A quickfire second-half double by Bucheon FC 1995 gave Busan IPark their first defeat in ten games in Saturday’s KLeague 2 game. Busan came into the game unbeaten in nine games, with their last defeat coming away at Bucheon at the end of April. Playoff rivals Bucheon came into the game in bad form following three consecutive defeats but turned their fortunes around at the Busan Asiad Main Stadium
Busan IPark made two changes from the team which had drawn away at Gwangju FC last week. Influential midfielder Lee Jae-kwon (8) returned from suspension while Kim Moon-hwan (33) was recalled to the team, shortly before his callup to the Korea Football National Team’s Asian Games squad. New Dutch signing Arsenio Valpoort (92) made his second start for IPark on the left wing while compatriot Sherjill MacDonald (6) was named on the bench for the first time. Former IPark players Nilson Jr and William Popp were both named in the Bucheon team. Popp scored 34 in 38 games in his single season for IPark.
The first half was an even affair with most efforts coming from range. Busan’s Romulo (10) saw his deflected effort well saved by Bucheon’s Choi Cheol-won, before Lee Jae-kwon (8) curled narrowly wide while Bucheon’s Lee Hyun-seung and William Popp also missed the target from distance. The best chance of the first half fell to Busan’s Valpoort (92) whose left footed shot forced Choi Cheol-won into a good save just before half-time after being played in by Ko Kyung-min (19).
The second half was a much more open and entertaining game. IPark took the lead in the 57th minute when right-back Kim Moon-hwan (33) picked up the ball on the half way line and drove forward. After beating his man, he laid the ball off and continued his run into the box. A great cut back from the opposite full-back Kim Chi-woo (7) found Kim Moon-hwan in space to finish confidently into the bottom corner, completing the attacking move he had started.
Busan showed more attacking intent after the goal, making a double change with Valpoort (92) and central striker Kim Hyun-sung (18) replaced by winger Han Ji-ho (22) and debutant MacDonald (6).
However, Bucheon showed why they’re 3rd in the division pegging Busan immediately back. A lobbed ball over the defence from Popp found fellow Brazilian Cristovan who showed his class with a deft lob over the advancing Kim Hyeung-geun (31) to level the score.
Five minutes later, Cristovan, who had only come on at half time for his Bucheon debut, scored his second quality goal. Picking the ball up on the edge of the box, he managed to evade tackles from Lee Jae-kwon (8), Jeong ho-jeong (2) and Kim Myung-joon (15) before finding the top corner while falling after being clipped.
Busan pushed for an equaliser in the later stages of the game but couldn’t find a way past the inspired Choi in the Bucheon goal. After Ko Kyung-min had blasted over from a corner, the Bucheon ‘keeper made terrific saves to keep out a late Kim Chi-woo (7) free kick, before acrobatically turning away a MacDonald (6) header in injury time.
The defeat leaves Busan in fourth place, although the gap to leaders Asan Mugunghwa Football Club is now 8 points. IPark will be hoping to bounce back away at Ansan Greeners FC on Sunday.
After two home games at the Busan Asiad Main Stadium, Busan will return to their usual home ground, the Gudeok Stadium in Dongdaesin for the rest of the season.
Their next home game is a double header on Wednesday July 25th as IPark face Gyeongju Citizen FC in an 8pm kickoff in the FA Cup 4th round, directly after third tier strugglers Busan Transportation Corporation FC attempt to achieve the impossible against Asian giants Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (5pm kickoff). Tickets are 10,000 won and are valid for both games.
Busan’s next home game in the KLeague 2 is against FC Anyang on Sunday 29th July, a 7pm kickoff. Tickets for both games are 10,000 won and can be purchased at the stadium on the day. Discounted strips and clothes will also be available for purchase at the games.