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Preview: Ansan Greeners vs FC Anyang

Preview: Ansan Greeners vs FC Anyang K League 2
Saturday afternoon at the Wa~ Stadium sees the dawning of a new era as Ansan Greeners’ new manager, Lim Wan-seop, takes charge of the team for the first time against local rivals, FC Anyang. There is a lot at stake in the final ‘Line 4 Derby’ of the season, as both sides still have an outside chance of making the K League 2 playoffs. Only the Violets’ superior goal difference separates the two teams, the away side currently sit above the Green Wolves in eighth by virtue of having scored more goals than the hosts so far this term.
(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Ansan held Daejeon Citizen to a one-all draw last Saturday, in what turned out to be interim head coach, Lee Youngmin’s last match in the Greeners’ hot seat. The Green Wolves’ centre-back Song Joo-ho opened the scoring ten minutes before the end of the first half, as he volleyed home Jang Hyeok-jin’s cross, following a well-worked short corner from the hosts. The visitors, on a run of five straight victories, however were not to be denied, as Kang Yun-seong’s low strike beat an un-sighted Lee Hee-seong to bring parity, after the home side failed to clear from a corner kick. The Purples nearly won the contest five minutes from time, a combination of Lee Hee-seong and Song Joo-ho somehow thwarted Park In-hyeok, whose dinked effort struck the inside of the post.

Highlights: here

As for Ko Jeong-woon’s boys, the Violets were beaten by automatic promotion-chasers, Busan IPark, at the Anyang Sports Complex by two goals to one. The home team took the lead as left-back, Kim Jin-rae, combined with attacker, Jeong Hee-woong, to calmly slot past Koo Sang-min, moments before the end of the first forty-five. Kim Jin-rae’s opposite number, Kim Moon-hwan, levelled things up shortly after the restart, as he curled home from twenty five yards after a clever one-two with midfielder, Ko Kyung-min. IPark completed the turnaround late on, when Busan winger, Kim Jin-kyu finished high into Jeon Soo-hyeon’s top right-hand corner to earn his side an invaluable three points.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Ansan suffered a gut-wrenching defeat when these two sides last met back in early August, losing by three goals to two in the ninety second minute at the Anyang Sports Complex. The Violets went in front thanks to a howler from Greeners’ goalkeeper, Lee Hee-Seong, who allowed Marcos’ tame effort to trickle through his legs. The Green Wolves levelled through Raul Tarragona’s strike from an acute angle, and even went briefly in front after defender, Song Joo-ho, tapped home. FC Anyang forward, Kyung-jun Kim, volleyed home an equaliser for the home team, who won the contest late on after Ansan’s Song Joo-ho went from hero to zero with a headed own goal in stoppage time.

Anyang also came out on top in a previous encounter in late June, winning by a single goal-to-nil. Kim Won-min fired in deep into the second forty five after Ansan goalie, Hwang Seong-min, had spilled a routine free-kick onto his near post.

The Greeners came up trumps in the first ‘Line 4 derby’ of the season however, which took place at the Wa~ in mid-March. Seku Conneh’s early second half penalty gave the home side a 2-1 win, following Anyang’s Jeong Hee-woong’s equaliser that had earlier cancelled out Ansan midfielder, Hong Dong-hyun’s exquisite volleyed opener.

Team News

Ansan’s Uruguayan talisman, Raul Tarragona, misses out again this weekend through injury, he is expected to return to full fitness at the end of the month. However, the Greeners have been boosted by the return from international duty of their Liberian striker, Seku Conneh, who came on as a second half substitute last time out against Daejeon Citizen, after helping the Lone Stars to a one-all draw with the Democratic Republic of Congo last month in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Monrovia. Green Wolves’ midfielder, Han Ji-won, is also available for selection once again, the former Jeonnam Dragons’ player was suspended for the Daejeon fixture.

FC Anyang attacker, Jeong Jae-hee will be pushing for a starting berth. The Violets’ forward, who made his 100th league appearance in the home defeat to Busan IPark, impressed after coming off the bench, his late rising shot was the closest Anyang came to finding an equaliser last Saturday.

The Adversary

FC Anyang Manager Ko Jeong-woon (image via K League)
The visitors come into Saturday’s clash on the back of three victories, two draws and a single defeat from their last six fixtures, which represents a marked improvement for the Violets, who began their league campaign in dismal fashion. FC Anyang finally managed to win their first K League 2 match at the twelfth time of asking in late May, courtesy of a dramatic Jeong Hee-woong-inspired 3-2 home victory against a ten-man Gwangju side. Ko Jeong-woon’s men need maximum points from this weekend’s encounter to keep their faint playoff hopes alive.

Who To Watch

Green Wolves’ striker, Park Kwan-woo, has impressed since coming into the side. The 22 year-old forward has started Ansan’s last two fixtures away to Seongnam, and in last weekend’s home draw against Daejeon. He bagged his first Greeners’ goal in the score draw at the Tancheon Sports Complex, his ingenious first-time snap shot eluded Magpies’ keeper, Jeon Jong-hyeok, to open the scoring, and vindicate the faith that former caretaker boss, Lee Young-min had placed in the attacker.

Park Kwan-woo (R) celebrates scoring against Seongnam (image via K League)
At 5’8”, Park Kwan-woo has a low centre of gravity, coupled with impressive pace and speed of turn, which was exemplified by a marauding run and shot against Citizen last time out, which nearly doubled his side’s advantage. The forward looks set to continue to ask plenty of questions of the Challenge’s defenders for the remainder of the season under new head coach, Lim Wan-seop.

As for Anyang, their Brazilian attacker, Alex, is having a fine season in front of goal. He has got onto the scoresheet on eleven occasions to date already this campaign, only Gwangju’s Na Sang-ho has more goals in K League 2, with thirteen. The ex-Daegu man is a player brimming with confidence with that Midas touch in the six-yard box.

Prediction

Both of these sides have an identical last six record, with each winning three, drawing two, and losing one. This weekend’s encounter promises to be a cagey affair with local pride at risk as well as the chance to revive fading playoff dreams. Nonetheless, the home side will be looking to put on a show in order to impress and prove their worth to the new gaffer, Lim Wan-seop. Ko Jeong-woon’s players however will be hoping to ruin the welcome party with a derby victory in this one.

Ansan Greeners 1-1 FC Anyang


From The Stands: Ansan Foreign Supporters Club

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