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Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Daejeon Citizen

Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Daejeon Citizen K League 2
Ansan Greeners kick off their 2019 K League 2 campaign with a home opener at the Wa~ Stadium against Daejeon Citizen this Sunday afternoon. Lim Wan-seop has been busy in the winter transfer window and so the club’s hierarchy will be expecting the Green Wolves to be competing for a mid-table spot this season. Meanwhile, the visitors, Daejeon have their sights set on challenging for automatic promotion this term, following a fourth place finish in 2018.

Last Time Out

Ansan suffered a four-nil humiliation on the final day of the 2018 K League 2 season away at Gwangju World Cup Stadium. Park Jin-seob’s men took the lead courtesy of Yeo Reum’s well-placed, arced effort from the edge of the eighteen-yard box, after the referee had played a great advantage in the build-up. New Seoul E-Land signing, Robson Carlos Duarte made the most of Park Hyeong-min’s awful goalkeeping error to fire in a second, and shortly after, now FC Tokyo attacker and last season's K League 2 MVP, Na Sang-ho’s fine free-kick put the home side three-up with a whole half remaining.

The Green Wolves’ woes continued following the restart, as defensive midfielder, Choi Myeong-hee was given his marching orders for a late foul on defender, Yeo Bong-hun. Brazilian striker, Duarte doubled his tally for the afternoon and completed the rout for the hosts in the closing stages with a close-range curler having profited from some dire defending from the visitors.

Final Score: Gwangju FC 4-0 Ansan Greeners

Highlights: here

Daejeon's last competitive match ended in defeat also, a comprehensive 3-0 away loss to Busan IPark in the K League Promotion Playoff Final. With a place in the Promotion/Relegation Playoff Final against FC Seoul at stake, Ko Jong-soo's young Daejeon side succumbed to a humbling defeat. Brazilian midfielder Rômulo put Busan in front with just six minutes on the clock with a teasing free-kick from the right-hand side. Park Soo-il and Yoon Shin-young both clattered into Ahn Ji-ho and from the resulting dead ball, Rômulo sent in a cross towards the edge of the six-yard box. But, with no one able to clear the danger or get a touch, the ball trickled into the far corner.

IPark were 2-0 up just before half time, Noh Haeng-seok converting from point blank range following a low cross from the right. Citizen gave away a free-kick 35 yards out which Rômulo duly took, feeding the ball out wide to Ko Kyung-min who squared the ball across goal for Noh to send in the simplest of finishes. The victory was well and truly sealed in added on time at the end of the second period when Shin Young-jun beat Park Jun-hyuk at his near post from the edge of the box.

Final Score: Busan IPark 3-0 Daejeon Citizen

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Ansan held Daejeon Citizen to a one-all draw in the most recent meeting between these two sides in late September, in what turned out to be former interim head coach, Lee Youngmin’s last match in the Greeners’ hot seat. Green Wolves centre-back, Song Joo-ho opened the scoring ten minutes before the end of the first half, as he volleyed home Jang Hyeok-jin’s cross, following a well-worked short corner from the hosts.

Ko Jong-soo's players, on a run of five straight victories, however were not to be denied, as Kang Yun-seong’s low strike beat an unsighted Lee Hee-seong to bring parity, after the home side failed to clear from a corner kick. The Purples nearly won the contest five minutes from time, a combination of Lee Hee-seong and Song Joo-ho somehow thwarted Park In-hyeok, whose dinked effort struck the inside of the post.

Team News

The Greeners are expected to hand competitive debuts to their new Brazilian duo, ex-Gyeongnam midfielder, Fauver and 6’3”centre-forward, Gustavo Vintecinco, as well as former Kyoto Sanga striker, Ishida Masatoshi. Kim Jin-rae is also in line for a starting berth, the full-back has joined from Suwon Bluewings following a successful 2018 loan spell at FC Anyang, and is seen as the answer to the Greeners’ problem at left-back, where suspended midfielder, Choi Myeong-hee filled in for the majority of last year.

For the visitors, on-loan Suwon Bluewings midfielder Yun Yong-ho is widely expected to make his debut in midfield. Lee Kwang-jun, Lee Jee-sol and Yun Kyung-bo will be hoping that they have done enough to partner Yoon Shin-young at the heart of the Purples' defence. In goal, Kim Jin-young is back in contention after missing the majority of last season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

The Adversary

After a hugely positive 2018, Daejeon Citizen will be looking to get off to the best possible start when the Purples take on the Greeners this Sunday. However, if Citizen are to start the season with three points then manager Ko Jong-soo will have to do something which neither he, nor his five predecessors were able to achieve. Daejeon haven't won on the opening day of a campaign since 2011, a 2-1 away win over Ulsan Hyundai. In fact, since the turn of the century, Citizen have managed just three opening day victories, two against Jeonbuk and the aforementioned win over Ulsan.

Ko Jong-soo set his Daejeon side up in a 4-1-2-3/4-1-4-1 formation for the most part in 2018 with Aurelian Chițu down the middle as the main striker, flanked by Park In-hyeok on the right and either Kim Seung-seop or Shohruh Gadoev on the left. The Purples' transfer activity has been limited to just a couple of youth loans thus far, as well as a fresh intake of rookies, and so will be expected to take to the field on Sunday in the formation that served the team so well last year.

Who To Watch

Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Daejeon Citizen K League 2 Round 1 Jang Hyeok-jin
Jang Hyeok-jin (R) in action for the Greeners against FC Anyang in 2018
Lim Wan-seop was delighted that the Green Wolves’ playmaker, Jang Hyeok-jin signed a new contract with the club in the close season. The midfielder is the creative force in the Ansan eleven, having recorded eight assists in 2018 and thirteen the year before. The 29-year-old, who made his name at Gangwon, is the team’s set-piece taker, and possesses great vision and a wonderful eye for a pass.


Ansan will be looking to make a statement in this one, the Greeners have strengthened significantly in the off-season, and Lim Wan-seop will be hoping that the club’s preseason has given the players enough time to gel and the new additions sufficient time to adapt to his tactics and training methods. If Jang Hyeok-jin and Choi Ho-joo can stay fit, then the Green Wolves are sure to give any side in the league a game this year, particularly at the Wa~. Defenders, Park Jun-hee and Lee In-jae face a tough afternoon’s work on Sunday however, the Purples’ Aurelian Chițu and Shohruh Gadoev look set to ask plenty of questions of the division’s backlines again this term.

Prediction: Ansan Greeners 1-1 Daejeon Citizen

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