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Preview: Ansan Greeners Vs Daejeon Citizen


Two of the league's struggling teams go head-to-head on Saturday when Daejeon Citizen head to the Wa~ Stadium to take on Ansan Greeners. Citizen remain rooted to the foot of the table having picked up just three wins all season and keeping one cleansheet. The Greeners are just two places above the Purples and have four victories to their name in what is their debut season. However, two of those victories came against Daejeon. A win for the Purples could see them finally move off the bottom of the table. Ansan, meanwhile will want to narrow the gap between themselves and FC Anyang in 7th.

Image courtesy of dcfc.co.kr

Overview

Graphic from Soccerway.com


Last Time Out

Daejeon Citizen earned themselves a very respectable 1-1 draw at home to playoff hopefuls Asan Mugunghwa last Saturday. The Purples took the lead inside the first 15 minutes when Citizen's latest Brazilian import, Bruno Cantanhede (pictured above), scored his second goal in three games since joining earlier this month.

Citizen were awarded as free-kick on the left flank which, taken by Lee Hoseok in his right foot was nodded home by Bruno, who's superior height enabled him to leap above everyone in the box. The 23-year-old sent a glancing header over his left shoulder to find the far corner, using the pace of the ball to beat a helpless Park Hyungsoon in the Asan goal.

Asan did hit back in the second period, however to see the game end all square. In the 77th minute, Nam Junjae found the back of that net, connecting with a half-volley from a Kim Junyeop cross deep in the Daejeon half. Although Nam made decent contact with the ball, the shot made it's way into the back of the net via Daejeon goalkeeper Jeon Suhyun's legs who was nutmegged, seemingly flummoxed back the bounce.

Ansan Greeners picked a point of their own last weekend, drawing 1-1 away to Seongnam FC. Raul Tarragona put the home side in front on 15 minutes only for former Daejeon Citizen striker, and 2016 K League Challenge MVP, Kim Dongchan to level from the penalty spot on 82 minutes.

K League Challenge table heading into R22. Graphic from Soccerway.com


Previous Meetings

In both the previous meetings this term, Ansan Greeners have run out 2-1 winners. The first of these victories came on opening weekend of the season when Daejeon Citizen last made the trip north to the Ansan Wa~ Stadium on 4th March.

In what was Asan Greeners' first ever competitive match, Citizen fell to a late, late winner from Han Geunyong in the 92nd minute. First, though, it was the Uzbek forward Bakhodir Nasimov who put Ansan ahead with Greeners' first ever goal, the 30-year-old converted from a tight angle just before the interval to give his new side a 1-0 lead.

After the restart Citizen pegged the home side back with a Lee Hoseok strike from long range. A goal on his debut for the former Gyeongnam winger looked to be enough to earn the Purples a point for their endeavours. However, in time added on, Han Geunyong broke Citizen hearts with his first ever K League goal.

More recently, in mid-June, the Greeners made the trip to Purple Arena and picked up a valuable away win. On a hot and humid evening in Daejeon, Ansan ran out 2-1 winners in a game that saw the Purple Arena faithful endure another lifeless performance from their team.

This time it was Daejeon's turn to score in time added on, only it wasn't a late winner but a mere scant consolation. Uruguayan forward Raul Tarragona, who was a thorn in Daejeon's side all evening, put the visitors ahead on 68 minutes before captain Park Hansoo made it two 11 minutes later.

A late rally from Citizen saw Lee Youngik's men half the deficit thanks to another sumptuous Levan Shengelia effort, his fourth of the season, but it proved to be too little too late.

Team News

Daejeon Citizen captain Kim Jinkyu is expected to be out having recently travelled up to Seoul to recieve treatment on a knee injury. The former FC Seoul central defender has endured a tough time at Purple Area having been in and out of the side due to injury and due to the axe-wielding Lee Youngik who is yet to decide what his best back line is.

Hwang Inbeom and Park Jaewoo are currently with the Republic of Korea U23 squad in Vietnam for AFC U23 Championship qualifying matches and so won't be available for selection for Citizen.

Kim Taeeun will also miss out having picked up his 6th yellow card of the season during Citizen's 1-1 draw with Asan Mugunghwa.

For Ansan Greeners, Park Junhee will miss the visit of Daejeon through suspension after receiving his 3rd yellow of the campaign against Seongnam last week.

The Adversary

Ansan Greeners have endured a tough debut season in the K League, having been founded in the wake of Ansan Mugunghwa becoming Asan Mugunghwa. Most of Ansan's squad has been made up of former National League side Ulsan Mipo Dockyard Dolphins. Although, there are some players within that squad that have K League experience, such as Yoo Yeonseung (formely Yoo Seungki) who played for Daejeon Citizen, as well as his former teammate Kim Byungseok who recently arrived from Seoul E-Land.

Ansan Greeners' lineup last time out. Graphic from Lineup11

For Ansan to not be propping up the table, ironically quite how Daejeon are, would perhaps be seen as a decent first season. But, perhaps the Greeners' is progress is being hampered by a manager who cannot seem to decide on a suitable formation for his side. In the last five games, Lee Heungsil has used just as many formations. Last time out against Seongnam he opted for a 3-4-3 with Raul on the wing, whereas the week before away to Asan Mugunghwa the Greeners took to the field in a 5-4-1 formation. Prior to that, Lee has used 4-2-3-1 (Busan at home), 4-1-4-1 (Daejeon Citizen away), and a 3-5-2 (Gyeongnam at home). Given that Lee Heungsil's side were victorious when these two sides last met, the POSCO Atoms midfielder might opt for a similar set up to that he did for the 2-1 victory at Purple Arena (4-1-4-1).

Who To Watch

Raul Tarragona caused Daejeon Citizen all kinds of problems when these two sides last met just under a month ago, scoring the first goal in a 2-1 win. The Uruguayan forward has seven goals to his name this term, and as columnist Ryan Walters mentioned during our latest live broadcast, as a result he is in the golden boot race. Signed from Uruguyan 2nd Division side Rentistas, Raul has made it into the K League Best XI on now fewer than six occasions.


Image via Ansan Greeners Facebook

Prediction

Although relegation is not something that either team need to worry about, both teams are playing for pride at this point in the season. And whilst neither side head into this match in blistering form, but both have players in Cristian Danalache and Raul Tarragona who can be match winners on their day.
The game could well come down to which of two asserts himself better. Raul terrorized the Daejeon back line when these two sides faced off against each other in mid-June but since then Citizen have bolstered their defense. A draw looks like the most likely outcome for this one.

Daejeon Citizen 1-1 Ansan Greeners





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