Busan IPark Win Six-Goal Thriller in Gangwon

Busan IPark secured their biggest win of the season on Saturday night, with Lee Dong-joon and Kim Jin-gyu inspiring the Royals to a 4-2 win away at Gangwon FC.

Busan traveled to Gangneung in good form, having gone three games unbeaten in the league and prevailing 4-0 over Hwaseong FC in the FA Cup in midweek. Gangwon FC, who started the evening sixth in the table, also came into the game on the back of a midweek cup win.

Cho Deok-jae handed a debut to winger Kim Seung-joon, who joined Busan in a loan deal from Gyeongnam FC last week that saw Han Ji-ho move in the other direction. There was also a start for young right-back Lee Sang-joon in place of the injured Kim Moon-hwan.

Busan took the lead in the tenth minute through Lee Jeong-hyeop’s fourth goal of the season, the striker converting Lee Dong-joon’s inch-perfect cross. The lead only lasted five minutes, however, as Gangwon left-back Cho Jae-wan took advantage of some slack Busan defending to fire home an equalizer from twelve yards.

Gangwon upped the tempo after drawing level and demonstrated their famous ‘Byung-soo Ball’ passing, their neat interplay causing the Busan defense all sorts of problems. The Royals kept the scores level into half time, however, with Busan keeper Kim Ho-joon producing two excellent saves before the break.

The second half was just as entertaining and end-to-end. Despite increasing pressure from the home side, it was Busan who scored next. On the hour mark, substitute Kim Jin-gyu provided a clinical through ball for Lee Dong-joon, who finished coolly with his left foot. The Under-23 duo combined again to increase Busan’s lead only three minutes later, with Kim bursting into the box before cutting back for Lee to slide in his second of the game.

Gangwon pulled a goal back in the 74th minute through Han Kook-young, but Busan was to have the final say. Kim and Lee combined once more with five minutes left on the clock, this time Lee turning provider for Kim to pass home Busan’s fourth goal of the evening.

The 4-2 victory was significant for Busan, who climbed from eleventh to sixth in the league table ahead of the Sunday fixtures. The Royals are now nine points clear of Incheon United, who still occupy the relegation spot at the foot of the table.

Busan, now unbeaten in five in all competitions, host FC Seoul at the Gudeok Stadium next Friday at 7.30 p.m.

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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