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Peres under Pressure after Busan are Thumped by Asan

Busan IPark were humbled by bottom side Chungnam Asan on Saturday afternoon, shipping four goals without reply. Coming only two weeks after a thrashing at home to Seoul E-Land, are doubts starting to surface about new manager Ricardo Peres?


Chungnam Asan FC 4-0 Busan IPark

Key Moments

2’ ASAN GOAL: Kim Jin-gyu gives the ball away and Domagoj Drozdek fouls Choi Kyu-baek just outside the box. Park Se-jik’s inswinging ball is headed on by Yoo Jun-soo, and Busan keeper Ahn Joon-soo gets a hand to it but can’t keep it out. 

33’ Busan chance: Lee Sang-heon plays Park Min-gyu into the penalty area. The left back pulls the ball back for Drozdek, but the winger’s shot is blocked heroically by Han Yong-su. 

43’ ASAN GOAL: Lee Seung-jae dispossesses Lee Ji-seung at the half-way line, beats Park Ho-young for pace and charges into the Busan area. He draws the goalkeeper out and pulls the ball back for Ryohei Michibuchi to score into a half-empty net. 

54’ Busan chance: Park Min-gyu’s cross from the left is headed onto the post by substitute Park Jeong-in. 

67’ Disallowed goal (Busan): Park Min-gyu crosses deep from the left and Drozdek heads in, but the goal is chalked off for a foul in the build-up by An Byong-jun. 

75’ ASAN GOAL: Michibuchi plays a beautiful ball across the box from the right wing. Ahn Joon-soo comes out but can’t get a touch, and Kim In-gyun scores in the empty net. 

85’ ASAN GOAL: Kim Chan dribbles in from the left wing and Busan defender Park Ho-young trips him as he enters the box. Michibuchi converts from the spot.


Peres Pays the Price for High Line

In their defeat to Bucheon 1995 last weekend, Chungnam Asan looked dangerous on the counter, with the speed of Park Min-seo and Lee Seung-jae the greatest threat to the Bucheon back line. 

Busan coach Ricardo Peres decided to play a high defensive line on Saturday afternoon, however, opting to play from the back through Valentinos Sielis and roaming goalkeeper Ahn Joon-soo, who was again deployed almost as a deep-lying playmaker when Busan were in possession. 

The gameplan didn’t work, however, as Asan restricted Busan’s passing options and forced them into long balls to the wings that invariably came to nothing. With Busan full backs Park Min-kyu and Choi Jun pushed high up the pitch – and with no natural defensive midfielder to cover for them – Busan were exposed time and time again on the counter. 

Busan goalkeeper Ahn Joon-soo (in yellow) was frequently tasked with starting attacks.

The screenshot above shows Ahn Joon-soo's advanced position as keeper-playmaker, with centre backs Valentinos and Park Ho-young either side. Asan block off passing options to Busan's central midfielders, Kim Jin-kyu and Lee Ji-seung, forcing Busan to look for longer passes. With the two full-backs pushed forward, one misplaced pass from Busan in this position means that the three Asan forwards are free to run on goal against two relatively slow centre backs.

Park Ho-young was especially vulnerable, his lack of pace targeted by Asan’s willing runners. With a sluggish centre back pairing, a marauding pair of full-backs, and a lack of defensive cover from midfield, Peres couldn’t have sent out a more welcoming invitation to the quick and hungry Asan front line.

A Test of Peres’ Faith in Youth

Peres has gone on record to say that he will give youth a chance this season, and he’s certainly backed that up in his team selections. Busan started with three under-22 players on Saturday, and brought another two off the bench, including 17 year-old Lee Tae-min. Despite Peres’ admirable desire to promote youth as he attempts to rebuild a club very much in need of a shake-up, his patience will surely be questioned if performances continue in this vein. 

Between the sticks, 23 year-old Ahn Joon-soo will feel he could have saved Asan’s first goal, while in front of him, Park Ho-young had a personal nightmare. Outstanding in last week’s win at Daejeon, Park was way off the pace on Saturday; his lack of speed brutally exposed for Asan’s second goal, while a clumsy and naive foul gifted Asan their fourth from the penalty spot. 

21 year-old Park Ho-young had a game to forget in defence.

In midfield, meanwhile, 22 year-old Lee Ji-seung had an equally disappointing game. The young midfielder lost possession too often, most tellingly for Asan’s breakaway second goal, before being substituted at half time. Finally, 17 year-old Lee Tae-min was introduced with half an hour to play, but it seemed a big ask for a high-school student to help influence a game when his team were 2-0 down away from home. 

All of Busan’s youngsters have had moments that show their undoubted promise, and none should be blamed for Saturday’s humbling defeat. I also believe Peres should be lauded for showing so much faith in youth. The coach may just need a wise word in the ear, however; there are times to give youth a chance, but Peres must be careful not to rest all his hopes on players who are bound to have difficult days as they learn their trade, especially as even the experienced players are still clearly struggling to adapt to a new manager and system. 

There were certainly positive signs for Busan – Drozdek and Park Min-kyu’s contributions on the wings especially – but there remains a lot of work to do. No one will begrudge Peres if he continues to promote youth, but he might first need to make sure his own gameplan is in order before throwing so many youngsters into the fray.

Busan Player Ratings

GK - Ahn Joon-soo – 5 – Might have done better for the opening goal; not helped by a poor defence.

RB – Choi Jun – 4 – Failed to make an impact going forward, and was largely absent as Asan enjoyed themselves down Busan’s right flank. 

CB – Park Ho-young – 3 – Lack of pace horribly exposed, and gave away a cheap penalty. 

CB – Valentinos Sielis – 5 – Too many loose passes, not his usual imperious self. 

LB – Park Min-gyu – 6 – Defensively absent, but impressive going forward; unlucky not to have a hat-trick of assists, racking up four key passes. 

CM – Lee Ji-seung – 4 – A disappointing first start; lost possession for Asan’s second goal. Subbed at half time. 

CM – Kim Jin-kyu – 6 – Some incisive passes, goal chalked off for offside. One of the few Busan players to emerge with real credit. 

RW – Jung Hoon-sung – 3 – Anonymous. Completed only nine passes (69%) in 63 minutes. 

CAM – Lee Sang-heon – 4 – One or two good moments, but struggled to get involved. Subbed at half time. 

LW – DOMAGOJ DROZDEK – 7 – Busan’s best player; good movement, created chances for others and unlucky to have a goal ruled out. 

CF – An Byong-jun – 5 – Didn’t have much service, but missed a couple of headers and forced a fine stop with a long-range free-kick. 

Kim Jeong-hyun – 6 – Brought some bite and composure to midfield; led the team for interceptions (seven) and % ground duels won (83.3%). 

Park Jeong-in – 6 – Lively, hit the post with a header and made some good runs. 

Lee Tae-min – 4 – Struggled to get involved; booked and lucky not to be sent off for a reckless lunging tackle.

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