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Bucheon 1995 FC Vs Seoul E-Land - Can Seoul Continue their March to Glory?

Two rounds are already behind us in the 2024 K League 2 and it is smiles all around in the capital. Seoul E-Land have managed to claim all six points so far this year against a strong Busan IPark side, and a determined Suwon Samsung Bluewings outfit. The sun is shining at the moment in Leoul Park, and there is a welcoming breeze that dances through the air, as spring blooms on the peninsula. The question now is, how long can Seoul keep the promotion flower blooming and better yet, keep the fans' dream alive?

This week sees the Leopards make the 8km journey out into Gyeonggi-do to face off against Bucheon 1995 FC. A side who are still in the traps at the moment and are not quite off to the races. Two teams who have a long history with one another in both the K League and Korean Cup (FA Cup) and Saturday will add another chapter to that storybook. Michael Redmond looks at these two teams who are already on opposite sides of the K League 2 table.

Match Details 

Match: Bucheon 1995 Vs Seoul E-Land
Date: Saturday, 16th March 2024
Time: 4:30PM Seoul, 2PM Bangkok, 7AM Manchester 
Venue: Bucheon Stadium, Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do, Korea 

A Seeing Red Saturday and A Super Match Sunday

Bucheon 1995 looked to kick off their 2024 K League 2 season in the second round of fixtures. Their opening game of the season saw the Reds humbled 3-1 by Cheonan City. The same Cheonan who managed only five wins last year and sat at the bottom of the table. This was not what was on the cards for the side, so they had to really come into life as they made the trip to face off against Chungnam Asan last weekend.

The game started with an odd sight as it was Chungnam Asan who were playing in the color red, not Bucheon 1995. Bucheon themselves wore their white away uniform. In what was a rather dull first half, most of the fireworks came in the second 45 minutes. Bucheon won a penalty early in the second half, as Asan player Park Byeong-hyun handled the ball when attempting to make a clearance. Lupeta stepped up to take the kick but the initial penalty was saved. However, Asan keeper Shin Song-hoon was unable to keep hold of it and Lupeta tapped in the rebound. Bucheon found themselves ahead for the first time this year.

It took Asan nine minutes to respond as Juninho Rocha picked up the ball from the halfway line. Bucheon's defence then decided to depart like the Red Sea and Rocha kept on running. The strike from long distance bounced off the post and into the net, another round and another fine goal seen in the K League. For Bucheon however, questions have to be asked of their defending.

The goal must have frustrated Bucheon as when they were approaching the last ten minutes of the game, Choi Byeong-chan was shown a straight red for an elbow on Anderson. See below for your opinions on this one...

In what was a feisty affair, 23 fouls were committed in this game, seventeen for Asan against six for Bucheon. Neither team could find the winner in the end, but both teams now finally have some points on the board.

Full Time: Chungnam Asan 1-1 Bucheon 1995

Seoul were coming into their first home game of the season in a celebratory mood. A 3-0 win over Busan in the round prior was a perfect start for the capital club in their quest for glory. However, smiles may have dropped as they walked out for the kick-off against Suwon Samsung Bluewings. The Leopards were greeted by a sold-out away section. It is common knowledge now that Suwon always travel well and the K League 2 will see a huge bump in attendance numbers due to this.

With that in mind, Seoul had to do their talking on the pitch. Seoul and Suwon were at a stalemate in the first half of the match. No team could get any real chance off and put their side ahead. Suwon might have been shocked by the performance of Seoul as this was the first meeting of the two sides. Seoul however showed no fear against Suwon and threw everything against them.

The major events unfolded in the second half of the game as in the 52nd minute Bruno Silva tapped the ball in from close range. Some quick thinking by American forward Ikoba passed the ball to Bruno during a scramble in the Suwon penalty box. The fans in the home end erupted as they once again saw their team taking down an old K League 1 giant.

Festivities were placed on hold for the Leopards however, as in the 77th minute, disaster struck. The old Seoul E-Land crept in and a calamity goal occurred. A lack of communication between defender Kim Oh-kyu and Yoon Bo-sang saw Jeon Jin-woo poach the ball from the pair and put it in the back of the net.

Seoul however did not drop their heads and continued to fight for the ball. There were claims for a penalty by Suwon in the dying minutes of the game, Kim Oh-kyu again was the culprit. However, this time it was very apparent that it was ball to hand as a close-range shot bounced straight to him.

As the game drew to a close, Seoul had one last chance. The ball kept getting pushed up the pitch, the ball kept going and going and every time the ball bounced, a Seoul player managed to take control of it. That was until Cho Dong-jae decided to take a crack at goal with a sweet volley. The ball blasted into the back of the net and Mokdong was rocking. Seoul won the first-ever K League 2 Super Match in a memorable fashion.

This continues Seoul's perfect start to their quest for glory. Psychologically, it also comes across well as it shows that Seoul now has a team that fights to the death and will never give up. Also, it will drop the heads of the Suwon players who will need to reassess their time in the K League 2, as it is not as easy as they were led to believe.

Full Time: Seoul E-Land 2-1 Suwon Samsung Bluewings


Bucheon 1995 Vs Seoul E-Land, A Mixed Affair

Two teams who have played one another 35 times now in both the K League and the Korean Cup, the two staples of the K League 2 are no strangers to one another. It is Seoul E-Land who have a slight advantage against Bucheon, winning 18 of the 35 encounters, against Bucheon's 10. Seven of those games were draws. With that being said, it is Bucheon who have had the most success over the last couple of years. Bucheon have made the playoffs three times over the last ten campaigns, this is against Seoul E-Land's one.

However, Seoul have a 100% record against Bucheon in the Korean Cup with two wins out of two. This includes a 6-0 win last season, Seoul E-Land's highest win margin in their history. Last season saw one Bucheon win against Seoul's two wins.

Last season, Seoul won the first two games against Bucheon. It was 1-0 away from home and 2-0 in Mokdong, before a 1-0 loss against the Reds in Bucheon Stadium. In what is a fixture where both sets of fans have a passion and enjoyment of football. These two pillars of K League 2 football almost have a slight respect for one another. They both find themselves having great seasons where they almost reach glory, followed by a season where they are fighting against receiving the wooden spoon. Bucheon and Seoul are rather similar outfits in that context.

Rotation, Rotation, Rotation

It is no secret Kim Do-kyun is a big fan of the five-substitute rule as we have seen the Seoul E-Land boss make all five changes in both games this year. Some may say he has worked it well as in both games, Seoul has scored late goals which were due to a tired defence against a still-hungry Seoul E-Land side.

Hopefully, the gaffer can mix it up a little bit before other teams start to notice Seoul's style of moving their players around. There was also a bumpy moment in the game against Suwon as Bruno Silva made the gesture to be subbed off in the 75th minute, only for all five subs to have been already used. Luckily for the Leopards, Bruno shaked his knock off and continued the rest of the game.

Some substitutions were necessary however as Ikoba is still finding his fitness and is playing up to his full potential. With that being said, a note has to be made of his presence on defending corner kicks. His size and stature struck fear into the Suwon players on the weekend and it looks as if Seoul have another leader on their hands. That and his quick thinking to pass the ball to Bruno caused Seoul to go one-up against the Bluewings.

Seoul have some strength in the squad this year who look to play for the badge. This is what I made a point in the pre-season preview. Seoul needed a team who would fight for one another and by the looks of the game on the weekend, they might just have that.

Can They Keep It Going?

Let's go back to 2021, it was only three years ago. Seoul E-Land went their first five games of the season undefeated and were sitting at the top of the mountain. I go on record to say that they will at least make the playoffs that season due to the style and structure of football they played. Seoul ended that season joint last and went over ten games without a goal, never mind a win.

If Seoul can continue this good run that they have started in the K League 2 this year, then hopefully they will not let it go to their head and they can remain focused. Seoul finally have another good team again and fans will hope that they do not squander another chance at promotion. 

Bucheon will be a tough ask on the weekend, don't let their slow start fool you. When Bucheon turns up, they can beat anyone. Let's just hope the celebrations for their win against Suwon were put on ice on Monday morning in Leoul Park, and preparations were underway for this tie between two cornerstones of the K League 2.

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