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Preview: Asan Mugunghwa vs Bucheon FC 1995

Preview: Asan Mugunghwa vs Bucheon FC 1995 K League 2 Round 3
Asan Mugunghwa suffered one of their worst defeats in recent memory in K League 2 as they were dispatched by a final score of 4-0 away to Gwangju FC last weekend.  A pair of goals in each half punctuated by some sloppy play at the back showed that there will be some growing pains for Asan to go through in the early stages of the season.  Bucheon FC 1995, meanwhile, won their first two matches by identical 1-0 scores at home against Suwon FC and FC Anyang, but this will be their first away test of the year.  KLU's Branko Belan and George Slade break down the match in prospect.

Match: Asan Mugunghwa vs Bucheon 1995
Venue: Yi Sun-sin Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday March 16th, 2019; 13:00 KST

Last Time Out

Gwangju FC 4-0 Asan Mugunghwa

It didn't take long for the hosts to go into the lead, as they already had a one goal advantage in their pocket after only five minutes.  Park Jung-soo found himself in space on the left after some questionable, if not unlucky defending, to cross into the area for Felipe, whose initial header struck the bar, but, as he managed to work his way in between the central defenders, his follow up effort was calmly slotted into the back of the net.

The lead was doubled on the half hour mark when Asan were once again caught out at the back, failing to clear their lines after a corner.  The ball fell to Lee Gee-hyeon, whose shot at goal was redirected from close range by Felipe once again, and the hosts continued to roll.  The rest of the half produced little in the way of chances, although Ko Mu-yeol could have pulled one back for Asan in the 36th minute, but his effort was over the bar.

The second half presented much of the same story, as Felipe would complete his hat-trick on 55 minutes, three minutes after Asan had been reduced to ten men, when Ju Se-jong was judged to have elbowed the same player and was sent off with a straight red after VAR had been consulted.  The goal was a cracker into the roof of the net, after the Brazilian jumped on a poor clearance and fired the ball past a helpless Yang Hyung-mo in the Asan net.  Kim Jin-hwan would add a fourth on 69 minutes to complete the rout, and now the champions will have to regroup at home to get back to their winning ways.

Highlights: here

Bucheon FC 1995 1-0 FC Anyang

Last weekend Bucheon faced the round one league leaders FC Anyang. While the two teams were level on points after winning their opening games, Anyang were thought to be the strongest team after their 1-4 away demolition of perennial promotion contenders Busan IPark. However, Bucheon rose to the challenge and were able to come away with all three points after Lim Dong-hyeok’s headed goal from a 42nd minute corner. Bucheon also showed that they were unwilling to be dominated, sharing possession with Anyang and making over twice as many shots as their visitors with 17 compared to eight. 

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Asan enjoyed a lot of success against Bucheon last season, winning three and drawing one.  The first time they met last season, Asan won 4-2 at home on the strength of a brace from Jo Seong-joon, while Kim Min-kyun and Ko Mu-yeol added singles.

Asan also won twice away from home by identical 1-0 scores, while the remaining match between the two finished goalless when they played each other at the Yi Sun Shin stadium last summer.

Asan has had a comfortable overall edge in the head to head series, which includes the time they were known as Ansan Police FC, going 14-6-5 against their visitors in 25 matches overall with a +12 goal differential.  That translates to just over 1.5 goals a game against Bucheon overall since the two sides began playing each other according to statistics from fctables.com, so the men up top will look to continue that tradition on Saturday afternoon.

Team News

Manager Park Dong-hyuk may have a lot of thinking to do before making a final decision on his starting eleven for Saturday afternoon following their less than subpar performance last weekend, but the good news is that they will be on home ground for the first time this season.  There is concern, however, because of the suspension to Ju Se-jong and how the hole left by his absence will be filled in midfield.

Kim Min-woo made his debut at forward last weekend against Gwangju, but the Hongik University product did not get on the score sheet.  The 21 year old may be in line for more playing time with Oh Se-hun joining the Korean U-20 training camp in preparation for this year's World Cup in Poland.  It remains to be seen how he will respond to an increase in playing time, but most of Asan's young recruits have shown promise thus far.

Other than the suspension to Ju, and Oh being unavailable due to national team commitments, all other players should be available for selection.

The Adversary


Bucheon come into the match currently soaring above most people’s expectations. A club that most people had written off as destined for an uneventful mid-table finish are currently sitting third in the table, level on six points with Gwangju and Daejeon Citizen. Two 1-0 home wins may not be exactly setting the league alight, but it is a start that the club will be more than happy with. While their attack is not the most threatening, it is effective and their defence has proven to be impossible to crack. 

If Bucheon can continue this good form then they should worry Asan, who sit fifth in the table after registering one win and one defeat. However, Bucheon have not tested themselves away from home yet this season. Without their home support this could prove a difficult challenge for Bucheon, who are facing an Asan Mugunghwa side that will be looking for redemption after their 4-0 drubbing away to Gwangju. This is not likely to be a serious problem, though, and Bucheon should have all the confidence in the world coming into the match. It is a difficult result to call, but don’t be surprised if Bucheon extend their winning run.

Prediction

Asan will need to bounce back after a bad day on the pitch against Gwangju, and home is just the place for them to do it.  They had a lot of success against Bucheon last season, so that is something that should be in their favor.  Thus far, even though Bucheon have won both of their matches, both have been by the slimmest of margins, indicating that the issue of scoring goals may be a problem once again for them this season.

Last season's champions will see their match with Bucheon as a chance to redeem themselves, and hopefully put themselves on a course to lay a solid foundation for the first few months of the season before the summer rolls around.  There will be a lot of football to be played between then and now, so they will want to establish the mid-season form that ultimately took them to a title last season as soon as possible.  Asan should get back on track and take all three points in the process.

Prediction: Asan Mugunghwa 2 Bucheon FC 1995 0

  

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