Suwon up to third after surviving late scare

Suwon up to third after surviving late scare
Suwon up to third after surviving late scare

Park Dae-won's late red card ensured an unnecessarily stressful finish for the Bluewings in front of almost 9,000 entertained fans at Wa~ Stadium. Suwon wasted several good chances to close out the game, nearly paying the ultimate price deep into injury time.

Ansan Greeners 0-1 Suwon Samsung

Suwon Samsung climbed to third thanks to Han Ho-gang's second-half header at Wa~ Stadium. Han climbed highest to meet Lee Jong-sung's out-swinging corner, powerfully directing it into the bottom right corner. Questions will be asked of Ansan's defending, especially on the goal line, but this was a thoroughly deserved three points against a good Greeners side.

Yeom Ki-hun handed league debuts to two of his winter signings. Lee Si-young, on loan from bitter rivals FC Seoul, started at right back and played the full 90 minutes. It was a battling outing for the 26-year-old, picking up a yellow card midway through the second half.

Aboubacar Toungara lasted an hour on his debut. The Malian midfielder only joined the club last week from Bulgarian side FC Arda Kardzhali, showing promising signs before being replaced by Kim Ju-chan. Toungara laid one on for Fejsal Mulić who fired wide when through on goal.

It was another enigmatic performance from the big man leading Suwon's line. On another day, he could have helped himself to a hat-trick, but it wasn't another day. Soon after missing the target with his first sighting on goal, Mulić was again played through, this time by Jeon Jun-woo. Mulić opened his body, looking to place a shot with the inside of his right foot, but it was comfortably saved by Lee Jun-hee.

In the second half, Mulić displayed his unquestioned quality, when he created a chance from nothing on the edge of the area. His powerful shot crashed off the bar, with Lee completely beaten in goals. One of Mulić's final acts of the game was to sky a shot high over the bar. He was replaced by Kim Hyun with seven minutes to play.

The Bluewings will likely feel they should have closed out the game long before defender Park Dae-won's second yellow card for a professional foul in the 92nd minute. Park was one of five Suwon players to pick up a booking. Ironically, he's only in the side because Cho Yoon-sung was sent off on his debut. A disjointed defense will undoubtedly concern Yeom, and will his side's lack of clinical finishing.

Last season, Suwon finished level on points with Suwon FC but went down on goals scored. Despite improvements made by the three teams Suwon have faced, Chungnam Asan, Seoul E-Land, and Ansan Greeners, those clubs finished 10 to 12th in K League 2 last season. The Bluewings have dates with, among others, Busan IPark, FC Anyang, and Gimpo FC over the next month.

In Ansan, however, here are positive signs that this might be a good season for the Green Wolves. They opened their campaign with a narrow, late loss to Gyeongnam FC at home, and followed that up with a massive 3-1 win at promotion-hopefuls Seongnam FC. Ansan created two very good chances in this game, the best of which fell to Lee Kyu-bin. Lee ghosted into the box unnoticed on 15 minutes but flashed his free header over from 12 yards. He should have scored.

Manager Lim Gwang-sik will undoubtedly feel they left a point behind and will have been encouraged by his team's ability to cause Suwon problems on the break. A sign of Ansan's threat was evident in how many cynical fouls the Bluewings committed, one of which culminated in a deserved red card for centre-back Park.

But it is Suwon who have prevailed, and they will feel they can make their stay near the top of the table a permanent one if the goals start to arrive.

Ansan and Suwon will be back in action next weekend, in the 2nd round of the Korea Cup. The Bluewings host K3 side Chuncheon Citizen while Ansan make the long trip south to face another third-tier side, Gyeongju KHNP. Interestingly, if they both advance, they will face off in Wa~ Stadium on April 17th, the same stage as last season.