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playoffs

Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Seoul E-Land

Ansan host Seoul E-land in a bid to keep touch with the playoff pack while the team from Jamsil try to resurrect their season.

Last Time Out

Coming off the back of a massive 2-1 win over league leaders Seongnam, Ansan travelled to Bucheon last weekend looking to demonstrate that their good early season form was not just a one-off purple patch. Despite Bucheon's attacking threat, particularly through Willian Popp, the Ansan defence had imperious performances from Shin Ilsoo and Park Taeheon. Shin Ilsoo first half header from the back post gave Ansan the lead and temporarily catapulted them into third place in the K2 table. However, the lead (and table position) did not survive the second half when Bucheon's Lee Hyeonseung appeared to mishit a cross that found its way into the top-left corner, knotting the game at one. Despite the shared points, it was an encouraging performance from the Greeners, with a standout display from Seku Conneh. The Ansan striker has struggled to get goals, but has proven to be a real handful for defences, particularly with his holdup play.

Previous Meetings

April's game between the two sides was gutting for Ansan who led through a Park Jinseop goal with 15 minutes remaining. Despite being down to ten men, Seoul hit back with two goals from Cho Jaewan, the last coming in injury time. The loss marked the beginning of a tough few weeks for Ansan, but they seem to be back on track now.

Team News

Lee Heunsil surprised many by going for a 4-1-4-1 against Bucheon, but it paid off in the absence of key strikers Raul Tarragona and Choi Hojoo. Conneh led the line well, allowing Ansan's fullbacks to get into striking positions in Bucheon's final third. However, with this game being a must-win, he may revert to the 3-4-3 system that initially brought so much success during the first part of the season.

The Adversary

E-Land have been having a really mixed season this year. The Seoul outfit have managed to pick up victories against top teams such as Bucheon 1995 and their opponents this week, Ansan Greeners. The same team will then go on to be beaten 2-0 by bottom of the league FC Anyang. Their last game was that 2-0 defeat to Anyang, and the score line does not fully reflect the performance. A really feisty and rough game from both sides saw Anyang’s Choi Jaehoon pick up a second yellow card in the first half. The ten man Anyang side still managed to score in the 62nd minute from a corner kick to give them the lead. Their second came on the last kick of the game, literally when E-Land had every other player up in Anyang’s box to score a potential equalizer. The loss was a tough one for the side, due to E-Land’s decent form of late.

One positive for E-Land coming into the game is that they will have defender Ahn Jiho back after a one game suspension from picking up his 3rd yellow card against Bucheon. The Monday evening game will also see the return of number 14, Cha Jaewan, a real positive player for the side. Cha specializes in pushing the ball up the field as much a possible in the game, which Seoul will need against Asan. Even with the returns, E-Land may want to be weary of their line up this week, with Choi Hansol and Kim Juntae both on one card away from a suspension. Given Choi and Kim's card issues, hopefully Seoul can play the game with minimal bookings, as discipline has been an issue with the side overall of late. They have currently racked up 24 yellow cards, and three reds. Something they definetly need to improve on as the season progresses. Considering the two teams played only a month ago, and E-Land picked up the victory, the game could go either way in my opinion. Ansan will have home advantage though, and will have learnt from their sloppy mistake from when the two sides met in late April.

By Michael Redmond

Prediction

Ansan have the bit between their teeth right now and know they must win to keep pace with the playoff pack. They should be able to avenge the defeat in April with another three points at the Wa.

Ansan Greeners 2-1 Seoul E-Land


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