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Seoul Means Goals: Seoul E-Land Vs. Chungnam Asan

It was a welcoming return to K League 2 football last weekend for the league leaders Seoul E-Land. They remained top of the tree after an emphatic 4-0 win over Bucheon 1995 in Leoul Park last Sunday. Attention now turns to old foes Chungnam Asan. A side that has impressed and even surprised a few this season in the K League.
Seoul will look to continue charging up the table and try to establish a gap between the rest of the contenders in the pack. Asan will look to continue to be Seoul's bogey team as the capital have won only once against Asan in the last twelve games. Michael Redmond previews this one. 

Super Scoring Seoul E-Land 

I must admit, I have had to dig out the history books this weekend and do a bit of research due to Seoul's great form. I am normally very good at pulling out random facts and figures about the team in recent memory. However, Seoul have never started a season like they have this year.  

Seoul E-Land celebrate putting five goals past Suwon FC back in 2015.

Prior to their 4-0 win over Gimcheon Sangmu back in March, their highest win in recent memory was back in 2019 against FC Anyang (4-1). To go even further back, we can look at when they demolished Chungju Hummel 4-0 in their inaugural season in 2015. This was also the season when they put five past Suwon FC away from home with Suwon scoring a consolation goal (5-1). Seoul fell at the first hurdle that season in the playoffs when they drew 3-3 with that same Suwon side. As Seoul were the away side, they bowed out of the running for promotion. A lot of things have changed in the capital since then.  

For fans of Seoul, they are still getting used to seeing such a lethal strike force in the side. The great thing about Seoul is that they also have a depth to their attack. Leandro and Barbio are linking up brilliantly together. Benegas is cool, calm, and collected on the ball. There is also Ko Jae-hyeon who has scored two in two games now (including FA Cup). Kim Jung-hwan comes off the bench and scored goals for fun for the Leopards. The boss, Chung Jung-yong really has to take credit for the set up of the side so far this year. Seoul fans will just hope it continues for as long as possible.  
It has already been a memorable season for Seoul E-Land this year in the 2021 K League 2.
Seoul have scored 12 goals in the league this season and 17 goals in six games if you wish to include their 5-0 win over Songwol in the cup. Every player plays a fantastic part in the team which moves the side forward. Kim Sun-min fights for every single ball in the middle of the park. Jang Yun-ho passes long and short balls with ease. We can also say that the partnership of Lee Sang-min and Lee In-jae is creating a brick wall like defence. Apologies if I sound very passionate about Seoul this week. I thought that was all behind me last year when they did better than anyone expected. However, they have managed to kick it into an even higher gear than in the 2020 K League 2 season. More fans of the K League are looking and taking note of this team. There is a buzz in the stadium and on social media about the Leopards. We are just hoping there is more to come.   

Different Name, Same Old Foes...

Chungnam Asan, formally known as Asan Mugunghwa, formally known as Ansan Police Fc, have been nothing short of a thorn in Seoul's side. A side that has seen many successes and failures. The team has had a rollercoaster over the last few years. They won the K League 2 back in 2016 and was denied promotion due to moving from Ansan to Asan for the next season (go back and look at the first sentence of this paragraph, it wasn't a typo). They were then 2018 K League 2 champions, yet were denied promotion again due to the team slowly transitioning into a citizen club. 

The tables have turned in recent years as it is Asan who are now at the bottom, looking at E-Land's success. This does not stop the Owls from claiming victory when the two sides meet though. In 2020, Asan won two out of the three games against the capital. To add insult to injury, they were both at Leoul Park.  

This season has seen Asan come out of the traps quicker than some expected. Wins against Busan and Gyeongnam have defiantly given them some confidence and they will go to the capital on Saturday thinking they can get something out of this game. 


A Long Way to go

This Seoul E-Land side have had an amazing start to the campaign. some may remember Gwangju's triumph from the K League 2 back in 2019 when they cake walked the league. Their first loss came in round 20 of that year's competition. I am in no way near suggesting the Seoul are going to recreate that. However, Seoul have scored one more than that Gwangju side, 12 goals against 11. 

Teams will start to look at Seoul as the big boys to beat in the league. A lot more preparation and importance will go into playing them, and they will find out that they will find games more challenging as the league rolls on. Chung Jung-yong and his men have to show determination and character if they are to succeed this year. It looks as if they may already have that by the way they have conducted themselves on the pitch this season. Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors are the only other team that are also undefeated in the two divisions. They also sit at the summit of their respective league. 
Barbio has had a good start at his new club Seoul E-Land.
 A loss will come, it is inevitable. However, it is how they bounce back from a loss that will show the fibre and passion in the team. Over the last five years, the sweet spot of the number of losses for the first-place side in the K League 2 has fallen between three and thirteen. Now, don't get me wrong. Seoul could go all season without a loss and still finish out of contention. They will also need to focus on preventing draws as well as defeats. They drew with Jeonnam and with Gyeongnam which are respectable results considering their intention for promotion. Seoul will look to continually improve though and they will want them draws to turn into wins when they play these teams once again. 

Owls Rising

Chungnam Asan are coming across as a bit of a surprise in the K League 2 this season. Having only conceded three goals so far in the league. Asan will look at Seoul as a challenge, but a challenge they can accomplish. Asan are coming across as giant killers in the K League this season. A draw against Jeonnam, a 4-0 battering of Busan, and a 2-1 win over Gyeongnam. It does show some shades of Seoul last season, however, as they can not beat the teams around them in the league table. For example, they fell to Ansan Greeners and Bucheon.

Chungnam Asan have taken a few fans by surprise this season with their performances.

Asan normally plays in a 4-3-3, but we have seen in some games it start out or turn into a 4-1-4-1 with Yoo Jun-su as the CDM. You would suspect that Asan might be more defensive with the game being in Leoul park and with how many goals Seoul have already scored this season. Chungnam have kept the same back four apart from round two this season in the K League. This is a partnership of Han Yong-su and Choi Kym-baek as centre backs. Lee sun-beam is normal left-back and Park se-jin as right back.

Similar name Park Se-jik normally plays in the midfield and has been the captain of the side for the previous two games. Lee Sang-min (Asan) is still unavailable due to his red card against Ansan in round four. Asan have five different scorers in their side. They are a side that doesn’t rely on one player to score their goals. Ryohei is their man up top and has two goals and an assist to his name. It does appear now that he will no longer be an Asan player and will not feature for the side in the future. 


Leoul Park Awaits...

This is a big week for Seoul E-Land as a club. After their game against Chungnam Asan, they will have their first-ever Seoul Derby against FC Seoul. It is then an away trip to fellow title contenders Daejeon Citizen. This week could really defy Seoul as a team. 
For Asan, this could really be the feather in the cap that fans would want. A win against a rampant Seoul E-Land would be a highlight of the season for a lot of teams now, and Asan are a team that have done a lot of this in the past. This Saturday could bring an entertaining tie in for both who are involved. As a fan watching this Seoul side over the last four years I can't help but feel pessimistic whenever games come around. I have seen this side fail so much in the past that I still need to pinch myself when I see Seoul top of the table. However, this 2021 Seoul E-Land side and the manager Chung Jung-yong are slowly making me believe in this team. They make me believe that they can win week in and week out, and they can still be top of the K League 2 come November.   

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