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Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Asan Mugunghwa

K League 2 Preview: Ansan Greenrs vs Asan Mugunghwa

Ansan Greeners entertain automatic promotion hopefuls, Asan Mugunghwa, at the Wa Stadium on Saturday evening. This season has been a tale of contrasting fortunes for these two sides so far. The Greeners are bottom of the division after a run of seven successive league defeats, whereas Mugunghwa are unbeaten in their last eleven matches in the division and sit two points adrift of leaders, Seongnam FC, at the apex of the K League 2. James Walsh previews the match.


Last Time Out

Lee Heung-sil’s boys’ most recent loss came at home to the division’s frontrunners, Seongnam, in a one-nil reverse on Sunday. Magpies’ midfielder, Seo Bo-min’s stunner settled the contest, his twenty-yard curler flew past returning Greeners’ goalkeeper, Hwang Seong-min, on the half-hour mark to keep the away side top of the tree in the Challenge.

Asan Mugunghwa were held to a score draw away to Gwangju. The hosts’ giant Brazilian striker, Felipe, opened the scoring in fortuitous fashion, he shouldered-in from a well-worked corner in the first minute. Mugunghwa equalised just before half-time, full-back, Goo Dae-young’s side-foot half-volley gave the home side’s Yun Pyeonggook no chance from eighteen yards, as the visitors came away from the World Cup Stadium with a hard-earned point.

Previous Meetings

Asan have a one hundred percent record against Ansan this season, having notched up a hat-trick of victories over Saturday’s hosts this year.

The Greeners went down to Asan by a single goal to nil in the last meeting between the teams, which came in the fourth round of the KFA Cup at the Wa in late July. Mugunghwa centre-back, Lee Yong’s effort broke Green Wolves’ hearts in extra-time.

Asan also took all three points home with them when they beat Ansan two-nil on the road earlier in the same month, courtesy of Kim Min-kyun’s fine header, and Lee Myung-joo’s late shot.

Mungunghwa’s first victory of the season was an opening day home win over the Greeners at the start of the K League 2 term. Asan striker, Ko Moo-yeol’s goal was the difference at the Yi Sun-sin Stadium.

Team News

The home side are expected to recall Liberian international forward, Seku Conneh, back into their starting eleven for this one. Conneh’s fine hold-up play from the bench gave the Greeners more vigour in last Sunday’s home defeat. Jang Hyeok-jin is also likely to be giving a more attacking role in Saturday’s fixture. He was Ansan’s biggest threat in the Seongnam loss, and almost brought parity midway through the second forty-five, only to be denied by Magpies’ goalie, Kim Keun-Bae.

Mugunghwa head coach, Park Dong-hyuk, may look to give a starting place to attacker Ahn Hyeon-beom, given his team’s present dry spell in front of goal. He asked questions of Gwangju’s defence after his introduction from the bench in Asan’s latest draw. The ex-Ulsan Hyundai player is currently on Jeju United’s books, and can count himself unlucky not to have struck a winner on Monday.

The Adversary

Asan come into Saturday’s encounter having drawn their last three league matches in a row. Prior to Monday’s point against Gwangju, Asan were held to back-to-back stalemates at home to promotion rivals, Busan IPark, and Bucheon FC 1995. They are however without a loss in thirteen games in all competitions, a superb run that includes a stunning upset over K League 1 leaders, Jeonbuk Motors, who were bested by Mugunghwa centre-back, Lee Han-saem’s brace at the Yi Sun-sin at the beginning of the month in round five of the KFA Cup.

Who To Watch

The Green Wolves’ wing-back, Lee Geon, is one of Ansan’s most gifted players. He is a pacey and skilful talent who is committed in the tackle. His versatility is one of his big strengths, Lee Heung-sil has deployed him as both a full-back and winger this season. Lee Geon has also got an eye for goal. He grabbed the opener in the Greeners’ dramatic home success over Daejeon Citizen in March, and bagged a classy brace in a shock win for his team against league leaders, Seongnam, in late May too.

As for the police team, attacker Ko Moo-yeol, is a direct and tricky striker who will be hoping to breakthrough at his parent club, Jeonbuk, following the conclusion of his stint at the Yi Sun-sin next year. The forward, who made his name at Pohang Steelers, will be hoping to catch the eye of Choi Kang-Hee this term. He has racked up four goals and two assists in twenty one games thus far in this campaign, including the decider versus Saturday’s opponents in Asan’s first home game of the season.

Prediction

The hosts are staring down the barrel of a tenth placed finish, and will be hoping to pull off a surprise result in order to reignite their ailing season. It is however difficult to see the visitors slipping up in Saturday’s clash. Mugunghwa are on a terrific run, and need the three points to keep pace with Seongnam at the top of the table.

Predicted Score: Ansan Greeners 0-1 Asan Mugunghwa

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