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Preview: FC Anyang Vs Seoul E-Land

K League 2 Preview: FC Anyang Vs Seoul E-Land

Last weekend brought an emphatic victory for Seoul E-Land when they traveled down to Bucheon 1995. A 3-0 victory awarded the Leopards with three points and provided increasing confidence for their next test in the K League 2; FC Anyang away from home on a Monday evening kick-off. Can E-Land continue their great performance from last week? Or can FC Anyang also add to their impressive 3-2 victory against Gwangju, their first three points of the season?
(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land had a memorable game last Saturday evening. They traveled to 2nd place side Bucheon 1995, and on paper, it looked like it would be a one-way affair for the home side. A lackluster first half though saw both teams cancel each other out, going into the break goalless.

However, as we have seen a few times from E-Land this season, the second half was a completely different performance from the side. Choi Han-Sol got the scoring underway, with a shot deflecting off the post, trickling into the net in the 64th minute. It was not all going Seoul’s way in the 2nd half though, and a penalty conceded only a few minutes later could have made it level. Luckily for E-Land, Kim Young-kwang guessed the correct way and kept his clean sheet intact.

Defender Ahn Ji-ho got himself on the score sheet from heading home in the 80th minute from a corner kick, professionally taken by the center back, doubling E-Land’s lead. This lead was then further extended just over a minute later, as Choi Oh-back scored the third and final goal. A complete attacking performance from E-Land in the second half, and they were rewarded with a much-deserved win.

FC Anyang had similar fortunes when they played Gwangju on Sunday evening. A much closer, 3-2 win for the side, saw them record their first win of the season. Gwangju took the lead in the 21st minute, a penalty converted by Na Sang-ho. The game went into the break with Gwangju ahead, but it only took four minutes after kick off for Anyang to equalize. Jung Hee-woong made it level before a Wesley Alex brace made it 3-1 in the 51st and 71st minute of the game.

Gwangju did manage to pull one back three minutes later from Doo Hyun-seok, but Anyang held on for a famous victory, their first in the league, since September 2017. Gwangju was reduced to ten men in the 64th minute, but credit to Anyang in their win and hard fought defending towards the end of the game.

Previous Meetings

The two teams played one another, just over a month ago in Jamsil, and it was the home team, which took the spoils in the contest. Seoul E-Land went into the game still looking for their first win in six attempts. A rather scrappy affair saw Seoul win 1-0 due to a clumsy error from Anyang defender, and keeper, leading to an own goal from Jeon Soo-hyun. The Anyang player passed the ball back to the keeper, and it ended up putting E-Land ahead in the game.
Seoul E-Land Celebrate with their away supporters, after a convincing 3-0 win against 2nd Place Bucheon 1995.  (Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/SeoulEland
The game was in no way near a classic, an own goal clanger being the decider but the win was vital for E-Land, as it was their first in eight months. Since the win, E-Land has only lost one in the last five games, hopefully, a change in fortune for the side. Anyang however, apart from their last game, lost every match since their meeting in April. They will go into the game with newfound confidence after their win, but they have still not shown any real quality in the league so far.

Team News

Seoul E-Land will be without their regular center back, and last week’s goalscorer Ahn Ji-ho, having picked up his third yellow card of the season against Bucheon on Saturday. This will be Ahn Ji-ho’s second suspension, after seeing a straight red against Daejeon Citizen back in March.

E-Land also has four players with only one booking away from a suspension, most notably Kim Jun-tae and Choi Han-sol. Discipline has been an issue for E-Land ever since the start of the season, and suspensions have kept a few players out over the course of the year.

Upfront we will see Choi Oh-Back and Diego Bielkiewicz start, a great partnership between the two on the weekend, saw them link up well with one another. We may also be fortunate to see Cha Jae-Wan be at least on the bench, after two weeks not making it into the team, with suspicion to his absence being due to injury, as he has been prolific for the team so far this season.

For FC Anyang, they have been a lot more disciplined than Seoul this season, but they do have five players only one booking away from a suspension, including Brazilian defender, Marcus Antonio. Most likely to start and to cause damage for the side on the weekend will be fellow countryman Wesley Alex, who will play against his old club on Monday. The striker has five goals in nine games for Anyang and has the support of midfielder Jung Hee-woong who has four goals to his name as well.

The Adversary

FC Anyang will come into this game with newfound confidence, having won their first game in almost eight months on Sunday evening. With their match also being at home, they will push to get at least something out of the game. FC Anyang are currently sat bottom of the K League 2 table and have shown no real sign of class this year. This, despite in 2017, they actually managed to win more games than Seoul E-Land, with ten wins against Seoul’s seven.

FC Anyang finished four points ahead of Seoul E-Land last season, but E-Land has had a lot better campaign so far this year. Last year, FC Anyang were on 17 points going into Round 13 of the league, compared with this season, with only six. A shell of a side they were last season, where they actually started in great form, with a number of consecutive wins both home and away.

Who To Watch

After scoring twice on the weekend, and having a lot of history with this week's opponents for the Brazilian, Wesley Alex will be one to watch against his former team on Monday.

Alex has been in the K League 2 since 2013, minus two seasons when he moved out to Thailand, for Chainat Hornbill. Alex has played for Goyang Zaicro (Now defunct), Gangwon, Daegu, Seoul E-Land, and his current team Anyang. A bit of a Korean journeyman, he has been in good form recently, scoring four goals in five games. A real danger in front of goal, and he will be well marked throughout the game.

Prediction

The two teams will meet on Monday evening, both coming off exceptional wins for both teams. Both sides will once again need the points to establish themselves more in 2018, but the game could go either way. FC Anyang will have the home advantage and will try to use that to their full potential to capitalize on Seoul, although, E-Land, have been a real quality side when asked upon this season.

I believe we will see E-Land edge this one down in Anyang. The Leapoards have started to really gel as a team with the new additions and, with also a game in hand they could potentially win, they could seriously make waves within the league.

Predicted Score: FC Anyang 0-2 Seoul E-Land

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