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FA Cup Preview: Hwaseong FC vs Ansan Greeners

FA Cup Preview: Hwaseong FC vs Ansan Greeners
It's K League 2 versus K3 on Wednesday as a struggling Ansan Greeners side visit fourth-tier Hwaseong City in the third round of the Korean FA Cup. The fixture will be a first competitive meeting between the two sides which has a small derby atmosphere given Hwaseong borders Ansan. There will be certainly be no love for visiting manager Lim, who is under serious pressure to get a first win in 2019.

Last Time Out

The opener for the K3 on Saturday saw Hwaseong come out comfortable 2-0 winners at home to Chuncheon. Add this to their season-opener, a 6-1 drubbing of Mokpo Christian Hospital in the second round, and the amateurs can be said to be in-form. At the very least, Ansan must take the game seriously, and the forecast rain for the not fan-friendly 2:00 PM kick-off sets up the conditions for a potential cupset against the 2014 K3 Champions.

The Greeners have managed just a single point in their opening three fixtures. Despite finding the net in every game, they have gone behind in all of their fixtures, adding real pressure to new manger Lim Winseop. Lim's nine games in charge have yielded just a single victory and so a trip to lower league opposition may be just the tonic. Ansan can also anticipate not having to go up against VAR which has been at the heart of three controversial goal decisions and a red cards so far for the Green Wolves, without which the season would be looking a lot more positive.

Ansan's Cup Magic

The FA Cup has been one of the high points of the season in the past for Ansan fans. During the Hallejujah period, the club ran Incheon United close in 2009, and in the 2011 season, suffered a narrow defeat to another K League opponent in Ulsan Hyundai. Ansan went down to a horrendous back pass header that looped over the keeper, with no Ulsan players even being in the Ansan half.

The Mugunghwa period yielded Ansan's biggest game to date, an away trip to FC Seoul where a plucky second tier side eventually went out a 1-2 losers. And in the Greeners era, the biggest competitive win for an Ansan side came at the expense of Suwon University, as Ansan came out 7-0 winners with a Raul Tarragona hat-trick. They will have to get past Hwaseong to see if another chapter in Ansan history can be made come April 17th. Hwaseong will be looking to give a better showing than last season, when they were dumped out at this stage at home to Yongin University.

Who To Watch

Hong Seong-hee and Lee Joon-yeong were on the score sheet for Hwaseong's opening day victory in the K3. Yoo Byeong-su grabbed a brace in the previous round of the cup. These players will be looking to etch their names into the memory of this year's cup.

Ansan's team selection will be closely scrutinised. The continuing use of Choi Ho-joo as a substitute has drawn some ire from the fans. Brazilian  Gustavo Víntecinco should feature after his opening day sending-off, as he looks to pick-up some match fitness ahead of the weekend's crucial Line 4 derby. Given the need for a win, and fast, expect Ansan to put out a mostly full-strength line-up.

Prediction

This is a must-win for Ansan, and the team selection should match that. Hwaseong will be up for it, but with a full strength eleven, Ansan should have more than enough to advance to the final 32.

Hwaseong FC 0-2 Ansan Greeners



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