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A Season of Mixed Fortunes for Seoul E-Land

It has been a slow start for Seoul E-Land in the 2023 K League 2. After six games, Seoul have recorded four losses, one draw and only one win. They currently sit 11th in the table with a couple of tough fixtures on the horizon.

However, it hasn’t been the worse of times for the Leopards this year. Their FA Cup run has kept spirits high. A run that included a 6-0 hammering of Bucheon and a famous 2-1 win over Suwon FC. Michael Redmond takes a look at what has been happening in the capital, and what is in store over the next few weeks.

Still Waiting for Success

The opening day of the K League 2 left Seoul E-Land fans with a lot of promise. A brand new boss brought a new chapter to the side. Park Choong-kyun was the man in charge and he brought in a new squad in the hopes of league success. That hope was quickly dashed however as they fell 3-2 to new boys Chungbuk Cheongju in round one. A game which saw a shell-shocked E-Land go three goals down before pulling back two by full-time.

That was then met with a draw against Anyang away from home. A game remembered for a magical free kick from Brazilian Bruno. More about his free kicks later. 

Bruno scores a freekick against FC Anyang in the 2023 K League 2
Then followed a double loss to Jeonnam Dragons and Busan Ipark. Jeonnam was a frustrating game as it was Seoul’s to lose. They had most of the ball and were missing chance after chance. It was a late winner for the Dragons to help them claim their first three points. Busan ended in a loss due to some questionable decisions at the back from goalkeeper Moon Jung-in, practically gifting Fessin with a pass and an open net. 

Their first win came in a 4-1 win in Mokdong against Ansan Greeners. It was a game where Seoul fans finally saw what the team could bring to the table in the league. This then motivated them to move forward in the FA Cup game against Suwon.

                                    [LINK: Groundhopper's guide to..... Ansan Wa~ Stadium]

The Magic of the Cup

The league might look a little bleak for Seoul at the moment, but the FA Cup certainly makes them look like the darlings of the competition.
It all started with a 6-0 win against Bucheon in the second round. The highest winning margin in the club's history. That was then followed by a clash with K League 1 outfit, Suwon FC.

In a game which saw Seoul go one goal down in the first half, a revitalized squad came out in the second half. Seoul pummeled Suwon with chance after chance. The equalizer came in the 50th minute when Kwak Seong-uk put the ball in the back of the net.

The K League 2 might not look great for Seoul E-Land, but it is still all to play for in the FA Cup
The winner came in the 85th minute and it was another Bruno free-kick masterclass. From a long way out, Bruno slotted the ball into the back of the net. In an area which he had no right to score from, he ended up giving Seoul the win and they move on to face Gwangju in round 4 of the competition.

A Tough Run In

Seoul now have a few tough games to play. Their next games are, Bucheon away, Gimcheon and Seongnam at home and finally Gyeongnam away. All four teams are expected to be in either the promotion spot or a playoff place come October this year.

Bucheon and Gyeongnam played the first playoff game in 2022, with Gyeongnam coming out on top. Gimcheon and Seongnam were the two relegated sides from the K League 1 last year.

This run-in could really be defining for Seoul E-Land this season. If they can get a healthy number of points from these four fixtures, and even climb up the table. Then hope could be restored for the fans. If they fail to make such an impression, then some questions might be asked already of this outfit.

Final Thoughts

We are still in the early days of the K League 2, however, Seoul are far from where they wanted to be in the table. It is their impressive cup run which is fueling the fans so far this year. However, they would like to see some results out into the league. Given that they can somehow beat Gwangju in the next round of the cup, a team that Seoul could not beat when they were a K League 2 outfit.

Do Seoul E-Land have the squad to turn it all around?
Then it’ll be a match-up against either Paju Citizen Fc or Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. Most people would fancy Jeonbuk in that tie, setting up a historical match for Seoul if they can beat Gwangju. For the league, Seoul needs to play each of these four upcoming games as if they are cup finals. 

If they can build the moment in the side and place confidence once again in the fans, then the capital team could look back at April being a defining time in their league run. Only time will tell.

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