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Week 8: Big Review of K League 2

It has taken eight weeks but Suwon Samsung are top of the K League 2 table. Yeom Ki-hun's ended FC Anyang's unbeaten start to the season with an efficient display on Sunday afternoon. Elsewhere, Busan won for the 4th time on the road, and Seoul E-land are dropping like a stone.


Bucheon FC 1995 1 (Nilson Junior 45+1')
Busan IPark 3 (Choi Geon-ju 22', Jefferson 50', Lee Sang-jun 77'

Bucheon Stadium
2,278

Nilson Junior scored a cracking goal in the Nilson Junior Derby.
Two clubs with contrasting Korean Cup fortunes opened the weekend in Bucheon on Saturday. The home team came from behind to eliminate K3 Mokpo and will now host Gwangju FC in the next round. Busan, on the other hand, suffered late heartbreak at the hands of Gimcheon Sangmu; a familiar feeling. Back in the league, Park Jin-sub's continued their win-loss streak; Busan have won all four away games, and lost all four home games.

The moment of the match was Nilson Junior's incredible goal against his old team. The Brazilian defender started and ended a move from inside his box. Nilson cut out a cross from the right, and clearly sensing something was on, he sprinted up field, met a cross from the left, and sliced the ball under the keeper (aided by wet conditions I'm sure) with the outside of his right boot. Nilson then celebrated the birth of his child was placing the ball under his jersey. Nice touch, sadly that was the high point for his team.



Seongnam FC 1 (Yang Si-hoo 16' )
Chungbuk Cheongju FC 2 (Paulinho 64' and 67')

Tancheon Stadium
1,415

Seongnam players celebrate Yang Si-hoo's opener.
Seongnam and Cheongju both advanced to the 4th round of the Korean Cup midweek, at the expense of K League 1 opposition. Seongnam beat Suwon FC in the 89th minute at Tancheon while Cheongju provided the shock of the day, beating Daegu FC at DGB Bank Stadium. Cheongju's win brought an end to Choi Won-kwon's tenure as Daegu boss, and set up a Seongnam vs. Cheongju tie in the next round, the only all-K League 2 match up.

The story of this match, without doubt, is all about Paulinho. With his team trailing at the break thanks to Yang Si-hoo's opener, manager Choi Yoon-kyeom sprung the Brazilian from the bench 18 minutes into the second half. He equalized inside 30 seconds, and then scored the winner three minutes later. Seongnam have two months to wait for Cheongju to return, and a chance at redemption.


FC Anyang 1 (Kim Woon 95')
Suwon Samsung 3 (Kim Ju-chan 19', Kim Hyun 42', and Fejsal Mulic 89')

Anyang Stadium
12,232

A celebration worthy of a yellow card.
An occasion and a game that matched this fixture's pre-match billing. Suwon arrived in Anyang one point behind their unbeaten hosts, but left with all three points. In the process, the Bluewings shredded Anyang's league-best defense, knowing they could have added more. A marker has been laid down and unless Busan get their act together, the destination of the title might become a mere formality.

Kim Ju-chan put Suwon ahead against the run of play but Yeom Ki-hun's team ran amok after. Kim Hyun scored before the break with Anyang on the ropes. The home side started brightly in the second half but Fejsal Mulic ended the contest in the final minute, coolly slotting home on the break and removing his shirt in celebration. Kim Woon's goal added some richly-deserved gloss in the 95th minute as Anyang looked to stage an impossible comeback.


Ansan Greeners 1 (Yang Se-yeong 55')
Gimpo FC 2 (Lee Hyeon-il 5, Luis Mina 47')

Wa~ Stadium
1,145

Luis Mina takes on the Ansan backline. 
Two sides who experienced different emotions in the Cup midweek. For the second season running, Ansan are out in the same round to Suwon Samsung. Gimpo beat Anyang to set up a clash with Jeonbuk Motors, raising hopes of another special day out at Solteo after last season's elimination of FC Seoul. But in K League 2, despite a decent start to 2024, this defeat leaves Ansan in more familiar territory; near the foot of the table.

Gimpo conceded 24 fouls in this game, more than in the entire Anyang vs. Suwon match, and collected five yellows. Maybe Ansan have shown enough improvement to this point that opposition players need to foul them every four minutes. Although, the defending for Lee Hyeon-il's opening goal was atrocious; a punt up field ends up in the net because of a missed headed clearance and a poor pass from the back. Luis Mina's goal should probably have been avoided, too. 




Gyeongnam FC 2 (Lee Min-gi 27', Lee Min-hyeok 34')
Seoul E-Land FC 1 (Ikoba 88')

Changwon Football Stadium
3,909

Manager Park Dong-hyeok celebrates with his players after the game.
Seoul E-Land's bright start to the season (6 points from games against Busan and Suwon) has stalled and they are now on a run of five league games without a win, following Wednesday's Cup elimination. Gyeongnam's form has been terrible, without a win since the opening day. The early season play-off contenders are especially vulnerable at the back, and Seoul's late consolation denied them a first clean sheet of the year.

Lee Min-hyeok's goal on the half-hour was his first in the league. It was made by Georgian striker Arabuli's insane flick with Lee knocking home. Both Gyeongnam goals came from some indecision in the E-Land back-line, perhaps as a result of Osmar's absence. Ikoba pulled one back late on, criminally left unmarked six yards out. Gyeongnam travel to Big Bird on Sunday, perhaps with renewed confidence.




Chungnam Asan 1 (Jung Ma-ho 57')
Jeonnam Dragons 1 (Valdivia 71')

Yi Sun-sin Stadium
1,957

Jung Ma-ho continues his fine debut season in K League 2.
19-year-old Jung Ma-ho scored his third goal in eight games and collected the player of the match award during Asan's draw with Jeonnam Dragons. His team will feel they left this one behind, outplaying Jeonnam only to record a fourth draw in eight games, remaining in midtable. As ever, Asan's dangerman, the Brazilian winger Juninho, was instrumental in his side's goal, barging down the right. His cross found Kim Seung-ho, who dinked the ball into the box for Jung to head home.

Valdivia's equalizer with 20 minutes remaining keeps Jeonnam within touching distance of 3rd, but this has been a bad run for the playoff hopefuls. Following the 5-1 drubbing in Suwon, the Dragons have drawn with Ansan and Asan; games they'd expect to win. Valdivia converted from the spot after Park Byeong-hyeon inadvertently handled the ball as he slid along the turf. Two points dropped for Asan.


Cheonan City FC sat out Round 8.

Up next...
Saturday
Seoul E-Land vs. Chungnam Asan
Busan IPark vs Ansan Greeners
Cheonan City vs. Gimpo
Sunday
Suwon Samsung vs. Gyeongnam
Jeonnam Dragons vs. FC Anyang
Chungbuk Cheongju vs. Bucheon FC 1995

Seongnam FC have a much-needed rest.


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