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Preview: Suwon FC vs Asan Mugunghwa

Preview: Suwon FC vs Asan Mugunghwa

Suwon FC welcome Asan Mugunghwa on Saturday evening looking to rebound following their 1-0 loss to Gwangju FC last time out.  Asan, meanwhile, had a golden opportunity to leapfrog into second spot but allowed a late equalizer at home against Busan IPark.  While both teams are at opposite ends of the table, recent results have favored the bottom half of the league.  K League United's Branko Belan has a look at the clubs and what to expect from the match.

Match: Suwon FC vs Asan Mugunghwa
Venue: Suwon Civic Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday June 2nd, 18:00 KST

Last Time Out

Suwon FC 0-1 Gwangju FC

The first half did not offer very much as neither side was able to threaten in front of goal.  Suwon did enjoy more of the possession, but were not able to capitalize on their opportunities on the ball.  The best chance of the half fell to Kim Byeom-yong just before the break, but his effort was easily saved.

The second half started out much like the first, with neither side creating much, but Gwangju did look the side with more urgency after the break.  Their endeavor would pay off midway through, when Na Sang-ho was played in on goal and fired low past a flat-footed Kim Da-sol to put the visitors into the lead.

Suwon pressed forward in search of an equalizer, and came close only minutes from time, but Matheus Alves headed over the bar from close range.  Gwangju would hold on for the narrow victory, leaving Suwon languishing in ninth place on 13 points in as many rounds.

Highlights: here

Asan Mugunghwa 1-1 Busan IPark

Asan came into their match with Busan IPark knowing that a win would vault them into second spot.  The first half was a scrappy affair.  Chances were relatively few, and neither 'keeper was seriously tested.  Ahn Hyun-beom was arguably the best player for the hosts in the opening forty-five minutes, and came close to putting his side into the lead in first half injury time, but his effort in front of goal went past the post.

The second half started well for the home side, and they were in the lead after 53 minutes after Kim Min-kyun and Jo Seong-joon played a one-two combination down the left.  The cross towards the penalty area eventually fell for Han Eui-kwon, who fired home to put Asan in front.  The hosts would dominate most of the second half, but missed several chances to add to their advantage, and Ko Kyung-min made them pay in injury time, taking a pass from Shin Young-jun, turning his defender and beating Park Hyeong-soon in the Asan goal.

Asan will have a chance to right the ship when they take the pitch against Suwon, knowing that they face top of the table Seongnam in midweek on June 6th.  At one point earlier in the season, they were looking like potential contenders for promotion to the top flight, but they must polish their realization in front of goal to mount a serious challenge.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The two teams will be meeting for the second time this season.  The last time they met at the beginning of the year in March, Asan took all three points in a 2-0 win, thanks to strikes from Hwang In-beom and Ko Mu-yeol.

Asan won all four meetings last season, and holds a distinctive edge in the overall series, having won twelve of eighteen matches overall, while Suwon have won five, and one match ended in a draw.  The military men also hold a plus eight goal differential.  If statistics continue to be true to form, Asan could well repeat their performance from earlier in the season come Saturday evening.

Team News

Suwon will go into the match without the services of Cho Yu-min, as the midfielder will serve a one match suspension after picking up his third yellow card of the season against Gwangju.  In other news, Kim Dong-chan is back with the team, having returned last Saturday.  He could be in line for more playing time, and may possibly get the start this weekend.

For Asan, they will be without Ko Moo-yeol, who will also be serving a one match ban after also picking up his third yellow of the season against Busan.  Ju Se-jong is currently on international duty with the Korean national team as they prepare to face Bosnia-Herzegovina in a friendly on Friday night in Jeonju.

The Adversary

Asan need a win to stroke their confidence ahead of their midweek clash against league leaders Seongnam on June 6th.

Asan missed a golden opportunity to climb the table after conceding late against Busan.  If they are to keep their names in the title race come the end of the season, they need to learn to close out matches on a regular basis.

They also need to learn to slow the tempo of their game, especially late, when they have the lead.  Playing too quickly at times has cost them dearly, and could prove to be one of the main factors if they fall out of contention later in the season.

They spent a lot of time in training before the Busan match to polish up their offensive skills, but they were befallen by the same problems they have had frequently this season - an inability to finish in front of goal.  This squad has a lot of good talent, but if they expect to earn maximum points from week to week, as they should, finding the back of the net consistently will have to become a top priority.

Prediction

Despite coming into the match as the away team, all things point to victory for Asan, having won already this season against their upcoming opponents, stretching their win streak to five in the process.

Suwon have only three wins in their last ten, and there is no indication that the trend will head in the other direction when they face Asan.  There has been a trend lately, however, of the clubs near or at the bottom of the table going out and getting results against their higher positioned counterparts, so there is a chance that this encounter could provide a few surprises.

Asan need to get wins at this point, and they need a confidence builder if they are going to be a challenge for Seongnam in a weeks time.  The time to start closing the gap is now if they want to build a foundation for the rest of the season.

Prediction: Suwon FC 1-2 Asan Mugunghwa

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