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Busan IPark: June Review


It was goals galore for Busan this month – at both ends of the pitch. An Byong-jun continued his relentless goalscoring spree, and there was late drama all round as Ricardo Peres tried to outscore every team in the Royals’ way. Tomas Marcantonio takes a look over Busan’s eventful month.


Results

Busan IPark 2-3 Gyeongnam FC
Ansan Greeners 2-3 Busan IPark 
Busan IPark 4-5 FC Anyang 
Seoul E-Land 0-1 Busan IPark
 

Match of the Month

Busan IPark 4-5 FC Anyang 

Defensive horror-shows abound in this thriller at Gudeok Stadium. Nilson Junior came back to haunt his old club – yet again – while Kim Kyung-joong was also excellent as Anyang edged Busan on their own turf.



Magic Moment

A 98th minute winner 

It was a month of thrills, but from a Busan perspective no moments were sweeter than An Byong-jun’s stunning 98th minute winner over Ansan Greeners. Ansan thought they had earned a point with Duerte’s 97th minute penalty, but An Byong-jun had a hat-trick to complete…


Moment to Forget

Acosty gets the last word

Busan have slipped into a bad habit of conceding stoppage-time goals. None were more heart-breaking than Maxwell Acosty’s 93rd minute winner in the 4-5 loss to Anyang. This goal just about summed up Busan’s defensive troubles this season.
 

Player of the Month


Gold – An Byong-jun
– 4 games, 5 goals – The North Korean striker is unstoppable at the moment, his hat-trick at Ansan a perfect showcase for his importance to this team. 

Silver – Choi Jun – 4 games, 2 assists – The 22 year-old right back has had a mixed start to the season defensively, but his attacking importance seems to grow by the game. He now has four assists to his name in 2021, and Peres will be quietly grateful that he was overlooked for the Olympics squad. 

Bronze – Park Jeong-in – 3 games, 2 goals – Park’s instinct to get into dangerous areas make him a vital part of the Busan attacking machine. His two goals in June took him to five for the season.

Biggest Questions for July

How will Busan cope without Kim Jin-kyu? 


Bound for the Olympics this summer, Kim Jin-kyu will leave a gaping creative hole in the Busan midfield. The 24 year-old has been outstanding so far this season – composed, intelligent, courageous – and on current form he’ll be catching the eye of top tier teams, and maybe even Paulo Bento. 

Without him, Peres will need the likes of Park Jeong-in and Lee Sang-heon to step up to the plate. Both have featured heavily out wide so far this year, but one of them will surely be asked to fill Kim’s attacking midfield role this summer. Park has shown flashes of excellence already – as well as an eye for goal – but he will need to become more involved in Busan’s build-up play. At only 20 years old, he still struggles to be consistently impactful, but he has all the ability to be Busan’s summer creative force. 

Can Peres improve the league’s worst defence? 


Ricardo Peres’ “we’re gonna score one more than you” tactics are fantastic when Busan end up on the winning side, and there’s no doubt that Busan games are great value for neutrals, but there’s no looking past the fact that Busan have the worst defensive record in the league. 

A sluggish back line is in dire need of a faster centre back. Hwang Jun-ho has largely impressed, but Park Ho-young’s lack of pace is a weakness that teams have begun to target, while Valentinos Sielis is yet to show the consistency expected of such an experienced professional. With Kang Min-soo’s Busan future in doubt, Peres may well target a centre back in this transfer window, but just as important are reinforcements in the middle. 

Park Jong-woo has been sorely missed in defensive midfield, with Lee Rae-jun and Lee Ji-seung yet to fully convince in his absence. Kim Jeong-hyun’s return from injury could be timely, the 28 year-old outstanding in a box-to-box role in the win over Seoul E-Land. Peres could also turn to Lee Chung-woong (recently returned from military service) as a stop-gap until the captain returns, but a new midfield signing is still likely to be a priority. 

In goal, meanwhile, Koo Sang-min might be the all-round keeper this team has been crying out for. Ahn Joon-soo is an excellent distributor but error prone, while shot-stopper Choi Pil-su’s kicking isn’t good enough for a system that relies heavily on the keeper’s passing accuracy. Koo returned from his military service last month, and his sound distribution combined with solid handling make him a natural choice for the No.1 spot – if Peres can get him up to speed on the system. 

Busan’s buccaneering tactics don’t lend themselves to defensive solidity, but if the Royals are to keep pace with the league leaders, defensive tweaks are a must. The team’s balance in the 1-0 win over Seoul E-Land was spot on, but that came against a team that had failed to score in their previous six matches. 

How Peres handles Busan’s porous defence over the summer months may well dictate the course of the team’s season.
 

Squad Updates

Defensive midfielder Lee Chung-woong and left back Ku Hyeon-jun both returned to the club last week after completing their military service with Siheung Citizen FC. Lee, 28, has been on Busan’s books since 2015, while Ku, 27, made his Busan debut way back in 2012. Neither has cemented regular starting spots in their years with the club, but both have proved valuable squad members in the past.

Meanwhile, 21 year-old left back Park Kyung-min has been released from the club, and forward Shin Chang-ryeol has joined K3 side Pyeongtaek Citizen FC. 

Finally, captain Park Jong-woo is back in light training as he continues to recover from an injury sustained in March.


FNR

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