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FA Cup Preview: Asan Mugunghwa vs Yangpyeong FC

FA Cup Preview: Asan Mugunghwa vs Yangpyeong FC
Asan Mugunghwa could have made a dream run in the FA Cup last year, but their journey was cut short after losing on penalties to Jeonnam Dragons in the quarterfinals.  Included in that run was a 2-1 home win against K League 1 champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the Round of 16.  In the third round of this year's installment of the competition, they will face Yangpyeong FC at home this coming Wednesday night, a team that crashed out the hard way last year, losing by a lofty margin of 8-0 against Daegu FC in the Round of 16. KLU's Branko Belan previews the upcoming fixture.

Match: Asan Mugunghwa vs Yangpyeong FC
Venue: Yi Sun-sin Stadium
Kickoff: Wednesday March 27th, 2019; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Asan Mugunghwa 3-2 Bucheon 1995 FC

The last time Asan was out on the pitch was last weekend for their first home match of the new season against Bucheon 1995 FC, which they won 3-2 in a game that was not as close as the scoreline would suggest.  Ko Mu-yeol netted a hat trick for last season's champions, equaling his output for all of 2018 in the process.  Asan dominated for much of the match, but were guilty of lapses which led to goals just after the re-start and again in second half injury time, but still managed to hold on for all three points.

Asan were given the luck of the draw with just fourteen minutes off the clock, when the referee awarded them a penalty after Kim Young-nam was called for a foul on Oh Se-hun following a VAR review.  Ko Mu-yeol stepped up to the spot, and calmly converted with a low shot to the right of Choe Cheol-won.  The same player would double Asan's advantage with less than ten minutes left in the first half, firing into the roof of the net after being played into space by Ahn Hyun-beom.  Bucheon would pull one back in first half injury time through Park Yo-han, who took full advantage of some lax defending in the box, leaving Yang Hyun-mo with little chance of keeping out the close range effort.

After the restart. Asan assumed control of the match once again, controlling possession for long stretches, not allowing the visitors to penetrate their back line in search of an equalizer.  Asan would restore their two goal cushion just after the hour mark when Ahn Hyun-beom was fouled on the edge of the area, and Ko Mu-yeol stepped up to convert his second penalty of the day to finish off his hat trick.  An Tae-hyun would add a goal for Bucheon in injury time as he headed in from a free kick, but it was not nearly enough, and Asan held on for the win in their 2019 home debut.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The two sides have never met before in a competitive match.  With home field advantage, it should be a foregone conclusion that Asan is a heavy favorite for the win.  Yangpyeong could be in for a long night if Asan finds the net early.

Team News

Spirits will have been restored following their win at the weekend, but the expectation is that some of the younger faces in the team will get a run out for this match.  The likely reason is to build depth within the squad for later on in the season.  In any case, Park Dong-hyuk has a wealth of options at his disposal, and is free to experiment with different combinations in an attempt to acclimatize his side to playing with one another to build chemistry with the group that will hopefully begin to mirror last year's side sooner than later.

One of Asan's major strengths in their run to the title last season was that every single man could be counted on to step in and get the job done whenever needed.  With so many faces leaving in the off-season, Park will have to do it all over again, but the good news is that he has a solid contingent once again which is fully capable of doing so.  There is still enough of a veteran presence in the side to lead the younger players by example, and their midweek cup tie is a good place to start.

The Adversary

Yangpyeong FC bowed out of last year's FA Cup in beguiling fashion, as they were thrashed 8-0 at the hands of Daegu FC.  Park Han-bin had a hat trick; Ze Roberto added a brace, and Kim Jin-hyeok, Kim Dae-won and Cesinha contributed a goal each in the rout.

They had a largely uninspiring season as well, as they only managed to win seven of 22 matches, and finished with a minus six goal differential.

The positive for this year's competition is that they already have a win under their belt, as they defeated Ulsan University by a final of 3-0 in the second round.  Captain Kwon Ji-sung scored what was to be the winner five minutes before the end of the first half, and they would add a pair before the final whistle.  It is, however, difficult to see them breaking down Asan's defense.

Prediction

Had this been an away match for Asan, there may have been the slightest of chances for Yangpyeong to be competitive in this match.  Yi Sun Shin Stadium was a fortress for Asan last year, and there is extremely little to indicate that things will be otherwise on Wednesday night.

It will be a great opportunity for some of the younger faces in the team to get a chance to play, and they will surely be eager to show that they deserve minutes in the league.  It will also be a great chance for Asan to get the gears turning and lay another brick in the foundation for what they hope will be another successful year as they look to scale the heights of K2 once again.  There is likely only one winner in this one - if they score early, Asan will run away with it handily.

Prediction: Asan Mugunghwa 5-0 Yangpyeong FC 


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