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Preview: Gwangju FC vs Asan Mugunghwa

K League 2 Preview: Gwangju FC vs Asan Mugunghwa


K League 2 gets back underway this weekend as new league leaders Asan Mugunghwa travel on the road to face Gwangju FC.  By virtue of their 3-0 win last time out before the World Cup break against Seoul E-Land, they leapfrogged Seongnam for top spot, and now look to build on that momentum, while Gwangju have struggled recently, sitting eleven points off the pace heading into Sunday afternoon's match.  K League United's Branko Belan looks ahead to the first versus seventh clash.

Match: Gwangju FC vc Asan Mugunghwa
Venue: Gwangju World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: Sunday July 1st, 13:00 KST

Last Time Out

Ansan Greeners 2-0 Gwangju FC

The first twenty minutes didn't have a lot to offer as both teams had difficulty negotiating the pitch in the wet weather.  It would be the home side who would go into the lead on twenty minutes, when the ball fell in the box kindly for Hong Dong-hyun, who moved past a defender and created space for a shot at goal that ended up in the top corner, leaving Gwangju 'keeper Yoon Pyung-guk with no chance of making a save.

Gwangju looked more threatening in the later stages of the half, but Ansan's back line held up and ensured that the home side went to the break with a goal in hand.

Things did not change much after the break, until Ansan finally gave their first half advantage a bit of cushion when Choi Myung-hee put them ahead by two with a picture goal from outside the area in the 70th minute, as his shot crashed against the underside of the crossbar and finished beyond Yoon.

Chang Hyuk-jin could have had a third for the Greeners just before the half hour mark, but his deflected effort stayed on the line after striking the post and was cleared to safety.  In the end, it was a solid result for the hosts, with Gwangju failing to leave any impression on the match.

Highlights: here

Asan Mugunghwa 3-0 Seoul E-Land

Asan come into their encounter with E-Land on top of the league, looking to continue what has been a very strong run for them of late.  It would be the visitors however, who would get the first good chance to score, when they had a free kick lined up on the edge of the area, but Kim Jae-woong's effort finished a shade over the bar.

That seemed to galvanize Asan, as they went into the lead with under ten minutes to go in the half.  Lee Jae-an got on the end of a corner swung in from the right to head home after 37 minutes, and the lead would be doubled only three minutes later, when Han Eui-gwon snuck in at the post to head home again, sending the military men to the half with a comfortable advantage.

The second half went along at a mostly settled pace, but Lee competed his brace with twenty minutes left of regular time, as he was played in on goal thanks to a through ball that allowed him to outpace two defenders and chip over Kim Young-kwang for Asan's third of the night.  They saw the rest of the match through to the end and walked away with an easy three points.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Gwangju and Asan have met once this season, back in April, when Gwangju came away 2-1 winners, so Asan will be looking to exact a bit of revenge and stay on course for a chance at promotion.

Gwangju has a slight edge in the series between the two, having won one more match than their opponents on Sunday afternoon.  That said, both teams are on much different spells of form compared to earlier in the season, so there is a very distinct possibility that the outcome will be different this time around.

Team News

Gwangju will have to make do without midfielder Kim Dong-hyun who collected his third yellow of the season against Ansan Greeners last time out and will therefore be suspended for this fixture. As for Asan, they will likely continue to play without Ju Se-jong who only returned from international duty on Friday afternoon after Korea were knocked out of the World Cup.

The Adversary



Asan come into the match unbeaten in their last four.  The last time they lost was on May 19th, when Daejeon beat them by a single goal.


With his goal against E-Land Han Eui-gwon joins two other players atop the K League 2 scorers table on seven goals.  They are William Popp of Bucheon who has cooled off considerably of late, and Gwangju's own Na Sang-ho, so it will be interesting to see how both sets of back lines contend with the two high profile strike threats in their respective lineups.

Asan have been better defensively of late as well, having only conceded four times in their past five matches, while finding the net ten times.  The momentum is really starting to take this team in an upward direction, so they will want to continue on that path despite being on the road this week.

Prediction

If the head-to-head series is something to go by, then this will more than likely be a very tight one to call.  Gwangju really need a result to get back into the swing of things with the World Cup break now over for Korean football, and the best way to do that is with a win at home this weekend.

Asan meanwhile, have looked almost unbeatable of late.  This team is finding ways to win tough matches, with their midweek win in early June at home to Seongnam a perfect example of it.  This team is playing with a lot of confidence right now, but the layoff could have stole a bit of momentum from them.  It will be interesting to see how the match plays out, with something at stake for both squads - in one case, a chance to save a season, and in the other, an opportunity to cement a run for a league title.

Predicted Score: Gwangju FC 1-2 Asan Mugunghwa

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