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Can Seoul E-Land Finally Claim Victory Against an Adventurous FC Anyang?

Last weekend saw the 2024 K League 2 press the pause button momentarily. The second round of the Korea Cup was on the agenda and Seoul E-Land prevailed against Daejeon Korail. The win sets up another mouth-watering Seoul Derby, three years after their first encounter. 

One may have already booked flights for such a fixture which takes place in mid-April. However, attention now turns back to the K League 2 and Seoul E-Land will hope to go back to winning ways after falling to Bucheon 1995 in round three.

This week, the Leopards welcome yet another team with whom there's no love lost: FC Anyang. A side who have had their fair share of battles with Seoul over the years. Michael Redmond looks ahead at this classic K League 2 encounter.

Match Detail

Match: Seoud E-Land Vs FC Anyang
Date: Saturday, 30th March 2024
Time: 4:30PM Seoul, 2:30PM Bangkok, 7:30AM Manchester 
Venue: Leoul Park (Mokdong Stadium), Seoul, Korea


Still All to Play For

With both teams booking themselves into the next round of the Korea Cup. It will be the task of climbing up the K League 2 ladder now which will be the focus of these two sides. FC Anyang eased past Siheung Citizen 1-0 in their cup tie, where Seoul left it to the luck of penalties to advance past Daejeon Korail.

In the league, Seoul are looking to respond to their 1-0 loss to Bucheon 1995. In what looked like it may have been a stalemate draw, Bucheon found a moment of magic and picked up on an E-Land error in the 72nd minute. Ahn Jae-jun plucked the ball of Osmar to take a shot from out of the box, putting the Reds ahead.

Bucheon were able to hold on to that league and Seoul just ran out of ideas, in a game which should have really ended in a draw, the less said about this fixture, the better.

Full Time Bucheon1995 1-0 Seoul E-Land

FC Anyang will play only their third game of the K League 2 campaign this weekend, where Seoul are on their fourth. This was due to the side sitting out the fixtures on the weekend of the 9th-10th of March because the league has 13 teams. They came back in their second game and managed a 1-1 draw against League leaders, Chungbuk Cheongju. 

It was Anyang who drew first blood in this encounter as Brazilian Danrlei put the away side ahead in the 71st minute. A long ball was excellently controlled by the chest of Joo Hyun-woo, who managed to pass the ball to the striker. From there it was a simple shot from the number nine to give Anyang the league.

However, celebrations were short-lived as it took Cheongju only three minutes to respond. The camerawork for the goal alone merits an award, capturing Ku Hyun-jun's shot as it curled perfectly into the top right-hand corner of the net. A great goal which would be on any shortlist of a goal of the month award.

The two sides could not find a winner in this one and spoils were shared. These two teams are the only remaining outfits undefeated in the K League 2 now and with Anyang having a game in hand against the other sides, they look to be in the driving seat to climb the table as the weeks progress. 

Full Time: Chungbuk Cheongju 1-1 FC Anyang

Playing Catch-up

When the two sides meet in Leoul Park this Saturday, it will be the 35th time the teams have locked horns. The tale of the tape is as follows. Seoul E-Land have seven wins, FC Anyang have eighteen wins, and there has been nine draws. For some reason, Anyang always seems to have Seoul's number in this fixture. Seoul can play some of their best football against the team in purple, yet still fall to a goal or two. 

In 2023, the Leopards claimed one point out of the nine available in their meetings. It started quite well for Seoul, scoring first in their first encounter. However, Anyang equalized and the first of three games ended 1-1. The second game was a 2-1 win for Anyang, again Seoul scoring first in the tie. The final game really showed where Seoul were in the season, as they were humbled 3-0 away from home. 

Minus the dip in form against Bucheon 1995 in the last round. Seoul have played well so far this season. They will look to shake this bad form against Anyang off and really kick on with the league. A win for the Leopards in this one will restore some faith in the fans.

Rested and Ready?

It was mentioned in last week's preview for the Korea Cup, that manager Kim Do-kyun had a decision to make regarding his team selection. Does he go with a full-strength team and secure a Seoul derby in the next round? Or does he roll the dice and play youth?

The E-Land boss went with the latter and it almost came back to haunt him. Seoul's game against Daejeon went to penalties. It could have been an embarrassing loss if they were on the other end of the shootout. However, look prevailed and the Leopards booked themselves into the next round of the cup.

Although there were a few regular team names put into the game against Daejeon, all the foreign players Seoul have on the books were given the weekend off. With that being said, Seoul should have no excuse in regards to team strength when they come up against Anyang. They will hope that Osmar can shake off the error against Bucheon and continue to lead the Leopards. 

Kim Do-kyun will also hope that Bruno Silva and Ikoba can continue to work in a good partnership up front. In the Suwon game, it was an Ikoba assist to Bruno which gave the Leopards the initial lead.

He will also hope that Peter can continue to string together promising passes to give Seoul a chance to score. Peter also gives a level of leadership to this team. Seoul looks a lot more aggressive this season. There looks to be a fight in the team which has been longed for. The Seoul faithful will hope that this can continue on the weekend.

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Something has to Give

Football is well and truly back in the land of the morning calm. This weekend will see two teams who you would have expected to have more success over the last few years than they have done. Anyang missed out painfully in the Promotion/relegation game against Suwon Samsung Bluewings in 2022, and Seoul E-Land have been lingering at the bottom of the table for the past few years.

It is finally time for one of these two teams to climb out of the K League 2. The passion of the fans, the strength of the two teams, and the structure of the two sides demand that they go for glory this year. Even though we are still in the opening games of the season for 2024, this game could prove vital in determining the league table come November.

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