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Preview: Seongnam FC vs Asan Mugunghwa

Preview: Seongnam FC vs Asan Mugunghwa K League 2
Asan Mugunghwa will head on the road this weekend in K League 2 action, to take on Seongnam FC, who reclaimed the league lead with a 2-1 win over Seoul E-Land on Monday night, while the police side's run of excellence, which had not seen them lose since May, came to a crashing halt when they were convincingly beaten 3-0 by FC Anyang.  The last time these two sides met, Asan walked away the winners, and will hope to do so again, to go back to the K2 summit.  KLU's Branko Belan previews the first versus second clash.
(Image via K League)

Match: Seongnam FC vs Asan Mugunghwa
Venue: Tancheon Sports Complex
Kickoff: Saturday September 8th, 2018; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Seongnam FC 2-1 Seoul E-Land

Seongnam knew coming into Monday night's encounter that a win would put them top of the league again after their rivals faltered badly on the weekend.  For the first half hour of the match, things were quite even between the two sides, but the weather conditions definitely had something to do with it, as the players were resigned to playing in a downpour, with sections of the pitch badly water-logged, making any progress in the offensive end next to impossible in the early going.

It was Seongnam who would break the game open in the space of ten minutes, when first Kim Do-yeop tallied for the visitors on 29 minutes, and then Jung Sung-min added a second ten minutes later.  The first goal was controversially allowed when the referee chose to consult VAR for offside after play had stopped.  The goal was allowed to stand, and it put E-Land on the back foot for virtually the rest of the match.  Seongnam would go to the break up a pair.  

In the second half, E-Land did what they could to try and salvage a result, as they pushed forward in search of a goal to put them back into the match.  Jeon Min-kwang managed to pull one back in the 74th minute, and it seemed there was hope to get at least a point.  But, when Diego Bielkiewicz missed a clear opportunity in front of goal with just minutes to play, it looked as though the writing was on the wall for the hosts, as they would end up losing the match by a 2-1 count, and can only rue their missed opportunity to build some momentum as the season enters the final stretch.  Of note, it was also Seongnam's first ever victory over E-Land in seven tries, and it came at a very opportune time.

FC Anyang 3-0 Asan Mugunghwa

FC Anyang pulled perhaps the biggest upset of the K League weekend as they disposed of then league leaders Asan by a count of 3-0 on their home pitch.  Up to this point in the season, Asan had the better of the head-to-head, but with Anyang vying to keep themselves out of the league basement, and with their backs against the wall, the hosts produced perhaps their best overall performance of the season to date.

Choi Jae-hoon put Anyang in front six minutes before the end of the first half.  They would then double their advantage from the spot right around the hour mark thanks to Alex.  Eun Seong-soo would add a third one minute from the end of regular time, and Anyang have now moved up to eighth for the moment, on 27 points, but only one ahead of both E-Land and Ansan below them.

With the loss, Asan's unbeaten streak, which had stretched all the way back to May was snapped, and they will have to hope for similar luck when they take on the once again league leaders this weekend.

Previous Meetings

The last time the two teams met, Asan won the match 4-2, and it set them on course to take the league by storm, although Seongnam have done well to stay within striking distance the entire time.  The first meeting of the season went to Seongnam by the slimmest of margins.  The home side won on both occasions, so if that is any indication of what to expect come this weekend, then Asan will have to put up a much better effort if they have any chance of reversing that trend.

Team News

Eder and Choi Joon-gi picked up yellow cards in the win against E-Land, but there should be no omissions for the side to face Asan.  Lee Da-won came on to replace Eder in the second half as a defensive holding substitution following the Brazilian's booking, so there could be a decision to make as to who gets the start this weekend.

Asan will have a different look about them for the rest of the season as some of their well known stars from this campaign have now completed their military service and returned to their parent clubs.

One of the more prominent names is Hwang In-beom, who also starred for Korea at the Asian Games in Indonesia, bringing home a repeat gold for his country.  He has returned to Daejeon as a result of getting his military exemption, and will be key in their push for a playoff berth in hopes of winning a spot in the top flight in 2019. Ju Se-jong is also unavailable having been called up to the Korean National Team for the forthcoming friendlies against Costa Rica and Chile.

Asan fans were quick to congratulate him and wish him well, saying that they felt a deep sense of gratitude for everything he contributed to the club this season, but were, of course, very sad to see him go.  They also hope he will remember his time at the club fondly.  

The Adversary

Seongnam FC Eder and Seo Bo-min K League 2

Kim Do-yeop and Jung Sung-min, who both scored against E-Land, were named to the Best XI for Round 26.  Seongnam enter their third match against Asan this season on the back of consecutive wins, and have a chance to extend their advantage to five points with a win on their home ground.  

Seongnam looked quite strong in the attacking end against E-Land despite the bad conditions, and made the most of their chances when they came along.  After last season's disappointment in missing out on promotion, the Magpies, who are the most decorated club in Korean football, are hoping that they can put together another performance to strengthen their chances for promotion next season.


While it may seem that Seongnam have the advantage at the moment, having re-taken the league lead and on better form in comparison, this one still figures to be a very close match, despite the fact that Asan looked much the better outfit last time out between the two.

Home field has been an advantage for both sides in head to head encounters as already mentioned, so it would figure that Seongnam may come away winners from this one.  But, Asan have to rebound quickly and forget the disaster of last weekend, and hope to get back on the right side of things, but it would be fair to say that the spoils will be shared in this one.

Prediction: Seongnam FC 1-1 Asan Mugunghwa

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