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New Year, New Teams, New Challenges: Seoul E-Land Vs Gimcheon Sangmu

 

 The 2021 K League 2 season is finally upon us and for some fans it started off with quite a bang. Of Course, we are talking about Seoul E-Land in their 3-0 victory against the newly relegated side, Busan IPark. Some saw this as a shock in the opening round of the K League. However, others may have seen it coming and the winds of change may be upon the capital side. Seoul E-Land will have to use this momentum now as they move into round two and play a team some have theoretically already given the K League 2 shield, Gimcheon Sangmu. Will Seoul continue their impressive side or will Gicheon finally get their season off and running? Michael Redmond previews this one.   


Seoul E-Land's Super Sunday by the Seaside

Seoul E-Land fans had to sit back and watch the rest of the K League 2 kick off their campaign last weekend as their match against Busan was the last one of the round. Very different from last year when they were the curtain-raiser in Seogwipo against Jeju United. The talk against Seoul E-Land fans before the game was how were Seoul going to handle Ahn Byeong-jun? Seoul fans do not have fond memories of the North Korean striker as he usually ran riot against the side when he played for Suwon last year. A sigh of relief came for them however as they line ups came out and he only made the bench. 

The first half came with a very structured and organized Seoul E-Land. Leandro could have gotten the side up after the first minute, as Busan scrambled to clear his chance. Busan had chances in the first half, yet most of them skied over E-Land keeper Kim Kyung-min. The former Jeju United keeper was called into action late into the first half however as a slight lapse of concentration happened in the Seoul E-Land defence. He did well to clear the ball. 
 
Seoul E-Land celebrate a convincing 3-0 win against Busan IPark in the first round of the K League 2 Season.
 
Stood in the ground at half time, it looked a lot more likely that the game could be settled with a draw. However, Seoul came out for the second half as a completely well-oiled machine. We cannot say that they came out a different team as they were playing well in the first half, they just knocked it up into a higher gear in the second half. The scoring came underway when Jang Yun-ho took a shot from outside of the box. It may have been a routine save for most keepers, yet Busan's Ahn Joon-soo fumbled the ball and watched it trickle past him.
 
 
Seoul saw Busan on the ropes now and it took the capital only nine minutes to double their lead. A crossed in ball by Hwang Tae-hyeon was met by an Lee Sang-min header. Seoul fans were shocked to see the defender get on the score sheet. Seoul put the game to bed late on in the game when Leandro assisted for the second time. A through ball to substitute Kim Jeon-hwan saw him ease the ball past Busan once more. a very convincing win for Seoul E-Land in what was their first every opening game victory in their history. Hopefully a sign of things to come. 

   
Full Time: Busan IPark 0-3 Seoul E-Land

New to the Party

There has been a lot of talk of this Gimcheon Sangmu side in the winter and it is very justified in doing so. The team that finished 4th in the K League 1 last season recently moved from Sangju to Gimcheon, hence their relegation. As an army side, they still have the pick of the best who still need to do their army service. With all this being said, they may have felt a little shell shocked on Saturday as it was Ansan Greeners who drew first blood at The Ansan Wa~. A sixth-minute goal from Lee Jun-hee put the home side ahead. He danced through Gimcheon before an outside of the boot shot was pelted into the back of the net, it was a thing of beauty. 


It did only take Gimcheon five minutes after the restart to respond to the goal. An absolute rocket from Jung Won-jin, way outside of the box saw his ball go into the back of the net. Once again another keeper error may have been applied as Lee Seung-bin was very close to the ball. Keeper error or not, it was a fantastic strike. The pressure was mounting for Ansan now as Gimcheon started to come alive. It was not to be though as Ansan held on. Dropped points for the K League 2 favourites in round one.  

Chung Jung-yong's Fluid Football

Last year saw the boss, Chung Jung-yong bring in some new and exciting players into the E-Land fold. The boss continued to do so in the offseason as well. On Sunday we got to see what his plan was for this side, as he brought in players who looked determined and passionate to play for the club. Seoul went for a 3-4-3 with Park Seong-woo and Hwang Tae-hyeon on the wings. The two players could drop back and turn Seoul into a 5-2-3 or even a 4-3-3 if needed. Kim Seong-min played alongside Jang Yun-ho and ran down every ball he could. Fans loved to see his work ethic in the game and it looks as if Seoul have a high energy midfielder on their hands. 

FNR

Slight worry maybe upon the Seoul team as captain Kim Min-kyun came off in the second half with an injury. The captain looked uncomfortable as he sat on the sidelines yet he did walk himself to the dressing room after the full-time whistle. Argetine Benegas came on in the second half and shown some promise. Seoul fans will hope to see him in the starting line up sooner rather than later. Barbio was absent in the Busan game due to injury. Credit is also given to the back line at Seoul. The partnership with Lee Sang-min and Lee In-jae worked well and the two had good communication. Lee In-jae had an impressive debut for the Leopards. 

 

League Leaders in Leoul Park

Seoul E-Land welcome Gimcheon Sangmu to the Seoul Olympic Stadium this Saturday. Many have Gimcheon to take this one prior to the Busan game. Some feelings may have changed now after seeing a slow starting Gimcehon and a high flying Seoul. Fans will be in attendance for this one and Seoul need to put a show on for the fans. They experienced heartbreak the last time they were in Leoul Park and they will not want to repeat that on the weekend.

Leandro made two assists in the opening round of the 2021 K League 2 season.
It is too early to call what will happen this year in the K League 2. As stated earlier, Gimcheon are the favorites. This game could be massive in retrospect by the end of the season. If Seoul can play like the did against Busan for the majority of the season, then forget your playoff spot. Seoul could be contending with Gimcheon Sangmu. Some say it is Gimcheon's shield in 2021, but they may have to ask Seoul E-Land for permission first.  





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