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Goodbye Leoul Park: Seoul E-Land Vs. Gyeongnam FC

Seoul E-Land are down to their final five games of the 2021 K League 2 season. With the playoffs nothing but a distant memory, the Leopards will play their last home game this Saturday when they come up against Gyeongnam FC. 

This will not only be the last game at home this season, it will be the last game in Leoul Park for at least two to three years for the Capital club. Seoul will want to close the doors of the Olympic Stadium in style. However, a Gyeongnam side who are still looking to clinch a playoff spot stand in their way. Michael Redmond previews this one.  

Match Details 

Match: Seoul E-Land Vs Gyeongnam FC
Date: Saturday, October 2nd, 2021
Kick-Off: 4pm
Venue: Leoul Park, (Seoul Olympic Stadium)

Where It All Began... 

Kick-off in the first every game of Seoul E-Land, March 29th, 2015

It was on Saturday, March 29th, 2015 where the journey of Seoul E-Land began. They played their first-ever game as a K League team in the Seoul Olympic Stadium (Leoul Park). They played against FC Anyang that day in front of a packed out crowd. 
Jamsil Leoul Park has been home for the Leopard for seven seasons, bar the 2019 season where the majority of games were played in Cheonan. It will be a sombre affair for fans on Saturday, as due to the current restrictions, there will be no fans present to see the stadium one last time.  

The move is due to the rebuild of the Seoul Olympic stadium, it is a short sacrifice for Seoul in the grand scheme of things. A few seasons away from their beloved home will only bring the opportunity to play in a new, modern, and stylish Leoul Park, once the building has been completed. 

Mokdong Leoul Park Calling 

Fortunately for fans, Seoul was able to acquire a stadium in the city this time around. Back in 2019, Seoul fans faced a two-hour bus trip to watch their team play when they played in the Cheonan Stadium. This time they will make the journey across town to Mokdong Stadium. The ground will be renamed Mokdong Leoul Park for when the side play there. 

Going from East Seoul to West Seoul will only have a 45-minute Subway ride between the two stadiums. It is not ideal, but it is more than a suitable temporary stadium for the Leopards. Their move to Mokdong will also mean that they are more or less on FC Seoul's turf, as they play only a few minutes away in the Seoul World Cup Stadium. 

Seoul E-Land will hope to wrap the 2021 season up and prepare for life on the road once again the following year. Surely they will have in the back of their minds, the aspect of playing K League 1 football when they finally make their return to a new and improved Jamsil Leoul Park in a few years time. 

Busan Bursting Bubbles

Seoul E-Land and Busan IPark battled twice in the space of five days in the 2021 K League 2. 
The last round saw Seoul E-Land in their penultimate game in the Olympic Stadium. They welcomed a Busan IPark side who they played only five days prior away from home. It was an open affair with both sides really dragging the ball forward and having chances. Both teams had spells and Seoul thought they had the ball over the line as halftime approached. VAR intervened to indicate that the ball did not cross the line. 

The Second half brought a more entertaining half as goals were scored. Busan drew first blood as a strike from Kim Jin-gyu bounced off the post and into the back of the Leopard's net. Seou equalized only eight minutes later as a wonderful strike from Yu Jeong-wan from outside of the box levelled the score. 

Seoul went from strength to strength and it genuinely looked as if Seoul could steal it. However, Ahn Byeong-jun had other ideas and put Busan ahead once again. The striker had scored against every team in the league this season, bar Seoul E-Land prior to the game. His strike to give Busan three points completed the set. As the full-time whistle blew, Seoul looked frustrated and the misery continues for the side. They stay in 9th place and only one point ahead of Bucheon 1995 in 10th  

Full Time: Seoul E-Land 1-2 Busan IPark 

Gyeongnam's Late Push     

Seoul welcomes a Gyeongnam side who are still in the running for a last gasp push for the top four. The side are seven points behind. Some may say it's a little too late, however, this is the K League 2, stranger things have happened. Seoul have been nothing short of a bogey team for Gyeongnam over the last two years. Seoul are actually undefeated against Gyeongnam since their return to the second division in 2020. This includes two wins and four draws. 

The last game between Seoul E-Land and Gyeongnam ended in a 3-3 draw. 
It is also important to note that no side has claimed three points off one another this season, with the previous last three games ending in draws. It may be a little too late for Gyeongnam and they may need to go back to the drawing board for 2022. Regardless of positional standings, it is always an interesting encounter when these two meet. 


Until We Meet Again...

It will be an emotional occasion on Saturday when Seoul make their walk onto the Leoul Park pitch one last time. It has not been the season many fans were hoping for and they may have thought back in April that this scheduled game may not have been their last at home this season. 

However, fate took a different route for the Leopards and they will now try to end their time in Leoul Park on a high.  Gyeongnam will not be in such a sentimental mood and they will want to finally get a win against the capital side. The last game between the two ended in three goals apiece, and I would not be surprised if we saw a similar scoreline on Saturday. 

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