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playoffs

Preview: Gyeongnam FC vs. FC Anyang



Smiles all round for Gyeongnam FC as they grab an opening day win (Source: Gyeongnam FC)

Overview

The season got off to a great start last weekend in Changwon for Gyeongnam as they had an opening day 1-0 win thanks to a nicely taken Song Su-Young goal over a Gangwon side who put up a good fight in an encouraging display. It took the Changwon-based team in 2015 twelve games to finally get a home win so hopefully it is a good sign that the disastrous season of last year is behind the team. For Gyeongnam it was also important they got off to a fast start to erase that -10 point penalty that has been placed upon them due to match fixing crimes of the past. Now they face a two game road swing which will be a true indicator of whether last weekend was a false dawn or if the club has really turned the corner. First up Gyeongnam travels to Anyang who were dominant in their 0-0 draw against Goyang, among the favorites for the wooden spoon this season. Anyang will be hoping to give the crowd an opening win on their home debut for the season.


The foreign trio (Source: idomin)

Gyeongnam team news

Christian made his club debut last weekend and while he did not get on the score sheet, his workrate in tracking back in defence was a highly encouraging component of his play. Good news for him is he will no longer be the sole foreigner at the club with Gyeongnam signing another European with ex-Dinamo Zagreb youth team player, Croatian defender Ivan Herceg joining the club together together with Brazilian forward Joaozinho. Both players are expected to be in the squad this weekend with their work visas having been approved although Joaozinho is having a current hiccup with processing the paperwork. If there is a delay he may not feature until next round against Daegu. Both have been playing at a lower level in their respective continents so it remains to be seen what impact they will have but it only adds to the squad depth at the team. Other players who flew under the transfer radar somewhat but made good first impressions last weekend include 23 year old goalie Lee Ki-Hyun from Bucheon, wingback Jang Eun-Kyu from Jeju and new team captain Lee Won-Jae from Daegu. While the new forwards have been grabbing the headlines in the transfer market and media, these acquisitions made important contributions that enabled the team to grab a 1-0 win in the first round.


FC Anyang players to watch out for

Kim Min-Kyun (7) - ex-South Korean U20 midfielder on loan from Ulsan for this season, who has played in Japan and Indonesia.

Orsini, the man Gyeongnam defenders need to watch (Source: Sports Seoul)
Kim Young-Hoo (9) - after scoring 45 goals for Gangwon and Ansan over 6 seasons he tried his luck in China playing for Shenzhen but has come back home after only one year. The oldest player in the Anyang squad, on his day he has a deadly eye for goal which he has demonstrated throughout all levels of his career.

Nicolas Orsini (77) -The young Argentinian forward was a handful for Goyang last weekend and should have scored. He was so dominant he was given the man of the match even though he did not score a goal. The Gyeongnam defenders will have to keep an eye on him this weekend.

Past Encounters

The teams have only faced each other four times, all last season. Gyeongnam won none of those games and struggled away in Anyang failing to score any goals, with both results up north being a 2-0 loss and a 0-0 draw. This is a different group of players for both teams though and these results cannot be used as to what can be expected this weekend.

Prediction: 1-1

Being so early in the season it is hard to give much of an accurate indication of the level and form of both teams yet. Anyang will be keen to get an opening home win yet Gyeongnam looked quite solid last weekend and could be dangerous in front of goal. Perhaps my bias is showing with this prediction but I can see both teams trying to get a result with Gyeongnam still trying to erase their penalty. Perhaps a score draw could be on the cards but Anyang will need to be more accurate in front of goal than they were at Goyang, achieving only three shots on target from twelve attempts.

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