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Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Gwangju FC

Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Bucheon 1995 K League 2
Bottom-of-the-table Ansan Greeners welcome play-off contenders Gwangju FC to the Wa~ Stadium on Sunday night. A win for Ansan could see the hosts leapfrog both Seoul E-Land and FC Anyang into eighth position, whilst a victory for the visitors could see them move to within two points of third-placed, Busan IPark. James Walsh with the preview.
(image via K League)

Last Time Out

The Greeners ended a run of ten straight defeats in all competitions with a dramatic, late 2-1 away win over Bucheon 1995 last Sunday evening. The home side took the lead midway through the first half, after Bucheon winger, Jin Chang-soo closed down Ansan captain, Park Jun-hee’s attempted clearance, and calmly slotted past Hwang Seong-min to put 1995 a goal to the good. Defender, Kim Hyeon-tae’s hooked effort brought the away team level on the hour mark, and the visitors’ midfielder, Park Jin-seob completed the turnaround two minutes from time, with a low curling strike that evaded Choi Cheol-won’s reach.

Gwangju and Busan played out a six-goal thriller at Gwangju World Cup Stadium last Saturday. The hosts went one-up through midfielder, Choi Jun-hyeok’s finish, following some lax marking from their opponents from a corner kick. It looked as though Park Jin-seob’s men were on course for the three points after Kim Dong-hyun doubled their lead ten minutes later from eighteen yards. Enter, Lee Dong-jun. The Busan attacker’s diving header pulled a goal back almost immediately, he then won a second-half penalty kick, which was converted by Brazilian midfielder, Rômulo, to bring parity. Lee Dong-jun prodded his side in front with six minutes left on the clock, as IPark seemed to have snatched the unlikeliest of victories. However, it was not to be, Gwangju’s gargantuan centre-forward, Felipe Silva, ensured a share of the spoils with a stooping header in injury time.

Previous Meetings

The Green Wolves came out on top in the last encounter between these two sides at the Wa~ back in early June, running out as two-nil victors. Midfielder, Hong Dong-hyun, fired in the first, after Gwangju failed to clear their lines from an Ansan’ corner kick. The Greeners’ second was a stunner, Choi Myeong-hee’s long-range screamer was worthy of winning any game.

The Greeners and Gwangju also played out a goalless draw at the Gwangju World Cup Stadium in mid-April. Former Ansan striker, Han Geon-yong, had a late penalty saved by Yoon Pyung-guk in an otherwise drab affair.

Team News

The Greeners’ Liberian international forward, Seku Conneh, will miss this fixture, as he’s been selected as part of the Lone Stars’ twenty six-man squad for their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is also being played on Sunday.

Taiwanese full-back, Wang Geon-Myeong, misses out for the visitors too. He has been called-up to the Chinese Taipei national team for their friendly against Malaysia that is taking place on Friday.

The away team have received a timely boost ahead of this weekend’s match, midfielder, Lee Seung-mo, and the division’s leading goal scorer, Na Song-ho, are back in their squad following the conclusion of the pair’s participation in South Korea’s Asian Games success.

The Adversary

Gwangju FC Felipe K League 2

Gwangju are in excellent form. They are unbeaten in eleven matches, since losing away to Ansan in this fixture on June 9th. Belief is high amongst Park Jin-seob’s boys, who will be looking to end a run of five consecutive draws with a victory in this one. The return of Na Song-ho will be a huge lift for the team. If he and Felipe Silva can form a successful partnership, then Gwangju will be confident of putting daylight between themselves and fellow play-off chasers Daejeon Citizen and Suwon FC.

Who To Watch

Ansan’s Park Jin-seob was the Greeners’ hero at the Bucheon Stadium last time out. The central midfielder looks set to play an important role under caretaker boss, Lee Young-min. Park Jin-seob is a crucial cog in the Green Wolves’ team, who is calm in possession and keeps things ticking over with neat and tidy passes. He has popped up with a couple of goals this season too, in addition to last weekend’s winner, he also headed in the opener in his side’s 2-1 loss at the Olympic Stadium to Seoul E-Land in late April.

As for their opponents, Gwangju’s Brazilian targetman, Felipe Silva, is on fire. The forward has notched up four goals and an assist in six games since joining from Brazilian Serie B outfit, Vila Nova FC, in early July. The 6' 3" striker is a dangerous aerial threat, having scored three of his goals with his head, the openers in his team’s home draws with Asan Mugunghwa and Seoul E-Land, and the late equaliser against Busan IPark last Saturday.

Prediction

Ansan’s caretaker boss, Lee Young-min, has bred new life into the Green Wolves’ players, who were unlucky to lose at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium a couple of weeks ago, but got their just reward with a superb success late on versus 1995 last weekend. Gwangju will provide a sterner test however, and their wealth of attacking options will ask a lot of questions of the Greeners’ backline.

Ansan Greeners 1-1 Gwangju


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