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Preview: Asan Mugunghwa vs Seongnam FC

K League 2 Preview: Asan Mugunghwa vs Seongnam FC


It's the final first versus second clash of the season, as K League 2 leaders Asan host Seongnam FC on Sunday afternoon, looking to take one more step towards a league title.  A win for the police side would put them seven points clear at the summit with three matches to go, but if the last time these two met is of any indication, nuances will once again play a major factor in the final result.  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to the match.

Match: Asan Mugunghwa vs Seongnam FC
Venue: Yisunshin Stadium
Kickoff: Sunday October 21st, 2018; 17:00 KST

Last Time Out

Asan Mugunghwa 2-0 Ansan Greeners

Asan got back to winning ways against Ansan following a setback against Daejeon the previous week.  The first half produced little in the way of chances for either side, but Asan edged into the lead with under five minutes left in the first half, as Gu Dae-young took possession on the right flank just outside the area, played the ball over a defender to Ahn Hyun-beom, whose pass across the face of goal was directed in from close range by Kim Min-kyun.

The second half brought a substitution for the visitors, as Hwang Sung-min was swapped at halftime for Lee Hee-sung, after taking a shot from Ko Mu-yeol in the face.  He collapsed to the pitch in obvious discomfort and was not able to continue from the re-start because of concussion-like symptoms.

Ahn Hyun-beom almost doubled Asan's advantage four minutes into the second half, but his effort was pushed aside by Lee in the Ansan goal.  He would eventually find the net in the 74th minute when, after intercepting an outlet pass, he would turn and fire from distance, a low strike that evaded Lee and Asan had the cushion they needed to see out the rest of the match.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The head to head has been very evenly split between the two sides, with the last match ending in a 1-1 draw, while each has also beaten the other this season.  Seongnam won the first meeting between the teams this season, while Asan exacted a bit of revenge with a convincing win in June.

Eder was the match winner for the side currently occupying second spot in the table when the clubs met in April, while a Han Eui-kwon brace was the catalyst for a 4-2 triumph for the league leaders in June.  Jung Sung-min and Ko Mu-yeol were the goal scorers last time out, and both will figure prominently in this one as well.

Team News

Kim Hyun will be back for Asan following suspension after being sent off against Daejeon with a straight red card.  Ko Mu-yeol picked up a yellow card against Ansan, but will be available as well for selection.

In other news, the saga as to whether the team will still be in existence next season, continues.  The team is set to lose several players come the end of February due to the National Police Agency's plans to disband its sports teams, and, as such, there will not be enough to satisfy the minimum quota of twenty players needed to field a team.

The problem is that the remaining players have yet to be accounted for.  There is still a chance, however, that a grace period will be given in the case that the club does not come up with an alternative recruiting plan by the end of the season.  The anxiety which has been created because of the situation is continuing to build, and if there is no solution, it will directly impact the league, setting a negative precedent in the process.

The Adversary



Seongnam had a very good opportunity to capitalize when Asan lost to Daejeon and failed to do so, and then proceeded to drop points once again last week against Gwangju, as they drew 2-2.  The gap at the top is now four points, and Seongnam know that the pressure is mounting to get the results they need in order to ensure automatic promotion to the top flight for next season.  The positive angle to it is that Seongnam have lost only twice in their last ten matches, and will look to close the gap on the weekend, although doing so away from home could prove to be more difficult than expected.

Prediction

Both teams have had their moments in the head-to-head this season, but there is much more at stake this final time around.  Both teams' recent form has been good, despite a few bumps in the road.  As usual, the match will be decided by nuances - quality possession, chances on goal, zonal and man marking in the final third, and, of course, the play of both goalkeepers.

Asan has a chance to go seven points clear if they can manage to come away with the victory, so the motivation is certainly there to improve on their last result against their fiercest league rivals.  

Seongnam also knows this is their final chance to have a crack at Asan this season, and three points brings them to within one point of the league summit.  Despite their recent off-field problems, with so much to play for, this match could decide the fate of whether or not they gain the automatic promotion they have been fighting for since the beginning of the season.

Prediction: Asan Mugunghwa 2-1 Seongnam FC

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