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Preview: Bucheon 1995 vs Asan Mugunghwa

Preview: Bucheon 1995 Vs Asan Mugunghwa K League 2 Round 11
Monday Night Football returns to K League 2 as second placed Bucheon 1995 are set to welcome Asan Mugunghwa, who are positioned just below them in the table.  There is currently a four point gap between the two, so the visitors will be looking to come away with a win and slash the deficit. Both teams enter play for round 11 off of victories, and so likewise will look to continue their recent good form. K League United's Branko Belan previews the upcoming tilt.

Match: Bucheon 1995 vs Asan Mugunghwa
Venue: Bucheon Sports Complex
Kickoff: Monday May 14th, 19:30 KST

Last Time Out

Bucheon 1995 1-0 Gwangju FC

Bucheon was able to pull out a victory at home to Gwangju last Saturday, thanks to a strike on the hour mark from Jin Chang-soo. The margin of victory could have been more, but for the woodwork, which kept the ball out of the net in the late stages of the match.

The hosts were under pressure early but refused to bend. Gwangju also could not keep their efforts on target so once Bucheon got into the flow of the match, things started to even out a bit. They could have gone ahead in the 27th minute when K2 leading scorer William Popp played a ball into the path of Lee Jong-chan, but Yoon Bo-sang, the Gwangju 'keeper, came off his line to deny the home side going into the lead.

It was the only concrete chance for the home side in the first forty-five minutes, but they stood tall at the back, and the sides went to the break without goals.

It was the visitors who came out with more intent in the second half, but another early spell of pressure did not lead to a goal. It set the stage for the hosts to go in front against the run of play when Jin Chang-soo came storming down the left flank off a breakout, waited patiently to turn inside his defender, and curled a right-footed blast into the top corner to give his side the lead.

Gwangju continued to press after conceding but they couldn't find the back of the net, with several chances off target and thanks to Choe Cheol-won made key saves when called upon to preserve the lead.

Bucheon could have gone two in front on 82 minutes as a ball into the box rolled into the path of Popp, who found space in close to fire at goal, but his effort hit the bar and stayed out.  

In the end, the single goal was enough, and Bucheon were able to stay within touching distance of the leaders, Seongnam, who they trail by only a single point.

Highlights: here

FC Anyang 0-3 Asan Mugunghwa

Asan came into the match looking to get back to winning ways after falling to Gwangju last time out.

The match started brightly for them as they came at their opponents in waves in the early goings, leaving Anyang scrambling to hold their defensive line. It wouldn't be long before Asan would go into the lead, as Lee Ju-yong headed them into the lead after only ten minutes.

Anyang tried to respond but despite having much of the possession for the rest of the first half, they were not able to find an equalizer, and the teams went to the break with the visitors in front.

At the beginning of the second half, it was the hosts again who continued to press forward in an attempt to draw level but they couldn't find a way to pierce the Mugunghwa defence.

Ahn Hyun-beom came on as a substitute, and that swung the match in Asan's favor. The Jeju United man, who is with the club this season to fulfil his military service, proved to be the difference maker as he found the net twice within the final six minutes plus injury time to secure an important three points for his club ahead of Monday's big clash. Anyang, meanwhile, continue to flounder at the bottom of the division.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The two sides met earlier this season in round six, with Asan coming away 4-2 winners in what was for the most part a convincing performance. Cho Seong-joon scored a brace in the first half, and Kim Min-gyoon and Ko Mu-yeol added the others. Min Sang-ki scored an own goal, and Lee Jung-chan added a consolation marker for Bucheon in second half injury time.

Overall, because the police team have only been based in Asan since 2017, Bucheon have only faced Asan Mugunghwa on five previous occasions. Asan have three wins to Bucheon's one and one draw. However, Bucheon have taken on a police team of sorts 23 times who have had a distinct edge in the head-to-head, having won thirteen times to Bucheon's five, while the five remaining fixtures have ended in a draw. Over that span, the police teams have outscored their opponents on Monday by a total of 41-27. Last season, as Asan Mugunghwa, the police side won twice, Bucheon once, and one match ended in a 1-1 draw.  Judging by the numbers, it is fair to say that Asan are slight favorites to win, even though they are playing away from home, but Bucheon will look to emulate their strong defensive performance last week against Gwangju.

The Adversary

Asan Mugunghwa pose for a team photograph prior to the 3-0 away win over Anyang. (Image via K League)

Asan come into the match with an overall record of five wins, two draws, and three losses. They have shown that they are capable of winning big games, but dropping points to Gwangju is perhaps something that could have been avoided.

Nonetheless, they are in the conversation at the moment in terms of teams who have a chance to be promoted to the top division next season.  here are some good names in the squad, and if they can get on a run in mid-season, it would set them up to be amongst the horses racing for the finish line come the end of the campaign. Getting a win against Anyang was a must but they have to prove that they can be consistent against the sides in the upper half of the table, and the match with Bucheon will give them another chance to assert their dominance in the rivalry thus far.

Prediction

This match is a bit tricky to call the second time around. Ko Mu-yeol will not play for Asan due to a suspension for a red card he picked up in injury time last round, and Bucheon were futile in front of goal despite several chances to win by a bigger margin.

Asan do have the edge statistically, but they will be on the road for this one. Two of their three losses this season have come away from home, while Bucheon have won both of their matches at home this season after a long spell on the road to open the campaign.

The deciding factor here is that Asan need the win to keep stride with the leaders, and should have enough quality to get three points if they go forward with pace and stay strong at the back.

Prediction: Bucheon 1995 1-2 Asan Mugunghwa

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