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Preview: Bucheon FC 1995 vs Asan Mugunghwa

Preview Bucheon FC 1995 vs Asan Mugunghwa K League 2
Asan confirmed their status as K League 2 champions last weekend, coming from behind late on against Anyang courtesy of a Lim Chang-gyoon brace in what could have been the final home match at Yi Sun-shin Stadium.  Their current situation is still up in the air as to whether they will compete next season or not.  In their final test of the season, they travel away to Bucheon to face a side who are now officially out of playoff contention after losing last weekend.  KLU's Branko Belan previews the last fixture of the season for both clubs.

Match: Bucheon 1995 vs Asan Mugunghwa
Venue: Bucheon Sports Complex
Kickoff: Sunday November 11th, 2018; 14:00 KST

Last Time Out

Asan Mugunghwa 2-1 FC Anyang

Asan had already wrapped up the league crown the week previous after defeating Seongnam to go seven points clear at the top of the table, but a potential final performance in front of the home fans was in order.  There was also the matter of erasing the sting of a 3-0 defeat the last time the two teams faced each other.  

Both teams had spells of good buildup play in the early stages, and Asan could have gone in front through Lee Myung-joo in the 17th minute, but his header was well saved by Jeon Soo-hyun.  Anyang would respond their next time up the pitch, with Jeong Hee-woong testing Yang Hyung-mo from outside the area, but the Asan 'keeper was equal to the task.  The rest of the half did not produce much of consequence, and the teams went in even at the half.

Asan came out the stronger side after the restart, and it was Lee Myung-joo who could have put them ahead once more on the hour mark, only to be denied a second time by Jeon.  They were unlucky to fall behind when Anyang were awarded a penalty after Ahn Hyun-beom was whistled for a foul in the area.  Alex stepped up to convert, and the hosts hit the front with fifteen minutes left on the clock.

Asan would not lay down, however, and things were level with only four minutes left, when second half substitute Lim Chang-gyoon took a pass from Lee Myung-joo just outside the box and seemed to lob the ball into the net.  The final minutes were frantic, as both sides went forward in search of a winner, and it would be Asan who would complete the comeback in injury time, when Lim was the man on the spot for a second time, as the ball rolled into his path through a sea of legs, and he fired home first time to seal perhaps the most memorable victory of the season for the K2 table toppers.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Asan have had a distinct edge in the head to head between the two sides this season, winning twice, with one match ending in a draw.  Asan have outscored Bucheon 5-2 over that span, and have kept them off the scoreboard in two consecutive matches.

When they met early in the season, Asan won 4-2 on the strength of a Jo Seong-joon first half brace, while Kim Min-kyun and Ko Mu-yeol added the others.  Their second match in July was decided by a single goal, as Kim Jong-gook scored from the spot in the 21st minute, while the last meeting between them finished scoreless.

Team News

K League 2 continues to be in limbo even with the season drawing to a close this weekend, thanks to the complacency of league officials and members of the police agency to come to a conclusion regarding Asan's status for next season.

In a meeting held on November 5th, a decision was made to give the club until the 19th of this month to come up with a recruiting plan for next season, or lose their automatic promotion to K League 1 because of not having enough players to meet the quota required for competition, which would also force the club to disband.

Another recent report from Sports Chosun suggests that Asan city is reluctant to establish a civic club because of the impending financial burden partially because the club would struggle to have an identity and thus it would be difficult to attract fans.

This leaves the rest of the league wondering what the potential consequences could be, as teams currently in the middle of the table remain unsure whether they have a chance to go through the playoffs or not.  With the decision effectively coming after the season, the situation is proving highly frustrating for onlookers, and yet, those who will be most affected in the end are the players.

In other news, it was just announced that Ju Se-jong has earned a call-up to the Korean national team for friendlies against Australia and Uzbekistan, as a replacement for Jung Woo-young who is injured.  Whether he will play in the final match of the season could be up in the air, but at the very least, he should have a spot on the substitutes' bench.  There are no suspensions for the team, so all other players should be available.

The Adversary

Preview Bucheon FC 1995 vs Asan Mugunghwa K League 2

Bucheon were officially mathematically eliminated from playoff contention following their 3-0 loss to Daejeon last weekend.  Going into the final match of the season, they have won only twice in their last ten, courtesy of Suwon FC and Seoul E-Land.

After a bright start to the season, the wheels fell off again midway through, and the team was simply not able to recover once the goals started drying up.  Their inconsistent form has plagued them all season long, and not even a season-ending victory would be anywhere near enough to dispel the criticism that has been hurled at the team this campaign.

At one point, William Popp was the led the league in scoring.  With ten goals in 30 matches this season, he still ranks fourth, but has still fallen well short of the 18 goal output he notched the last time he played in K League 2 with Busan IPark two years ago.  Another player who may be able to contribute up front is Jin Chang-soo, who has seven goals to his credit this season.  Goals will have to come from somewhere if they fancy coming away with a result.  There are no suspensions in the team, so a full squad should be available. 


This could be Asan's last match in the K League.  After an emotional come from behind victory against Anyang last week, they will look to finish the season on a winning note.  They have had good success against their opponents on Sunday this year, and there is no reason why that should not continue.  

Bucheon started the season well, but fell off the pace midway through the campaign, and now are resigned to finish in the lower half of the league.  The consolation is that they get to play their final match of what has been another disappointing season, on home ground.  Unfortunately for them, however, their goal production this season has been paltry at best, but their lack of care in the back has been worse, as only Seoul E-Land have conceded more goals than they have.

There are too many factors pointing in Asan's direction for them not to get a win to close out a spectacular year.  Asan are the favorites to take all three points.

Prediction: Bucheon 1995 0-2 Asan Mugunghwa

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