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Recap: Daejeon Citizen 2-2 FC Anyang

Recap: Daejeon Citizen 2-2 FC Anyang Match Report K League 2 Round 36
In the final game of the K League 2 2018 regular season, Daejeon Citizen came back from two goals down to rescue a point at home to playoff-chasing FC Anyang on Sunday. Alex and a Yun Junseong own goal had the Violets 2-0 up before, after a few adjustments, Daejeon fought back late into the second half to earn themselves a point with goals from Cho Kwibeom and Park Inhyeok who atoned for an missed penalty.

With a playoff spot already guaranteed, Daejeon gaffer Ko Jongsoo fielded a distinctly youthful starting lineup, making 10 changes from that which beat Bucheon just over a week ago. Only Park Sooil kept his place at full back whilst the Purples’ foreign stars, Aurelian Chițu, Shohruh Gadoev, and Sanzhar Tursanov, were all omitted from the 18-man match day squad.

Instead, there were first league starts for Ahn Joohyeong, after the 20 year-old’s debut goal last time out, as well as winger Cho Kwibeom, midfielders Yoo Jinseok, and Kang Hanbit as well as centre back Yun Kyungbo.

Daejeon’s youthful side found it hard to get to grips with the game in the first half and so it wasn’t long before the visitors, who still harboured hopes of making the playoffs, took the lead. Anyang’s Brazilian ace Wesley Alex bagged his 15th goal of the campaign after mopping up a teasing cross from the right-hand side from strike partner Kim Kyungjun. Kim was was afforded the time and space to send a low cross towards the far post where Alex, unmarked, had the simplest of tap-ins.

In the first 45, Anyang’s vigour and energy unsettled the inexperienced Daejeon side, in the centre of the park in particular where the Purples were somewhat overran and, in Citizen's defensive third, the likes of Alex and Marcos were causing havoc for Daejeon’s disorganised back four.

Alas, Anyang’s lead stayed at 1-0 heading into the break, content with their efforts knowing that anything less than three points would put an end to the Violets' hopes of making the playoffs. At half time, fifth-placed Gwangju were already two-goals-to the-good at home to Ansan Greeners but that didn’t deter Anyang in the early stages of the second half, flying out of the traps in the opening exchanges of the second 45 pushing for a second goal.

With 11 minutes of the second half played, Anyang had their second. A mishit clearance from makeshift right-back Park Daehoon fell straight to Marcos who shifted the ball out to the left flank. With all the time in the world, full-back Kim Jinrae sent in a low cross towards the edge of the six-yard box where Citizen centre half Yun Junseong turned the ball into his own net, despite goalkeeper Park Junhyeok seemingly ready to collect.

However, a second half fight back, with goals from Cho Kwibeom and Park Inhyeok, ensured the spoils were shared at Daejeon World Cup stadium, sparing the blushes of Ko Jongsoo. A few minutes before going 2-0 down, Coach Ko sent in reinforcements with Hwang Inbeom coming on to replace debutant Yun Jinseok.

With more experience and verve, Daejeon looked much more assured on the ball and began to play in Anyang's third of the pitch. Then, after a spell of pressure, the Purples were handed a lifeline when referee Seol Taehwan awarded the hosts a penalty on 63 minutes following coming together between Ahn Joohyeong and Anyang’s Marcos. Initially, it looked as though Ahn had fouled Marcos but, confident in his convictions, the referee pointed to the spot.

Park Inhyeok stepped up to take but, after a stop-start run up, Anyang goalkeeper Jeon Suhyeon had the former Hoffenheim striker well-scouted and parried the ball away and the subsequent rebound fired over. A chance wasted.

But, after the introduction of Hwang Inbeom, Daejeon began to get a foothold in the game and dictated the tempo. However, Daejeon's first goal of the afternoon came via a mistake from former Citizen custodian Jeon Suhyeon. The Anyang skipper, failed to controlled the ball and allowed youngster Cho Kwibeom to thread the ball through and into the back of the net form more than 25 yards out.

Choi Hojung played the ball back to his goalkeeper but, after a poor first touch, Jeon was left with the decision of advancing towards the ball to thwart any attempt on goal, or two scramble back to his line. Jeon chose the latter but was unable to prevent from Cho Kwibeom from bagging his first goal as a professional.

Then, once the Purples had got the goal, they went searching for an equaliser. After wave after wave of attack, the chance finally came. Striker Park Inhyeok was able atone for his missed penalty by firing home from point blank range after some penalty area pinball.

Hwang Inbeom’s header rebounded off the crossbar but fell fortuitously for Park who, after steadying himself, lashed the ball into the back of the net with just six minutes of normal time remaining.

After which, there were chances for both teams to net a winner, more so Daejeon who went inches away from completing the turnaround; defender Yun Junseong’s header from six yards out whistled just past the post and out for a goal kick.

In the end though a draw was a perhaps fair result and spared the blushes of Ko Jongsoo after fielding such a weakened first XI. Anyang will have felt hard done by having built a two-goal lead but were unable to cope with Daejeon on the front foot.

Daejeon’s opponents in the playoffs wont be known to them until the 19th November when the K League have made their decision on whether K League 2 Champions Asan Mugunghwa will be allowed to be promoted to K League 1.

Should Asan be allowed to make the step up to the first tier, the Purples will face an away trip to Busan IPark. Alternatively, if Asan are denied promotion and Seongnam gain automatic promotion, Daejeon will face Gwangju at home on Wednesday 28th November.

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