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Week 20: Big Review of K League 2

Bucheon produced a contender for worst own goal in football history, and Suwon Bluewings desperately need a goalscorer after spurning numerous chances to beat Ansan on Sunday. Luis Mina continues his good form but the Brazilian can't find the net, whereas Cheonan City have two strikers who should be on most clubs' wishlist. Here's our review of week 20.

Gimpo FC 1 (Kim Min-ho 18')
Cheonan City FC 1 (Moon Geon-ho 3')

Gimpo drop points at home again. Are they too reliant on Luis Mina to score the goals to take them up?
Reminiscent of many a game down the years in Korea, this match descended into farce long before full-time. Rainy season is upon us meaning large puddles of water covered most of the playing surface, passes never found their intended target, and errors were commonplace. Nonetheless, it was a decent match, lit up by some high-class attacking players. Luis Mina won man-of-the-match but as we've seen all season, the ball just isn't going in for him. Last season, the Brazilian scored 16 and assisted four in 34; this season, he has three with no assists in 16. Mina's link-up play with Leonard Pllana is wonderful to watch, and the two-footed Pllana caused problems again. Conor Chapman made his debut.

Cheonan City, still without a win against Gimpo, took an early lead. Bruno Mota's excellent-headed assist set up Moon Geun-ho. Mota's strike partner Paulinho has recently been linked with a move to Daejeon Hana, and it is easy to see why. He's much quicker than Mota, a set-piece specialist, and he scores goals. But K League 1 teams ought to be keeping tabs on Mota, too. The Brazilian is well on course to smash last season's goal contribution of 10 goals and one assist in 35 games. He's a total nuisance up top, leads the line well, and brings other players into the game. Daegu FC looks like the perfect fit.

Busan IPark 2 (Son Hwi 30', Cho Wi-jae 88')
Seongnam FC 2 (Chris Manzinga 4' and 42')

Gudeok Stadium
Chris Mazinga celebrates through the Gudeok rain.
As bad as conditions were in Solteo, at least they managed around 70 minutes before the chaos kicked in. Busan's move to Gudeok should have been postponed. The pitch was a total wreck before the referee blew his whistle. For the next 90 minutes, both teams were presumably trying to avoid injuries and limit those mistakes you only see on a waterlogged pitch. The first goal, Seongnam's opener, perfectly fits the description of a waterlogged-assisted goal. Chris Mazinga scored it. That's all that needs to be said.

Because of the conditions, it is difficult to make solid conclusions about how the teams played or who stood out. Son Hwi's cool volley brought Busan level, and Mazinga's second on the stroke of halftime was a belter. In fairness to Busan, under huge pressure because of mediocre form, they got the equalizing goal their overall play deserved. They owned the ball and had four times the chances on goal as Seongnam. Both teams deserve huge credit for what they offered.

Suwon Samsung 1 (Park Seung-soo 67')
Ansan Greeners 1 (Kim Beom-soo 50')

Suwon World Cup Stadium
17-year-old Park Seong-su scored his first Suwon goal. 
A fixture more familiar to FA Cup enthusiasts ended with a hard-fought 1-1 draw on Sunday night. Despite falling behind early in the second half, this represents two points dropped and a bitterly disappointing result for Suwon. Their domination was almost complete; apart from two excellent saves from their replacement goalkeeper.

Peter Makrillos' mid-season acquisition is beginning to make sense. The Australian brings urgency and direction to the Bluewings attack; far too often Suwon are labored and slow in transition. They are desperately lacking a reliable goalscorer, too. 17-year-old Park Seong-su rescued a point and almost grabbed a winner but Suwon will not be promoted this winter unless investment is made to their striking options. 

For Ansan, a superb draw on the road. They were run ragged in the second half but a combination of solid last ditch tackling and good goalkeeping kept them in the game. And they nearly stole the points at the death. 

Bucheon FC 1995 1 (Chae Byeong-chan 33')
FC Anyang 2 (Lee Sang-hyeon, OG, 56', Kim Dong-jin 75')

Bucheon Stadium
The league leaders are on a roll again.

We need to talk about Lee Sang-hyeon's own goal. If you haven't seen it, click on the link below, crack a beer, and enjoy. With more international exposure, printed t-shirts would on DHGate already, or memes flying around the globe. It was that amazing.

What makes it worse is traditionally this is a fixture which Bucheon struggle in, and Sunday's loss means they've won 1 of 14 against the leaders. Kim Dong-jin was Anyang's match winner again, knocking home his fourth of the season. The defender is a hero in Anyang and it is amazing he's only amassed 45 top flight appearances, out of 250 league games. At the halfway way point of their season, Anyang have opened up an 8 point lead on their nearest rivals. Dong-jin might be headed back to the big time.

On a side note, if you're wondering by Anyang's Brazilian playmaker Matheus is so highly valued, watch the highlights.

Gyeongnam FC 2 (Bachana Arabuli 10' and '72)
Jeonnam Dragons 4 (Chae Won-cheol 28', Im Chan-wool 39', Ha Nam 45+1', Valdivia 78')

Changwon Football Centre
Valdivia settles the south coast derby.
This fixture is almost a guaranteed three points for the away team based on the last decade, and it proved to be the case again when Lee Jang-kwan took his title challengers Jeonnam Dragons to Changwon and wiped the floor with Gyeongnam. The Dragons are a good team but we have to wait a long time (Halloween to be exact) before their next meeting with Anyang. By then, the table could look entirely different. 

Park Dong-hyuk might not survive the night. Gyeongnam's form is so awful right now only goals scored keeps them above Ansan Greeners in 13th. Their goal difference of -12 is atrocious, as is their run of one win since May. It was embarrassing watching some of their defensive work on Monday. When a team is casually defending their box, allowing soft goals, you wonder if that's the moment the manager has lost the dressing room. This weekend is a must win; away to Seongnam. Will Park still be in the dugout by then?

Chungnam Asan 2 (Jose Pablo Monreal 61' and 89')
Seoul E-Land 0 

Yi Sun-sin Stadium
Kazuka Kuzoku in action for his new team.

It doesn't get any more K2 than this. A fixture dominated by Chungnam Asan until Seoul won 5-0 this season reverted back to something approaching familiarity on Monday night. Jose Monreal, a recent signing from Suwon FC, has been inspired since dropping the blue-red for the new red strip of Asan. His first goal, a header at back post, was largely down to some shoddy defensive work but he played a neat one-two to end the contest in the 89th minute. Asan are up to 3rd and with Juninho and Monreal, there's nothing to suggest that stay is short term.

Seoul seem to have forgotten how to defend. They're a streaky team under Kim Do-kyun; winning four straight followed by four games without a win. They've now lost three on the bounce after coming close to retaking the top spot they lost in March. A major problem appears to be the ease with which they ship goals; how Monreal found himself unmarked in the middle of the box after an hour will haunt E-Land. And it doesn't get much easier with a trip to Cheongju this weekend.

Chungbuk Cheongju sat out Round 20.

Up next...
Gimpo FC vs. Chungnam Asan (19:00)
Busan IPark vs. Bucheon FC 1995 (19:30)
Chungbuk Cheongju vs. Seoul E-Land (19:00)
Ansan Greeners vs. Jeonnam Dragons (19:00)
FC Anyang vs. Cheonan City FC (19:30)
Seongnam FC vs. Gyeongnam FC (19:30)

Suwon Samsung have a much-needed rest.

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