Seoul Eland couldn’t break the Jeonnam away jinx this time.
Seoul Eland and Jeonnam Dragons played to a 3-3 draw in the 19th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2 (Division 2) 2023 at the Gwangyang Football Stadium at 7 p.m. on March 3. With the result, both teams maintained their current standings.
The home team, Jeonnam, deployed a 4-1-4-1 formation. They had Hanam up front, with Valvidia, Yuhei, Jung Ho-jin, Kim Gun-oh, and Plana in the midfield. Kim Soo-beom, Choi Hee-won, Yu Ji-ha, and Lee Kyu-hyuk formed the back four. Ahn Jun-soo was the last man standing in goal.
The visitors, Seoul Eland, lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Lee Jung-moon and Yoo Jung-wan up top. Cho Dong-jae, Lee Sang-min, Bruno, and Lee Chang-joon lined up in the second line, while Seo Bo-min, Lee In-jae, Kim Min-gyu, and Cha Seung-hyun formed the defense. Joo Hyun-seong made his debut in goal.
Prior to this match, both teams were ranked similarly, with Seoul Eland in seventh place and Jeonnam in eighth. Both teams had identical records with seven wins, two draws, and eight losses, and Seoul Eland had one more goal than Jeonnam with 22 points. On the surface, the power differential was slight.
However, in the last five games, Jeonnam has been stronger. They have two wins and three draws, including wins in their last two games. Seoul Eland head coach Park Chung-gyun was aware of this and said in a pre-match interview, “It’s unacceptable to lose to the same team two or three times,” indicating his team’s determination to break the Jeonnam away jinx.
Jeonnam took the lead in the 11th minute through Kim Gun-oh’s mid-range shot, but Seoul Eland quickly responded. Kim’s shot hit the left post of Jeonnam’s goal and went in. It was his debut goal in the K League.
Just five minutes later, Jeonnam received some bad news. In the 15th minute, Seoul Eland’s Bruno’s set-piece kick hit Jeonnam defender Choi Hee-won in the thigh and was recorded as an own goal.
Seoul Eland’s mercenary move of bringing on Song Si-woo for Cho Dong-jae in the 22nd minute paid off, as the team quickly regained the lead. Four minutes after coming on as a substitute, Song Si-woo opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a right-footed grounder from a through ball.
After losing the lead in the first half, Jeonnam took off Kim Gun-oh and introduced Noh Gun-woo in the 35th minute. After that, Jeonnam sought to turn things around with the help of foreigners. In the 38th minute, Valdivia’s chip shot hit the crossbar. Two minutes later, Plana’s mid-range shot was saved by the opposing goalkeeper.
With the score at 2-1, Seoul Eland took off Lee Jeong-moon and put on Lee Si-heon, while Jeonnam brought on Jo Ji-hoon for Jeong Ho-jin. In the 11th minute of the second half, Jeonnam, who had also taken off Hanam, brought on Mikic from Croatia. The substitution worked. As soon as he came on, Mikic finished with his right outside foot in the 12th minute when he flicked a pass between the defenders of Planar. It was his debut goal.
Seoul Eland took off Bruno and Chang-Jun in the 15th minute to bring on Kim Won-Sik and Lee Dong-Ryul in an attempt to get back into the game. It was a move to add physicality, speed, and skill at the same time. 안전놀이터
The move paid off. Lee Dong-ryul, a former Young Player of the Year in the second division, split the Jeonnam goal with a shot after tripping over his teammate’s exquisite through ball.
Jeonnam went on the offensive, taking off Yoo Hei and Plana and bringing on Choi Sung-jin and Choo Sang-hoon. The two teams battled back and forth, and five minutes of second-half stoppage time were awarded. All they had to do was keep it and Seoul Eland would break the jinx.
But once again, Jeonnam’s total offense failed. Mikic’s shot was saved by debutant goalkeeper Joo Hyun-sung.
The door was wide open. Finally, Jeonnam was awarded a penalty kick for a handling foul, and Jeonnam’s ace Balbidia calmly converted it to end the game in a dramatic 3-3 draw. Seoul Eland’s strategy may have worked, but Jeonnam’s fortress was as impregnable as Seoul Eland’s.