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Preview: FC Anyang vs Seoul E-Land

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

The last round of the K League 2 fixtures saw Seoul E-Land bring Monday night football to the Seoul Olympic Stadium. A convincing second half performance saw them earn a comfortable 2-0 win against Ansan Greeners, as they climbed up out of the last place in the league.

This week, they make the short journey down the metro line 4 to face fellow struggling side, FC Anyang. This fixture will be the third time the two teams have met this season, with both teams claiming one victory apiece. With the positioning of both teams making this “The Battle of the Bottom”, a win will be vital for both sides.

(image via K League])

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land welcomed Ansan Greeners to Jamsil on Monday evening, as E-Land set out to continue their 100% record against the side. Ansan came to E-Land in late April in what was a dramatic encounter, which saw the last kick of the game result in a goal from E-Land’s “wonder boy” Cha Jae-wan.

Ansan once again came to Jamsil and failed. The two teams had a bit of a dreary start in the first half. Ansan really had a lot more of the chances, much to the annoyance of E-Land keeper, Kim Young-kwang who was called upon multiple times. The Seoul captain was integral for keeping the side level going into the break.

In Chang-soo had 15 minutes at half time to give instructions on how he wanted to game to be played. The E-Land boss gave his indication to attack further up the pitch, and it was heard early in the second half. Choi Oh-baek broke free from his last man and slotted it around the keeper in the 53rd minute, to make it 1-0 E-Land.

The second and final goal of the game came only six minutes later, as a thrown in met by Cha Jae-Wan saw the young Korean outpaced the right back and scores almost an identical goal to Choi Oh-beak. Cha made it 2-0 for the side, as he has now scored in every fixture this year between the two sides, and remains E-Land’s top scorer

Highlights of the fixture can be found here.

FC Anyang was faced with a lot harder task on Monday as they made the away trip to a Seongnam side looking to, once again, claim the top spot. Seongnam went into the tie looking for a better result from last time the two teams met a month prior. Anyang managed to take a point from The Magpies, a little over a month ago, in a 1-1 draw.

Seongnam had no intention of repeating the same mistake and scored the only goal of the game in the 27th minute. Kim Min-hyeok was the goal scorer and gave the hosts the lead.

Anyang had a mountain to climb, and they were not able to do so. Anyang faced their first defeat since the return of the K League 2 from the World cup break, and they will be looking not to slide into any negative streaks.

Highlights of the game can be found here.

Previous Meetings

The encounter will be the 15th time, the two sides have met in the K League 2, with Anyang having the slightly better record against E-Land. They boast six wins against the Seoul outfit, compared to E-Land’s four, both sides also have four draws between them.

So far this season, the two side share a victory each over one another. With wins for the home side on both occasions, the first game saw Seoul E-Land, scrape a 1-0 in what was their first win of the campaign. A shocking pass back from Jeon Soo-hyun in the 18th minute saw the ball pass by the keeper, scoring an own goal.

The last victory for Seoul E-Land against FC Anyang came back in the mid-April. (Image via K League)

Seoul won the by narrowest of margins. However, it was their first win, and started an upturn in form of going two further games unbeaten from the result.

There was no love lost between the two sides, as they met in the next match down in Anyang. The Monday evening fixture back in late May, saw seven yellow cards split between the two sides. Two of the cards were for Anyang’s Choi Jae-hoon, and he was given his marching orders late into the first half.

A really poor display of football from both teams, as fouls were the main bread and butter of the tie. Anyang popped up in the 62nd minute, with a well-worked header from a corner. The scorer was Brazilian Wesley Alex, who was wearing an E-Land shirt, a year prior.

E-Land tried desperately to clinch a late goal, yet a well-worked counterattack in injury time, saw Moon Jun-ho make it 2-0 for the home side, and not a true reflection of how the game transpired.

Team News

Seoul E-Land played a 4-3-3 formation against Ansan, which saw new signing Ivan Herceg, play in the new role of central defensive midfield. I caught up with the Croatian after the game who said, “I have never played in that position before, so it was new for me to be so high up the pitch, however, I felt more comfortable as the game progressed”.

Even though it was a new position for the defender, he was vital in winning balls coming deep into Seoul’s defense, and distributing them to either side of the field. I would not be surprised if we saw him start in the same area on Saturday.

In Chang-soo also put Ahn Sung-bin in the right back position for the third successive game. The new E-Land man has been prolific in carrying the ball forward for Seoul, and his fast pace, when needed, has seen him run back to the position in time if a ball from him has gone astray. Ahn Sung-bin might also play against his former team in the right back position once more.

Herrera made his home debut for the team, as he came on in the 63rd minute for Cho Chan-ho. The Chilean had great bursts of energy and was really keeping the high press from E-Land in the latter stages of the game. I also managed to catch up with Herrera after the game and he explained how he is eager to make the starting line up for the side. Hopefully, we may see this against Anyang.

Seoul E-Land's line up, as they faced Ansan Greeners on Monday evening. (Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/seouleland)
Once again, however, we will not see the involvement of Diego Bielkiewicz, who has been sidelined for 15 days. The Argentinean is looking to try to be fit for the Daejeon game in two weeks time, but he will be unavailable for the tie on Saturday.

One player who may once again take his place is Cha Jae-wan, who has been Seoul’s top scorer this season with six goals in 16 games. The young attacker has been a highlight of the team this year and is integral in pushing the ball into the boxes of a lot of teams this year.

The boss, In Chang-soo, got the tactics perfect for the game against Ansan, especially in the second half, as tired legs from both sides became apparent. I would not be surprised if we were to see the same line up against Anyang, as it worked so well for leopards on Monday.

The Adversary

FC Anyang has been late off the blocks this year, but have had a good run of form recently. Their last five encounters have seen two wins, one loss and two draws for the side. They have a record of four wins, four draws and ten losses this year, and sit now at the bottom of the table.

A win however for the side, will see them, once again overtake Seoul E-Land, putting the capital club in the last place for the third time this year. Anyang came 7th last season in the 2017 campaign, but have really fallen off the wagon this time around, battling E-Land for the bottom.

Anyang will have no suspensions going into the game and will rely on former E-Land man, Wesley Alex to be the fortune of goals. The Brazilian is the top scorer for them with six goals this season, and has already shown, he can score against his former side.


Hopefully, this fixture will not be as rough and stop-start as the last time the two teams met. Tactics and play really went out the window, as reckless tackles came in from both sides during the game.

This match is important for either team to stay away from the last place of the league however, and we will see two teams pressing heavy to get that early goal.

Both teams have played well recently, have picked up some good points, both home and away. However, it was a masterful performance once again from Seoul on Monday, and if they go to Anyang with the same intentions, I can only see the fixture going one way.

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

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