Lee Dong-su escapes down the left wing and pulls the ball back for Heo Yong-jun. The forward unleashes a fierce drive into the top corner that Choi Pil-su can only get fingertips to. 

51’ – BUSAN GOAL – Park Jeong-in turns on the edge of the penalty area and his low shot is blocked by Lee Chang-geun, but An Byong-jun is waiting to pounce on the follow up. 

55’ – BUSAN GOAL – Park Jeong-in plays the ball into An Byong-jun with his back to goal 25 yards out. An swivels on the spot and unleashes a fierce low shot into the bottom corner. 

71’ – Save – Heo Yong-jun arrives at the back post to meet a corner. He shoots into the ground and the bounce looks set to take it into the far corner, but Choi Pil-su stretches to tip it over the bar. 

74’ – Disallowed goal – Domagoj Drozdek swings in a free kick from the left for Busan, and Valentinos Sielis rises to head home. The goal is chalked off, as offside An Byong-jun is adjudged to have flicked the ball on. 

80’ – Chance – Lee Chang-geun spills a 25-yard drive from Kim Jin-gyu, but Park Jeong-in can only hit the bar with the follow-up from 6 yards.


A Game of Two Halves for Busan

In last week’s defeat to Chungnam Asan, Busan looked sluggish and devoid of ideas. In the first half against Gimcheon they hardly looked any better. Peres was more conservative with his set-up this weekend, with full backs and central midfielders sitting deeper to deal with the threat of Gimcheon’s marauding wing backs Sim Sang-min and Lee Sang-gi. 

Busan keeper Choi Pil-su made some vital contributions on his return to the side.

The strategy worked to an extent, as Gimcheon were restricted to long range drives in the first half that Choi Pil-su was equal to. Busan offered next to nothing going forward, however. With Kim Jeong-hyun and Kim Jin-gyu overrun by Gimcheon’s midfield trio, Busan’s attacks were often quashed before they began. 

It was a different story in the second half, though. Busan looked energized and determined, pressing higher and faster while looking more assured and confident on the ball. The link-up play between forwards and wingers was more in line with the style of football Peres promised fans after his appointment this winter, and the resolve of the players to come from behind to win speaks volumes about the potential in this team.

An Byong-jun and Park Jeong-in Shine

Park Jeong-in has been one of Busan’s shining lights in the season’s opening weeks, the youngster scoring on his second appearance and looking lively in each of his showings. Back in the lineup after coming off the bench last week, Park was again a livewire. Finding space between Gimcheon’s midfield and defence, he was directly involved in both Busan goals and should have added one of his own late on. 

Park’s link-up play with An Byong-jun was one of the highlights of this Busan performance. The elusive second striker is a perfect foil for the more traditional centre forward An, and Peres must surely stick with this duo going forward. 

Last year’s K League 2 MVP, An hasn’t endured the best start to his Busan career, arguably through no fault of his own. Often looking frustrated with his teammates in the opening games, An looked visibly unshackled after he pounced to score his first Busan goal. His second, a stunning left-footed drive after turning on a sixpence, was the work of a first class forward. 

After being thrashed twice in the first three games, Busan clearly have work to do. The way An and Park combined on Sunday, however, along with the impressive contributions of Drozdek down the left, gives hope that Busan will win games this year.


Gimcheon Continue to Stutter

Heo Yong-jun (8) was Gimcheon's star player on the day.

Favourites for the K League 2 title before the season kicked off, Gimcheon Sangmu have rarely looked like champions elect in their games so far this year. Against Busan they were solid but unremarkable, and no team in the division will fear the military team based on their performance on Sunday. 

Without key players Kwon Kyung-won, Park Yong-woo, and Moon Seon-min, the Gimcheon lineup looks suddenly bereft of star quality. Their greatest outlet against Busan was left wing back Sim Sang-min, whose dangerous forays forward were a constant threat in the first half in particular. Fellow full back Lee Sang-gi had a similar impact down the right in the second half, but Gimcheon were sorely lacking in the middle of the park. 

The midfield trio of Lee Jeong-bin, Jung Won-jin, and Lee Dong-su did a valiant job of subduing Kim Jin-gyu and Kim Jeong-hyun in the first half, but all three were limited to long range efforts as Busan defended efficiently and cut off passing options to the front two. 

Heo Yong-jun was a real menace up top - finally showing hints of the form that earned him an international call-up back in 2017 - but the team lacked guile and a cutting edge in the final third. Kim Tae-wan will be concerned that striker Oh Se-hun is still yet to truly shine in a Sangmu shirt, and the coach will be eager to unleash his new batch of recruits into this pedestrian side as soon as possible. With the likes of Cho Gue-sung and Jung Seung-hyun still going through basic military training, however, it may be a few weeks until this Gimcheon side starts to shine.

Busan Player Ratings

GK – Choi Pil-su – 7 – Two vital flying saves to deny Lee Jeong-bin and Heo Yong-jun. Not convincing in the air, but did the job. 

RB – Choi Jun – 6 – Not given much chance to get forward, but a much improved performance from last week. 

CB – Kim Seung-woo – 6 – An assured debut for the on-loan Jeju defender. Wasn’t asked many questions, but dealt with what came his way. Booked. 

CB – Valentinos – 6 – Looked out of sorts in the first half, but solid in the second and unlucky to have his goal chalked off. 

LB – Park Min-gyu – 6 – Mostly restricted to defensive duties, which he carried out well. 

CDM – Kim Jeong-hyun – 6 – Looked rusty early on but grew into the game, busy in front of the defence. 

CM – Kim Jin-gyu – 6 – Targeted by Gimcheon midfielders in the first half, struggled to influence the game. Much improved after the break. 

RW – Jung Hoon-sung – 5 – Poor in the first half, but made a vital contribution to the first goal. Subbed off at 52 mins. 

CAM – Park Jeong-in – 7 – A real spark, involved in both goals. Should have scored. 

LW – Domagoj Drozdek – 6 – Very quiet first half, some good contributions after the break. 

CF – AN BYONG-JUN – 8 – First goal was a poacher’s special, the second was top drawer. Match winner. 

Lee Tae-min – 6 – Looked confident and showed some nice flashes. 17 year-old not looking out of his depth. (On for Jung Hoon-sung, 52’) 

Lee Sang-jun – N/A – Fresh legs in the final minutes. (On for Drozdek, 87’) 

Park Ho-young – N/A – Helped see out the final moments. (On for Park Jeong-in, 94’)

Gimcheon Sangmu Lineup:
(5-3-2): Lee Chang-geun; Lee Sang-gi, Woo Joo-seong, Go Myeong-seok, Lee Myung-jae, Sim Sang-min; Jung Won-jin, Lee Dong-su (Kim Bo-sub 73'), Lee Jeong-bin (Moon Chang-jin 91'); Heo Yong-jun, Oh Hyeon-gyu (Oh Se-hun 46')


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