Busan IPark Continue to Struggle, Fall 3-1 in Gwangju

Busan IPark were defeated 3-1 by fellow newly-promoted club Gwangju FC on Saturday night in the K League 1.

Busan coach Cho Deok-jae made only one change to the side that drew with Sangju Sangmu FC last weekend, bringing Lee Gyu-seong into the midfield in place of Kim Jin-kyu. Cho kept faith with under-22 goalkeeper Kim Jeong-ho despite his costly error in the last round.

The game in Gwangju got off to a quick start, with both sides spurning good chances in the early stages. Busan’s Lee Dong-joon was guilty of wastefulness in the third minute, heading over after being found completely unmarked inside the area by Kim Moon-hwan.

Gwangju thought they had taken the lead on 12 minutes, but Rustamjon Ashurmatov’s goal was chalked off by VAR for a handball in the build-up. The Yellows’ Brazilian forward Willyan then hit the post for the hosts after a sloppy piece of defending by Kim Moon-hwan, and Busan’s Brazilian midfielder Romulo also hit the woodwork as both sides continued to threaten.

Busan finally broke the deadlock right before the half-time whistle, Romulo driving home from twelve yards after being teed up by Lee Jeong-hyeop at the end of a slick team move. It was the third time this season that Busan has taken the lead in a game, but they once again failed to hold onto their advantage.

Gwangju came out hungry in the second half, and they leveled on the hour mark through Willyan’s curled effort just inside the area. Brazilian compatriot Felipe then gave Gwangju the lead after Busan were caught sleeping from a throw-in, and substitute Kim Ju-gong rounded off the win for the home team in added time.

The loss was Busan’s third of the season and leaves them with only three points after six games. They currently sit eleventh in the table, with only Incheon United on fewer points.

They host Daegu FC at the Gudeok Stadium on Wednesday evening, still searching for their first win of 2020.

Tomas Marcantonio
Tomas writes novels, travel, flash fiction, and sports. He’s been getting gleefully lost in Busan’s neon-lit backstreets since 2011. You can follow Tomas on Twitter @TJMarcantonio and @IparkBusan

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