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Week 13: Big Review of K League 2

A quiet weekend on the goal-front in K League 2 but there were some very significant results. Jeonnam Dragons jumped above Seoul E-Land in the table after two late goals won a tense match in Mokdong. They sit second behind runaway leaders FC Anyang following a nervy win in Cheonan. Elsewhere, Gimpo underlined their play-off credentials while Suwon Bluewings did the opposite, losing for the third straight game.
Ansan Greeners 0
Chungbuk Cheongju 0

Wa~ Stadium

Cheongju just can't buy a win right now. After opening the season with back-to-back wins to sit joint-top, Cheongju have only added one more win in their next 10 games. They draw games, a lot of games. This was their fourth straight and three of those ended 0-0. With nine goals scored this season, Cheongju are matched with Saturday's opponents, Ansan Greeners, for being least effective in front of goal. The winter departures of Jorge and Peter Makrillos are still hanging over the team.

Ansan, meanwhile, are on a run of seven games without a win, eight if you include their Korean Cup elimination. They've managed one goal this month, an own goal, scored for them by Ma Sang-hoon. Unsurprisingly, little of note happened in this game. Ansan keeper Lee Jun-hee made a great save before halftime, Ansan were awarded a penalty that was, rightly, downgraded to a free kick, and Cheongju thought they won the game in the 89th minute, but English striker Oduwa was in an offside position. End review.

Seoul E-Land 1 (Eduvie Ikoba 63')
Jeonnam Dragons 2 (Kim Jong-min 83', Montano 92')

Mokdong Stadium
He just can't stop scoring.
Jeonnam Dragons climbed to 2nd thanks to this come-from-behind win in Mokdong on Saturday. The result marks a third straight win for a team that was completely out of sorts a month ago, getting trashed 5-1 in Suwon. It shows how quickly a team can move up this league if they string together a few wins in a row. Are Jeonnam suddenly play-off contenders or will they follow this run with a couple of defeats as is tradition in K League 2?

Ikoba continued his rich vein of form to put Seoul ahead midway through the second half. The hosts were absolutely furious about Kim Jong-min's leveler, his sixth of the season. Goalkeeper Moon Jeong-in was impeded coming for a corner, and in a league where keepers are usually offered too much protection, it was unusual to see it stand. Deep into injury time, Colombian Montano smashed his second of the campaign to snatch three points for his side. 

Suwon Samsung 0
Bucheon FC 1995 1 (Yang Hyeong-mo, OG, 77')

Suwon World Cup Stadium
A familiar sight for Suwon; a red card for a centre-back.
It is difficult to imagine a worse month for Yeom Ki-hun and his Suwon Bluewings. Following the top-of-the-table victory in Anyang, the Bluewings have lost three of four against teams below midtable. Incredibly, Suwon have lost five of their opening 12 games and have now dropped to 4th in the standings. Yet again, they failed to find the back of the net (one goal in 270 minutes at home) and haven't kept a clean sheet in Big Bird since the last day of last season. They are, in other words, woefully out of form.

Bucheon's winning goal came from Suwon's goalkeeper and captain, Yang Hyeong-mo. The keeper misjudged the flight of a corner, crashed into his own player, and watched on as the ball hit off his body and into the empty net. The corner was delivered by former Bluewing Rodrigo Bassani. The Brazilian was instrumental in the build-up to Baek Dong-gyu's straight card and the game's only goal. Sweet revenge for a player released by Suwon over winter.

Cheonan City FC 0
FC Anyang 1 (Kim Dong-jin 10')

Cheonan Stadium
Cheonan City players react to the final whistle.
FC Anyang won a strange game in the Cheonan sunshine that pushed them seven points clear at the summit of K League 2. Whoever had tickets behind the goals on the left would have seen the entire game unfold in front of them. Man-of-the-match Kim Dong-jin scored the game's only goal in the 10th minute. It was a beautifully worked goal, too, with Anyang cutting Cheonan apart down the right. A shot from the edge of the box was saved but Kim reacted quickest to tap home the winner. After that, Anyang created a half-dozen clear chances but had to settle for a slender lead.

The Violets rode their luck after the break. Some uncharacteristically sloppy exits from defense put the team under immense pressure. Anyang held on, however, and have only been beaten once this season. They responded to a couple of draws with a pair of 1-0 wins but will be grateful for a rest this week. Despite winning football matches, the goals are drying up, and that will be a worry as we head into the long Korean summer. Primary goalscorers Matheus and Danrlei have not found the net since April 13th.

Seongnam FC 0
Busan IPark 1 (Lamas 45+2')

Tancheon Stadium

Busan IPark continued their fine away form with a 1-0 win over an inconsistent Seongnam FC in Tancheon. Of the 19 points Busan have collected his season, 16 have come on the road, thanks to five wins and a draw in six matches. If their home form was as good, they'd be out of sight in first place right now. They were indebted to a terrible penalty miss from Ruiz after 15 minutes. The Portuguese striker, who has scored six this season, saw his weak effort saved by Koo Sang-min.

Bruno Lamas' winning goal came from a free kick 25 yards out. The TV commentary team called it a "wonder shooting goal" but as good as Lamas' strike was, Seongnam's defensive wall was a total shambles. The penalty miss and poor defense neatly sums up Seongnam's season. After a couple of morale-boasting wins, including against Suwon, Seongnam have lost two and dropped back towards the wrong end of the table.

Gyeongnam FC 1 (Cho Hyang-ji 45')
Gimpo FC 3 (Leonard Pllana 34' and 50', Lee Gang-hee OG 82')

Changwon Football Stadium
Two goal hero Leonard Pllana.
Gimpo's K League 2 grand tour continued with their 11th away game from 12 matches as the final touches are added to their home ground. Given the draining nature of their start, which has seen them visit every stadium except Bucheon, they'll surely be delighted with 18 points from 12 games, only two points off second. Gimpo now have seven home games in a row and won't travel again until July 14th.

Just as encouraging will be Leonard Pllana's increasing importance for his new team. After picking up an injury on his debut, the winger is fit again and bang in form. His two goals here took him to three for the season, although there was a massive slice of luck about both of them. Gyeongnam are in big trouble, sitting two places and two points off last, having lost their last three. With every passing week, a promotion push looks unlikely.

Chungnam Asan sat out Round 11.

Up next... (all games kick off at 19:30)
Seoul E-Land vs. Bucheon FC 1995
Jeonnam Dragons vs. Chungbuk Cheongju
Chungnam Asan vs. Suwon Samsung
Busan IPark vs. Cheonan City FC
Gyeongnam FC vs. Ansan Greeners
Gimpo FC vs. Seongnam FC

FC Anyang have a much-needed rest.

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