The power of the jinx outweighed the ‘honan effect’. Busan IPark finally reclaimed the lead at the top of the table with a 4-1 win over Seoul Eland on Thursday at Mokdong Sports Complex, their fourth straight win and third straight league victory.
In the 16th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2 2023, Busan took the lead in the 37th minute through a sensational header by Kim Chan. After conceding an equalizer to Lee Si-heon two minutes into the second half, Busan scored the winning goal in the 28th minute through Park Jung-in on the counterattack to secure a 2-1 victory and three valuable points on the road. Riding a three-game winning streak, Busan finished with eight wins, five draws and two losses for 29 points, jumping three spots from fourth to first as Anyang (28 points), Bucheon (26 points) and Gimpo (26 points) failed in their win hunt. It’s the first time Busan has been in the lead since the opening match. Eighth-ranked Eland (20 points), which was riding a three-game winning streak and five-match unbeaten streak, saw its momentum slow down when it met Busan. Unable to break the jinx.
The keyword before the game was Lee Land’s 1.95-meter “monster striker” Honan. Honan is one of the best strikers in the K League 2 with five goals in his last five games. After coming on as a second-half substitute, he played the role of a ‘game-changer’, changing the course of the game with his overwhelming delivery and scoring power in the opponent’s half. Eight of Yiland’s nine goals in their last five matches have come with Honan on the pitch, as they have won four, drawn one and won three in a row in those five matches. Busan coach Park Jin-seop, who utilized the long Brazilian striker when he was in charge of Gwangju, called him “a player I’ve been watching” and warned, “We have to be careful with the rebounding battle.” Eland coach Park Chung-gyun said he benched him for the day because he was not yet fully fit, but he hoped that Honan’s strengths such as “power and strength” would come into play now that he had recently resolved his childbirth issues. Honan’s wife gave birth to their first daughter at the end of May.
Eland must have been hoping for a “formula buff” from Ronan. After finishing the first half trailing 0-1, Yland brought Honan on at halftime. It worked within two minutes. His overwhelming physicality and concise touch in front of goal created a chance for his teammate. Lee Si-heon took the ball and exploded for the equalizer with a sharp shot. However, the “Honan effect” was short-lived. This time, Park Jin-seop’s mercenary skills paid off. In the 19th minute of the second half, substitute Park Jung-in scored the game-winning goal less than 10 minutes after coming on. It happened right after Honan’s shot was blocked by Busan goalkeeper Moon Jung-in. Immediately after the goal, the assistant referee raised the offside flag, but the goal was recognized after the video assistant referee (VAR) was activated. In the 43rd minute of the second half, Honan’s header from the edge of the box went wide of the goal. Honan was substituted in stoppage time, and the game ended with a 2-1 victory for Busan. Busan, who shut down Honan, smiled, while Eland, who did not see the ‘Honan effect’, could not smile. 먹튀검증