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Preview: FC Anyang vs Asan Mugunghwa

Preview: FC Anyang vs Asan Mugunghwa K League 2
FC Anyang and league leaders Asan Mugunghwa will do battle this weekend in K League 2 action, with both clubs currently at opposite ends of the table.  Anyang are only one point off the bottom of the league, while Asan have enjoyed considerable success this season and top the division.  Both teams will be in search of all three points, albeit for much different reasons.  KLU's Branko Belan has a look at the upcoming match.
(Image via K League)

Match: FC Anyang vs Asan Mugunghwa
Venue: Anyang Sports Complex
Kickoff: Saturday September 1st, 2018; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

FC Anyang 0-0 Gwangju FC

Anyang once again failed to find the net in their home match with Gwangju on Monday night.  The first half was flat for both sides, but Gwangju had the best chance to go in front on 38 minutes, when Hyun Seok-doo tried his luck from outside the box, but was not able to beat Jeon Soo-hyun at full stretch.

Anyang looked much stronger in the second half, and could have gone in front a couple of times.  The first was from a corner inside the first ten minutes, but the ball was cleared off the line.  Then, Marcos fired a free kick from distance that was parried out by Yoon Pyung-guk.  Jung Jae-hee then ran in on goal taking the ball all the way from inside his own half, but his final effort on goal was harmless, as it was right at Yoon.  For all their efforts moving forward, they could not get on target, and would have to settle for a draw in the end, in what turned out to be a better performance, but still without three points to show for it.

Highlights: here

Asan Mugunghwa 3-1 Seoul ELand

Asan won comfortably their last time out, and maintained their position as league leaders with the result.  The majority of the first half was defined by Asan controlling most of the play, but with nothing to show for it as they missed a plethora of chances.  ELand could do no better, and it seemed that things would go to the half all square.  That all changed when Asan were awarded a penalty, after ELand 'keeper Kim Young-kwang was adjudged to have fouled Jo Seong-joon in the area, and the replay showed what looked like a two-footed challenge on the Asan forward.  Ko Mu-yeol stepped up and scored from the spot and the hosts went in front.

The teams would then trade goals before the end of the half as ELand found an equalizer from Ko Cha-won only for Jo Seong-joon to put Asan back on top before halftime.

The early stages of the second half did not provide much in terms of action, but Lee Myung-joo would score Asan's third just after the hour mark, and it was an advantage they would not relinquish.  ELand tried to push forward and almost got a goal back in injury time, but Park Sung-woo's effort struck the frame of the goal, and the result remained unchanged until the final whistle.  Asan will now continue their push for a title and promotion to the top flight for next season, while ELand will feel they let another one slip away.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The two sides have met on two occasions this season already, with the first match ending in a draw in March, while Asan had much more success when the teams met last, walking away 3-0 winners in May.  Lee Ju-yong scored in the tenth minute, while Ahn Hyun-beom completed a brace within the final ten minutes, notching his second in injury time.

Team News

Anyang will have started looking ahead to next season as there is little chance of them making a move up the table with the schedule they have in front of them.  Most of their competition is vying for playoff contention, so now would be a good time to see what sort of potential they have with some of the young talent that was recently brought in.  

They completed the summer signings of Lee Dong-kyung from Hongik University, who ranked second in the U League last season with ten goals, Kim Kyung-jun, another young attacking player with promise, and Hong Seung-hyeon, a defender who has experience with the U-23 squad, being part of the initial group of players preparing for the AFC U-23 Championship and the Asian Games, now underway in Indonesia at the end of last year.  Having also played 26 games, he also has experience in the K League.

They should have a full squad to choose from, and there could be changes to the side as they look for answers to their scoring woes.

Asan's win was an important one for the team, but they know that they will have to maintain their form if they want to stay top.  In seasons past, they have come up short, but seem very determined for promotion this season.  A big reason for their success this time around, at least up to this point, is that the atmosphere around the club has changed into one which is conducive to achieving positive results.  

There are no suspensions in the team, and they should have a full complement of players ready to get the call. with the exception of Hwang In-beom, who is at the Asian Games and looking to bring home gold with Korea on Saturday night, when they face Japan.

The Adversary

Ju Se-jong (L) has been called up to Korean National Team by Paulo Bento (Image via K League)
Asan finally look like a team that is capable of winning a title after coming up short in years past.  They have been unbeatable in league play for the past several months.  They must keep the momentum up despite their competition being one of the worst sides in the division.

Asan has played some attractive football this season and their greatest strength is their team game.  Focus will be paramount as they enter the fall portion of the season hoping to create some distance between them and the teams chasing top spot.

Prediction

Asan have been in incredible form in the league since May, and are much the better outfit between the two.  There is no reason to believe that Anyang will be able to offer them much resistance, based on their recent form and previous matches between the two.  Asan very much look likely to be headed up to K League 1 next season the way things are looking at the moment.  It would be a surprise to see Anyang get anything in terms of a result from the match.  It should be another three points in the bag for the military men.

Prediction: FC Anyang 0-3 Asan Mugunghwa

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