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New-Look Busan Hold on for Daejeon Win

Busan IPark ground out their first win of 2021 with a hard-fought victory away to Daejeon Hana Citizen on Sunday afternoon. After a thrashing at the hands of Seoul E-Land on opening day, is this win a sign of things to come under new coach Ricardo Peres?


Result

Daejeon Hana Citizen 1-2 Busan IPark

Key Moments

18’ BUSAN GOAL – Park Jong-woo spreads the ball to Choi Jun on the right; the right back drills a pass infield to An Byong-jun, who tees up Park Jeong-in for a low shot from 20 yards which nestles in the corner. 

33’ BUSAN GOAL – Valentinos Sielis meets Domagoj Drozdek’s corner with a bullet header to make it 2-0. 

45’ DAEJEON GOAL – Busan left back Park Min-gyu is penalised for an elbow on Lim Dug-keun as the pair challenge for a header following a Daejeon corner. Lee Jin-hyun steps up to sweep home the resulting penalty. 

69’ Chance – Lee Jin-hyun plays Park In-hyeok through on goal after a poor pass from Busan keeper Ahn Joon-soo. Kim Jin-kyu denies Park with a last-ditch challenge. 

92’ Chance – Ahn Joon-soo saves from Bruno Baio, and Valentino Sielis blocks on the goal line from Shin Sang-eun’s follow-up.

Highlights



Defence Wins the Day

Busan’s defence were all over the shop last weekend, but the back line looked transformed for the trip to Daejeon. Led by new signing Valentinos Sielis, Busan looked well prepared for Daejeon’s gameplan.

In the first half, Daejeon targeted Busan’s right hand side, aiming to play balls behind and between right back Choi Jun and centre back Park Ho-young. The two Busan youngsters proved up to the task, however, largely nullifying the threat of Park In-hyeok, while the back line successfully caught Daejeon offside numerous times in the early stages. 

Choi and Park were just as impressive in the second period as Daejeon set up camp in Busan’s half. Park was particularly impressive, the 21 year-old looking like a seasoned pro with a series of clearances and headers as Daejeon laid siege. 

Alongside him, Valentinos was top class. Composed on the ball and quick to spot danger, the Cyprus international marshalled his young teammates excellently and even cleared off the line when Shin Sang-eun seemed certain to equalise in the 92nd minute. 


The game was also something of a reprieve for goalkeeper Ahn Joon-soo. The 23 year-old had a debut to forget against Seoul, but looked assured between the sticks at Daejeon. One or two bad passes aside, his distribution was excellent (and the likely factor for his inclusion over the more straightforward Choi Pil-su), while a big save to deny Bruno Baio in stoppage time will do his confidence the world of good.

Peres Finds Balance

Busan showed glimpses of attractive football in the first half of last week’s 3-0 defeat to Seoul E-Land, but they looked horribly disorganised after the break. Against Daejeon, however, Peres seemed to hit upon the perfect balance of attacking football and defensive steel. 

Kim Jin-kyu was key to Busan’s play on Sunday, and could be the club’s most important player in the hunt for promotion. The attacking midfielder dropped deeper on Sunday, replacing the largely ineffectual Lee Rae-jun alongside Park Jong-woo. Kim assisted Park valiantly in the defensive duties while picking his moments to roam forward and join attacks to good effect. 

Kim linked play well, showing his usual aptitude for spotting forward passes, while his defensive contributions were summed up by a vital last-ditch tackle on Park In-hyeok as the forward bared down on goal in the 69th minute. After missing most of last season through injury, Kim is looking back to his best and could be primed for a standout season.

Looking Forward


Despite an ultimately impressive away victory, Peres will know that he still has work to do with this team. Up front, An Byong-jun worked tirelessly and provided a focal point for Busan attacks, but last season’s K League 2 MVP will demand better service from those around him. Wingers Jung Hoon-sung and Domagoj Drozdek showed moments of promise, but it’s difficult to judge the front line when Busan spent so much of the second period camped in their own half. 

Park Jeong-in, meanwhile, carried on from where he left off in pre-season. The 20 year-old was prolific in front of goal during Busan’s warm-up matches, and he took his first Busan goal with aplomb, nestling a 20 yard effort into the corner after An’s neat layoff. 

While Busan’s new-look front line might take a few weeks to truly gel, there are signs that Ricardo Peres is on the road to progress.

Busan Player Ratings

(GK) Ahn Joon-soo – 7 – Much improved. Mostly good distribution, and a huge save in stoppage time. 

(RB) Choi Jun – 8 – Excellent at the back and going forward. Good pass to help create opening goal. 

(CB) Park Ho-young – 8 – Towering presence at the back, looked assured beyond his years. Won everything in the air. 

(CB) VALENTINOS SIELIS – 9 – Immense. Rock solid, scored the match-winning goal, and saved off the line in stoppage time. 

(LB) Park Min-gyu – 6 – Unfortunate to concede penalty. One other error went unpunished in first half, but improved after the break. 

(CM) Park Jong-woo – 7 – Vital defensive contributions, breaking up play and harassing the Daejeon midfield all game. 

(CM) Kim Jin-kyu – 8 – Composed on the ball, joined attacks intelligently, and made a goal-saving tackle as Busan held on. 

(RW) Jung Hoon-sung – 5 – Went through lots of running, but little end product. A couple of clumsy fouls in dangerous areas. 

(LW) Domagoj Drozdek – 6 – Flashes of promise. Corner assist for Valentinos goal. 

(SS) Park Jeong-in – 7 – Took his goal excellently. Lively in spells in the first half.

(CF) An Byong-jun – 6 – Worked hard for little reward. Assist for first goal.  

SUBS: 
Lee Sang-heon – 6 – Worked hard as Busan held on. 
Lee Tae-min – 5 – A pro debut for the 17 year-old. Fresh legs. 
Kim Seung-woo – N/A – Came on to defend in the dying seconds.
 
FNR




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