Busan IPark Earn Dramatic 2-2 Draw With Daegu

Busan IPark secured a hard-fought 2-2 draw at home to Daegu FC on Wednesday night after coming from behind twice in dramatic fashion.

Visitors Daegu were heavy favorites before the game after they trounced FC Seoul 6-0 at the weekend, while Busan came into the game on the back of a humbling defeat to fellow newly-promoted side Gwangju FC.

For Busan’s first midweek game of the season, coach Cho Deok-jae reshuffled his pack, making four changes from the weekend. Winger Kwon Yong-hyun was handed his first start of the year, while there were returns for goalkeeper Kim Ho-joon, defender Kim Dong-woo, and under-22 midfielder Kwon Hyeok-gyu.

Daegu started the game the way they left off against Seoul. Brazilian midfield maestro Cesinha linked up with fellow countryman Edgar before bursting through the heart of Busan’s defense to give the visitors the lead on 13 minutes.

Busan didn’t crumble, however, and they leveled the scores just before half time. Winger Lee Dong-joon played Lee Jeong-hyeop through on goal, and the international forward was tripped by Daegu keeper Choi Young-eun. The referee pointed to the spot, and Lee Jeong-hyeop kept his nerve to score his third goal of the season.

The home team impressed in the second half, nullifying Daegu’s threat while creating chances of their own. It was the visitors who looked to have snatched a late victory, however, when Lee Jin-hyun pounced on a loose ball just inside the area to sweep home on 86 minutes.

It looked as though Busan were heading for their fourth defeat of the season, but there was more late drama to come. Lee Jeong-hyeop’s injury-time shot struck the hand of sliding Daegu player Edgar, and the referee awarded Busan their second penalty of the game. This time it was playmaker Romulo who took on the responsibility from 12 yards, and the Brazilian was coolness personified as he stroked the ball into the corner to make it 2-2.

Both sides could have snatched a last-gasp victory with late chances, but Busan’s Park Gwan-woo headed wide with the goal at his mercy, and Cesinha’s free-kick for Daegu – the last kick of the game – struck the Busan crossbar.

It was a thrilling game for the neutrals, and Busan will take heart from the manner in which they twice came from behind to snatch a well-deserved point.

The result leaves them in eleventh position, two points ahead of bottom side Incheon United. The two bottom clubs face off this Sunday at 6 p.m. in what promises to be a crucial match in the battle for K League 1 survival.

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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