Busan IPark bounced back from their disappointing home loss to Bucheon FC 1995 last week in the best possible way, beating playoff challengers Ansan Greeners FC away on Sunday night.
A single goal from Brazilian playmaker Romulo (10) was enough to pick up all three points and move IPark up to 3rd in the K League 2.
Busan made two changes from the Bucheon game. Coach Choi Yoon-gyeom continued his goalkeeper rotation with Koo Sang-min (21) coming back into the team. Elsewhere, Kim Moon-hwan (33) would have felt disappointed to lose his place at right back in the team after scoring last week and being named in South Korea’s Asian Games squad. He was replaced by experienced defender Lee Jong-min (17). Dutch striker Arsenio Valpoort (92) continued on the left wing.
Ansan came into the game on a run of three consecutive defeats but their squad did include Brazilian striker Fidel who was signed this week from non-league Busan FC.
The first half was a quiet affair with poor finishing costing both teams. Busan started the stronger team and could have taken the lead in the opening 20 minutes but Jeong Ho-jeong(2), Kim Hyun-sung (18) and Kim Jin-gyu (23) all missed the target from good positions. Ansan grew into the game and created better chances as the first half went on but also didn’t test the opposite goalkeeper.
The second half started slowly but the introductions of Kim Moon-hwan (33) and Han Ji-ho (22) on the wings after an hour brought energy and dynamism that was lacking in the first half. Shortly after coming on, Kim Moon-hwan (33) found space on the left wing and after driving at two defenders dug out a great cross under pressure for the oncoming Romulo (10) who cushioned his shot into the top corner on the half volley to give Busan the lead.
IPark were unlucky not to double their lead shortly afterwards, this time Han Ji-ho (22) picked the ball up on the left and after cutting in on his right-foot curled a shot narrowly wide of the far post with the goalkeeper beaten.
Even the sending off of goalscorer Romulo (10) for time-wasting with ten minutes left couldn’t inspire Ansan to a comeback and the game fizzled out for a well-earned Busan away win.
After their last two home games were at the Asiad World Cup Stadium, Busan will return to their usual home ground, the Gudeok Stadium in Dongdaeshin for the rest of the season.
Busan’s next home game is a double header on Wednesday July 25th as IPark face Gyeongju Citizen 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 K League 2 is against Anyang on Sunday 29th July, a 7pm kickoff. Tickets 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.