Don’t expect too many surprises from South Korea side Suwon Samsung FC in Wednesday’s night’s AFC Champions League clash with Brisbane Roar at Gold Coast Stadium at Robina.
Bluewings Head Coach Seo Jung-Won has started the same XI in Suwon’s two AFC Champions League games to date – a 2-1 win over Urawa on Matchday One and a 0-1 loss to Beijing Guoan on Matchday Two.
Curiously, Seo also substituted the same three players in both games – Brazilian Santos, Seon Jing Jim and Kwon Changhoon, all midfielders.
And two of the three replacements were also identical in both matches, the like-for-like introductions of midfielders Brazilian Leonardo and Cho Ji Hoon.
But Seo will be forced to make at least one change to his defence for a game against the Roar which he has already indicated he would be happy to draw.
Suwon had defender Yang Sang Min sent off on a second yellow card in the second half of the loss to Beijing.
Seo has clearly scouted Roar and admitted last week he was impressed with Brisbane’s surprise 1-0 win over Urawa Red Dimaonds in Japan on Matchday Two.
“Roar is a very strong team and I believe they showed their quality at the game against Urawa. It will be not easy, but our goal in Australia is to get a point, at least,” Seo said.
Seo also could be expected to looking for guidance on Australian football from his experienced goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong.
The 30-year-old Jung was in the South Korea squad at the AFC Asian Cup in January, and watched from the bench in his country’s 2-1 extra-time loss in the final to the Socceroos.
Seo himself is a bit of a sporting legend in his homeland.
In 1994 at the World Cup in the United States, he scored the “goal of a lifetime”when he netted South Korea’s final-minute equaliser in a 2-2 Group Stage draw with Spain.
He played for Suwon between 1999 and 2004 (143 appearances, 36 goals) and represented South Korea between 1990 and 2000 (87 appearances, 16 goals).
But he is under a little bit of early season pressure. Not only did the Bluewings lose their last Champions league game, but they also went down 1-0 in their domestic season opener last week against rivals Pohang Steelers.
The Bluewings, who arrived on the Gold Coast on Sunday, made the AFC Champions League semi-finals in 2011 and the quarter-finals in 2010 but finished bottom of their group last year in Seo’s first crack at the competition since taking over as Head Coach at the club in 2014.
Tickets to Wednesday’s game are $10 (adults) and $5 (children) and are available through Ticketek.
The ticket price includes free train travel to and from Robina for Brisbane and Logan-based members and fans.
Gold Coast-based fans can also travel free to the game on Surfside bus routes, trains and the G-Link tram.
BLUEWINGS PLAYERS TO WATCH
- Santos: The 29-year-old Brazilian striker was top scorer in K-League Classic last year (14 goals). Since joining club in 2013, he’s scored 22 goals in 55 appearances.
- Leo Itaperuna: A new signing this year, the 25-year-old Brazilian centre forward scored Suwon’s winner on Match Day One against Urawa Red Diamonds.
- Jung Sung-ryong: The 30-year-old goalkeeper was in the South Korean squad for the recent AFC Asian Cup, including the 2-1 extra-time loss to the Socceroos, so he has a good understanding of Australian football.