Late Drama as Busan IPark End Losing Streak, Draw Seongnam 1-1

A last-gasp header from Dostonbek Tursunov earned Busan IPark a point in a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Seongnam FC on Friday evening.

Busan came into the game on the back of four straight defeats, and coach Cho Deok-jae reshuffled his pack accordingly, switching from his usual 4-3-3 system to a 3-4-3, with Kim Myung-joon making his first start of the season on the right side of a back three.

The change in formation provided more defensive steel in the opening stages, but it came at the cost of creativity as the Royals struggled to get the forward line involved regularly. Lee Jeong-hyeop and Lee Dong-joon both miscued when well-placed, and Park Jong-woo’s long-range effort was the closest Busan came to troubling goalkeeper Kim Young-kwang in the first half.

Seongnam’s Yang Dong-hyun and Na Sang-ho looked dangerous all evening for the hosts, with the former hitting the post after a jinking run and low shot before half time. Both forced Busan keeper Kim Ho-joon into good saves after the restart as Seongnam upped the tempo, and their breakthrough eventually came on the hour mark through Yu In-soo. A clever backheel from Kim Hyun-sung released the midfielder into the Busan penalty area, and the 25 year-old slotted coolly past Kim Ho-joon.

Busan – as with recent games – lacked cohesion in the final third and rarely threatened the Seongnam defense, but they managed to nick a point in the fourth minute of added time. Dostonbek Tursunov rose highest to meet Park Jong-woo’s inswinging corner, and the defender’s powerful header earned Busan their first league point since 18th July.

Ahead of the remaining K League 1 fixtures this weekend, Busan IPark moves up to eighth place in the table, level on points with FC Seoul and Gangwon FC.

Busan are next in action against Pohang Steelers on Saturday 22nd August. A limited number of tickets will be available for the game at Busan’s Gudeok Stadium, with government restrictions allowing the club to fill 25% of the stadium’s capacity. Tickets go on sale on Tuesday via the club website.

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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