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Week 3: Big Review of K League 2

Chungbuk Cheongju FC are the early pacesetters in K League 2 after maintaining their unbeaten start to the season against the only other undefeated side, FC Anyang. Suwon Samsung bounced back from their Mokdong disappointment to win in Ansan, and Busan IPark's poor home form continued with a loss to Gimpo FC. Seongnam drop to 13th, and last spot.

Cheonan City FC 0
Seongnam FC 0

Cheonan Stadium
1,962

The first 0-0 of the season played out in front of a sparsely attended ground will do little to inspire the residents of Cheonan to turn up for the next game. Cheonan debuted Brazilian striker Erikys da Silva, who did well to stay on the field unlike his compatriots last weekend. Although he did pick up a yellow card. 

Seongnam collected their first point of the season and will be grateful to keep a clean sheet after conceding five in their two games (and it could have been much more). Cheonan dominated this game but couldn't turn possession and chances into goals. They will be delighted to sit 4th (even if two points got away) as the League takes a break for the Korea Cup.

[LISTEN: KLU Podcast]

Gyeongnam FC 1 (Won Ki-jong 34')
Chungnam Asan FC 2 (Kim Jong-suk 26', Jung Ma-ho 42')

Changwon Football Centre
2,955

What must Won Ki-jong be thinking? The striker notched his 4th in three games (after bagging 10 last term) but his team still came out on the wrong side of this result. Won started the move that led to him scoring his side's only goal; he collected a loose ball, opened his body, and bent it nicely into the net, away from the despairing dive of Shin Song-hun.

19-year-old Jung Ma-ho smashed home the winner, his second of the campaign, in his debut season. This has been an excellent start for Chungnam Asan, and their new coach Kim Hyeon-seok. They almost knicked a point from Big Bird in week 1 but picked up four in two games against playoff sides from 2023. The win will be all the sweeter after manager Park Dong-hyeok left Yi Sun-sin for Changwon over the winter.

Bucheon FC 1995 1 (An Jae-joon 72')
Seoul E-Land 0

Bucheon Stadium
3,139

K League 2 is a really tough league and Seoul E-Land, leaders, had arguably the toughest start of any club. After a terrible finish to 2023, Seoul recruited well but faced Busan IPark (incredibly not in K League 1 now), Suwon Samsung, and Bucheon FC 1995 (a playoff team) in their first three fixtures. They had good chances of their own, especially from headers, in the opening half.

After a surprise opening day defeat, Bucheon have steadied and are now one of four clubs on four points. 22-year-old An Jae-joon was their hero and matchwinner, as he so often was last season. The young striker nearly got on the end of a cross for an early lead and ended the half by missing a great chance when he dragged his shot wide. However, when presented with another opportunity, An took it. He dispossessed Osmar and rifted home the winner from 18 yards.


Busan IPark 0
Gimpo FC 1 (Luis Mina 59')

Busan Asiad
2,245

On a gorgeous spring afternoon, Gimpo bounced back from last week's heavy defeat in Gwangyang to record their first win of the season against a wasteful Busan IPark. Luis Mina's finish on the hour mark was sublime; reacting quickest inside the box to drill the ball home first time. Smash-and-grab wins like this are vital as the club goes on an extended road trip due to stadium redevelopments in Gimpo.

Busan will be wondering, again, how they managed to lose a game that was theirs to win. The first half was one-way traffic, with traveling goalkeeper Son Jeong-hyeon forced to make several big saves. Last week, Busan destroyed neighbours Gyeongnam in Changwon. Against Gimpo, they managed 19 shots, 12 on target, but failed to score. Either there are serious issues in the club related to last season's meltdown, or they're about to hammer every other team when it all clicks.


Chungbuk Cheongju FC 1 (Koo Hyun-jun 74')
FC Anyang 1 (Danrlei 70')

Cheongju Stadium
3,645

As they sit down this week and review the game, Anyang will look at this as two points dropped. The playing surface, like most stadiums in March, was in terrible shape. Simple passes bobbled along the ground and good opportunities were wasted because of unpredictable bounces. Anyang's only goal came from Danrlei, his second of the season. The Brazilian met Joo Hyeon-woo's cutback, hitting it first time through Park Dae-han's legs.

Disappointingly for Anyang, their lead lasted just three minutes. But it was a peach of an equalizer. Left-back Koo Hyun-jun collected a loose ball on the edge of the box, turned inside on his right foot, and curled a beautiful shot into the top corner. It was the defender's first goal since 2017, and just the third of his career. Cheongju top the table with this point.


Ansan Greeners 0
Suwon Samsung 1 (Han Ho-gang 63')

Wa~ Stadium
8,246

Suwon got back to winning ways in Ansan thanks to Han Ho-gang's header midway through the second half. Han rose highest to meet Lee Jong-sung's corner and send the massive traveling support into raptures. The Bluewings deserved their victory but were needlessly left to hang on in injury time after defender Park Dae-won picked up his second yellow card of the game.

Suwon created plenty of chances, mostly falling to Fejsal Mulić, who just couldn't find a way past Lee Jun-hee in goal, or the crossbar. Yeom Ki-hun handed debuts to right-back Lee Si-yong, on loan from FC Seoul, and Malian winger Aboubacar Toungara. The club announced on Monday that Maxwell Acosty's contract had been terminated.

 Jeonnam Dragons sat out Round 3.

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

These matches will take place at the end of March. Next weekend, all 13 K League 2 sides will play in the 2nd round of the Korea Cup.

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