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Preview: Seongnam FC vs Ansan Greeners

Preview: Seongnam FC vs Ansan Greeners K League 2
A resurgent Ansan Greeners travel to Tancheon Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon to take on table-topping Seongnam FC. The Greeners are seeking to continue their ascent up the table, and come into the game on the back of three straight victories under caretaker boss, Lee Young-min. The hosts are also in good form, unbeaten in their last four matches and will be hoping to put some distance between themselves and fellow automatic promotion chasers, Asan Mugunghwa, at the top of the K League 2 summit with a win in this one.
(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Ansan defeated ten-man Suwon FC 2-1 at Suwon Sports Complex on Sunday evening. Full-back, Kim Byeom-yong, received his marching orders halfway through the first forty-five after what looked like a deliberate elbow at Greeners’ midfielder, Jang Hyeok-jin. Despite being a man down, Kim Deu-eui's team took the lead from the spot shortly after the hour mark. Brazilian striker, Fernando Viana converted from twelve yards after Green Wolves’ defender, Kim Yeon-soo, brought down Viana’s fellow countryman, Alex. The visitors equalised thirteen minutes from time, after another penalty was awarded. Suwon’s Cho Yu-min handled, and Jang Hyeok-jin’s calm finish brought parity. Lee Young-min’s side won it a minute later, Choi Ho-joo beat Suwon goalkeeper, Park Hyeong-soon, with a close range lob, after Fidel’s knockdown put him through on goal.

Highlights: here

Seongnam could only manage a draw away at Anyang last Saturday. Magpies’ front man, Jung Sung-min's header from a corner gave the division’s front-runners an early lead. The hosts levelled things up just before halftime, FC Anyang attacker, Kim Won-min met Alex’s cross to bury a bullet header past Jeon Jong-hyeok, which proved to be enough to earn the struggling Violets a valuable point.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Lee Young-min’s boys lost the last encounter between these two sides in a one-nil reverse at the Wa Stadium. Magpies’ midfielder, Seo Bo-min's stunner settled the contest, his twenty-yard curler flew past Greeners’ goalkeeper, Hwang Seong-min, midway through the first half.

Ansan have however managed a win against the league leaders this season, which came by two goals to one at the Wa, back in late May. Ansan full-back, Lee Geon, scored twice in quick succession in the second half, with Nam Ki-il’s men grabbing an injury time consolation through striker, Jung Sung-min's penalty.

The first meeting of the season finished all square at Tancheon Sports Complex at the end of March. The home side pushed and probed throughout, but ultimately could not find a way through the Green Wolves’ rearguard in a drab goalless draw.

Team News

The Greeners welcome back Liberian forward, Seku Conneh, who returns to the squad for this fixture after being away on international duty. The striker missed Ansan’s last two games against Suwon FC and Gwangju, as he helped the Lone Stars to a 1-1 draw against the Democratic Republic of Congo in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Monrovia.

Seongnam head coach, Nam Ki-il, may be tempted to recall Seo Bo-min to his starting line-up, given the impact the former Pohang Steelers man had in this fixture last time out. The ex-Gangwon attacker found himself on the bench for the Anyang draw, but it was his moment of magic that proved to be the difference the previous time these two teams clashed in mid-August. Eder is suspended, as is Park Tae-hoon but Choi Byung-hyun is back in contention again.

The Adversary

Seongnam are having a fantastic season and are in with a great chance of gaining promotion to the top tier of Korean football. Only Busan IPark have scored more than the Magpies in K League 2. Nam Ki-il’s side have proven difficult to beat also, having only lost five league matches all season. The battle between Seongnam and Asan at the top of the division looks set to go down to the wire, and the hosts will be confident of exerting some pressure on Mungunghwa with a victory against the Green Wolves this weekend.

Who To Watch

Lee Chang-hoon

Lee Chang-hoon (C) in action for Ansan against Seongnam
Ansan forward, Lee Chang-hoon, has made a positive impact for the Greeners since his arrival from K League 1 side, Jeju United, at the end of July. In addition to adding more general potency going forward in his first six games, Lee came off the bench to score a crucial goal in the Green Wolves’ recent 3-2 home win against Gwangju. The attacker showed great predatory instincts in capitalising on Yoon Pyung-guk’s spill to fire in Ansan’s second equaliser of the afternoon. Lee Chang-hoon was rewarded for that display with a start in the win over Suwon FC, and will be hopeful of retaining his place for Saturday’s game.

For the home side, striker, Jung Sung-min, is having an impressive season. He has scored eight league goals this season, including two in his last two against Anyang and Asan. Jung Sung-min also has a goal to his name against the Greeners this season, whose defence will have to be at their best at the weekend to nullify his attacking threat.

Prediction

Ansan are enjoying a new lease of life following former manager, Lee Heung-sil’s resignation. The Green Wolves are playing with the shackles off under caretaker head coach, Lee Young-min, and are creating a lot more goalscoring opportunities as a result. As for the home team, Seongnam will be desperate for a win from this fixture to strengthen their chances of a return to the K League 1.

Seongnam FC 1-1 Ansan Greeners

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