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Preview: Busan IPark vs Ansan Greeners

Busan IPark's charge towards promotion continues this Sunday when they welcome Ansan Greeners to the Gudeok Stadium in the K League 2. Busan have won four on the bounce and are breathing down the necks of Seongnam in second, but the Green Wolves will have their tails up after a convincing win last weekend and will be looking to spoil the Busan party.

Overview

Image via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Busan secured a vital win away to Daejeon last weekend in the battle between third and fourth. In a fairly even first half, Busan had the better opportunities and were guilty of missing two gilt-edged chances through Han Ji-ho and Lee Chung-woong. Daejeon goalkeeper Park Jun-hyuk kept his team in the game with some top saves, most notably from Kim Moon-hwan, who almost scored after a buccaneering run from full-back.

Park was caught out eventually, however, and it was Busan's Brazilian wizard Romulo with the game's deciding moment. With the ball wide on the edge of the penalty area and the bodies in the box waiting for a cross, Romulo curled a cheeky effort between goalkeeper and post that a scrambling Park couldn't keep out. The solitary goal was enough for Busan, who dominated the second half and could have finished with more.

Daejeon Citizen 0-1 Busan IPark highlights here.

Previous Meetings

Busan have had the edge in the meetings between these sides this season. Their first encounter, which took place at the Gudeok Stadium, ended in a draw when Raul Tarragona's injury time penalty cancelled out Choi Seung-in's opener. Busan won both subsequent meetings, however, with Romulo's goal deciding the game in July.

Results in 2018:
Busan IPark 1-1 Ansan Greeners
Ansan Greeners 1-3 Busan IPark
Ansan Greeners 0-1 Busan IPark

Team News


Busan's first choice centre back Kim Myung-joon returned from injury last weekend and is likely to continue in the middle of a three man defence between Ku Hyeon-joon and Lee Chung-woong. With ten clean sheets in 19 games, Koo Sang-min is likely to continue between the sticks for the remainder of the season given the importance of the games.

Captain Lee Jong-min went off injured just before half time in Daejeon, so Kim Chi-woo and Kim Moon-hwan could occupy the wing-back roles.

The Adversary

Lim Won-seop claimed his first win in charge of the Greeners at the third time of asking with a fine display at the Wa Stadium (highlights here). Park Jun-hee put the Green Wolves ahead midway through the first half to give Ansan the lead at half time. Bucheon made parity just five minutes after the restart however, with Brazilian Willian Popp bagging his eighth of the season. In what was something of a lower mid-table six pointer, Bucheon looked on course to be leaving the Wa with a good point, before Choi Ho-joo came up with a brace in seven minutes. The final twenty minutes were full of attacking intent from both sides but the game ended with Ansan 3-1 winners, and leapfrogging Bucheon up into eighth in the K2 table.

It was a great result for Ansan, who deployed in a 3-4-3 formation, in a more attacking development, on the previous weeks 5-4-1. Choi Myung-hee and captain Park Jun-hee were deployed as wingbacks, and their interchanging, with Jang Hyeok-jin and Choi Ho-joo, gave Ansan both defensive solidity, and attacking fluidity. It was a fantastic game for Ho-joo who had shown great early season form before an injury setback, and he was the MVP in the week’s K2 team of the week, with Park Jun-hee also featuring, an acknowledgement of their excellent partnership on the Ansan right flank. Perhaps noticeable was the absence of Conneh, Fidel and Raul, which may hint of a change planned for the winter period.

Busan will be a different proposition however, and with this being a transition period at the end of the season, it may be a great time for Busan to pick up some points. Ansan legend Ko Kyung-min will be looking to add to his tally of nine, but with no pressure, Ansan might just be able to come away with a well raided point on the coast.

Written by Ansan Greeners columnist Mike Brandon

Who To Watch


Busan IPark: Romulo

No player is more important to this Busan side than Romulo. The Brazilian playmaker's deep starting position hasn't prevented him from being involved in almost a third of Busan's goals this year (8 goals, 8 assists). His set piece deliveries are deadly and his vision and composure on the ball are key components to Busan's play. Put simply, if Romulo plays well, Busan play well. He looks like a shoe-in for the league's team of the season, and the club's only worry will be whether a bigger team comes calling over the winter.


Ansan Greeners: Choi Ho-joo

Choi Ho-joo's two goals against Bucheon last weekend outlined his importance to Ansan Greeners this season. He now has seven goals for the year; no other player at the club has more than three. The former Pohang Steelers forward enjoyed regular football last season with Gangneung City in the National League, and the step up to the K League 2 has proved to be a smooth transition. If Ansan are to trouble Busan this weekend, Choi will surely be involved.

Prediction

Ansan played some good football last weekend and ran out comfortable winners, but they haven't kept a clean sheet in eighteen games and this weekend they are up against the league's top scorers. Busan IPark are in top form and with promotion in their sights they have a lot more to play for.

Busan IPark 2-1 Ansan Greeners

This Sunday's game is Busan IPark's International Day for 2018. Click here for information about the events and promotions on offer.



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