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playoffs

Preview: Busan IPark vs FC Anyang

K League 2 Preview: Busan IPark vs FC Anyang

Busan IPark host FC Anyang this Sunday in the K League 2 after both sides went to extra time in the FA Cup in midweek. Busan will be looking to build on their win at Ansan last weekend, while a resurgent Anyang are looking to make it four wins from five as they strive to climb the table.
(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Busan IPark were in action in the FA Cup on Wednesday night against K3 side Gyeongju Citizen. The hosts, who gave full debuts to Sherjill MacDonald, Han Jun-gyu, Yeon Jei-min and Park Tae-hong, were outplayed in the first half and Gyeongju took a deserved lead through former Busan youth player Kim Ji-min. They doubled their lead on the hour mark with Lee Jeong-hwan's deflected effort, but a lacklustre Busan side finally kicked into life six minutes later. Romulo side-footed home from fifteen yards from Lee Dong-jun's low cross, and the Brazilian then brought Busan level with a last minute penalty after a clumsy challenge just inside the area. In extra time, Romulo again made the difference, lofting a perfect ball over the defence for Kim Moon-hwan to cushion a volley into the net and send Busan through to the fifth round.

FC Anyang were also drawn against lower league opposition in the fourth round of the cup, but their tournament came to a premature end with an extra-time defeat at home to Mokpo City.

Previous Meetings

Busan and Anyang have met twice already this year. In the first encounter at the Gudeok Stadium, Busan couldn't have asked for a more comfortable game as a red card for the visitors and a high defensive line allowed the Busan front line in on goal time and again. A double from Choi Seung-in set Busan on their way to a 3-0 win.

Anyang were much improved on their own turf when these sides played out a 2-2 draw in June. A late goal from Kim Sin-cheol earned the home side a point after Busan had come from behind to lead in the second half.

Team News

Busan will be without key playmaker Romulo after his red card against Ansan Greeners last weekend. Kim Jin-gyu could drop into midfield to partner Lee Jae-kwon, with Ko Kyung-min in the attacking midfield role.

After making several changes for the cup game, very few fringe players covered themselves in glory as Busan were lucky to scrape through the tie. Central defenders Park Tae-hong and Yeon Jei-min could come into contention in the coming weeks after solid showings on their first starts for the club, but a return for the Kim Myung-joon and Jeong Ho-jeong partnership is more likely at the weekend.

Kim Hyun-sung, Choi Seung-in and Sherjill MacDonald will be vying for the striker's role on Sunday. Kim has been first choice in recent weeks but has struggled to make an impact, while Choi is just back from injury. MacDonald put in a solid performance on his debut in midweek, showing speed, strength in the air and a good first touch, and could be in line for his first K League start.

Busan's summer signing Arsenio Valpoort. (image via K League)

Arsenio Valpoort will likely return after being rested in midweek. With pace, power, height and an impressive goalscoring record last year, the Dutchman has all the qualities to make a real impact at this level. Playing on the left of a front three in his first three appearances, however, Valpoort's first touch has sometimes looked heavy and he has drifted in and out of games. Busan have several options on the wings but have lacked a reliable frontman all season, and a move through the centre could well be the answer for Busan to get the most out of their star signing of the summer.

The Adversary

FC Anyang were poor for the first three months of the season, but their results have picked up recently. Five wins from their last nine games has seen them climb off the bottom of the table and there are signs of hope for their season, especially as the rest of the bottom five have struggled to pick up points in recent weeks. Anyang currently sit in ninth with twenty points, ten points behind their opponents on Sunday.

Prediction

Anyang have picked up some great results recently and Busan will be without their most creative player in Romulo. Anyang still have the worst defensive record in the league, however, and I think Busan will bounce back from their scare on Wednesday night.

Predicted Score: Busan IPark 2-1 FC Anyang

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