Romulo Stunner Earns Busan IPark Point Against Seongnam FC

Busan IPark fought back to draw 1-1 at home against nine-man Seongnam FC on Saturday evening in the K League 1.

Seongnam, who are one point better off than Busan, traveled south on the back of four straight defeats. The home team, meanwhile, came into the game in buoyant mood after securing their first victory of the season last weekend against Incheon United. Busan coach Cho Deok-jae made only one change from that team, with Kim Byung-oh replacing Kwon Yong-hyun on the left-wing.

Busan enjoyed the better of the early exchanges, but it was Seongnam who broke the deadlock in the ninth minute, albeit in fortunate circumstances. Park Joon-gang was the unlucky man for Busan, the defender inadvertently scoring an own goal when the ball bounced off the back of his heel as he attempted to clear his lines.

Although the hosts enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, they struggled to create clear-cut chances as Seongnam sat back to consolidate their lead. Busan were gifted a way back into the game in first-half stoppage time, however. Magpies left-back Choi Ji-mook was sent off after receiving his second yellow card for a late challenge on Lee Dong-joon, giving Busan a player advantage for the second half.

Busan pushed forward in search of an equalizer after the restart, with Lee Jeong-hyeop and Dostonbek Tursunov going close, but it took a moment of magic from playmaker Romulo to get the Royals back on level terms. The Brazilian picked up the ball thirty yards out and curled a beautiful left-footed effort into the bottom corner on 69 minutes for his fourth goal of the season.

Seongnam defender Lee Chang-yong was then given his marching orders after harshly being adjudged to have pulled back Lee Jeong-hyeop as the striker ran through on goal, so the Magpies had to play the last ten minutes with only nine men. Busan failed to make the two-player advantage count, however, and Seongnam held on to secure a point.

The 1-1 draw was Busan’s fifth stalemate of the season, and FC Seoul’s win against Incheon United meant that Busan dropped down to eleventh in the table. Busan now has a six-point advantage over bottom side Incheon, however, and are only three points off the top six.

Busan IPark are next in action against K League 3 side Hwaseong FC in the FA Cup on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. They return to league action next Saturday at the same time, traveling to sixth-placed Gangwon FC.

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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