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Preview: Asan Mugunghwa vs Suwon FC

Preview: Asan Mugunghwa vs Suwon FC K League 2 Round 8
Both Asan Mugunghwa and Suwon FC head into Sunday's encounter with a lot on the line.  The defending K League 2 champions are three matches without a win, with their Sunday opponents clicking at their heels.  Asan lost at home last time out to FC Anyang by a score of 2-0 while Suwon fell 2-1 away to Gwangju FC.  Both teams will look to turn their fortunes back in a positive direction.  KLU's Branko Belan is joined by Lee Youngsub to look ahead to the match.

Match: Asan Mugunghwa vs Suwon FC
Venue: Yi Sun-sin Stadium
Kickoff: Sunday April 28th, 2019; 15:00 KST

Last Time Out

Asan Mugunghwa 0-2 FC Anyang

Asan succumbed to defeat at home for the second week in a row after having a pair of men sent off against Busan IPark the week before.  They held on well for the majority of the match, but were stung by a pair of late goals as they unraveled in the dying minutes.

Both teams had spells bossing possession in the first half, but neither was able to score, and neither 'keeper was seriously tested, until in-form Ko Mu-yeol struck an effort from just outside the box with a half hour gone that made Yang Dong-won stretch to keep the ball out.  It would remain scoreless after the first forty-five minutes.

The second half followed a similar pattern, with both teams having their share of time on the ball.  It seemed that things would end all square, until Cho Kyu-sung charged in to score from close range with only three minutes left in regular time.  Alex Lima would add an insurance goal in the third minute of injury time, and Anyang picked up an important three points.

Highlights: here

Gwangju FC 2-1 Suwon FC

A pair of first half goals from the hosts stood up in the end, as the league leaders continued their fine form in the early stages of the campaign.  They were in front after only twelve minutes, as Rustamjon Ashurmatov headed in from a free kick on the edge of the area.  Park Hyeong-soon managed to get fingertips on the ball, but it wasn't enough to keep the ball from ending up in the back of the net.  Gwangju would add a second from the spot just before halftime, as Felipe converted from the spot, to send the home side into the dressing room with a comfortable advantage.

The early stages of the second half saw Gwangju continue to dominate, and it wasn't until a quarter of an hour into the second half that Suwon began to have any impact on the match.  Their efforts moving forward were rewarded as they pulled one back through Chison Egbuchulam on 73 minutes, but in the end, it would be all they could manage, as their efforts to find an equalizer in the latter stages came up just short.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Asan had a great degree of success against Suwon FC last season, winning all four meetings between the two sides.  The first meeting ended in a 2-0 score last March, with Hwang In-beom and Ko Mu-yeol finding the net.  The second match ended with the same scoreline, as Kim Jong-gook and Han Eui-gwon found the net inside the first five minutes after halftime when the teams met in June.

Kim Hyun would be the lone goalscorer in the third match in July, while Asan capped off a perfect year in the head to head with a 2-1 win at the end of September, Kim Hyun once again and Lee Myung-joo providing the offence, despite the fact that Jo Seong-joon was sent off in the fifteenth minute of the match.  Lee Jae-an was the only player to score for Suwon against Asan last season.

In fact, going back to 2017, Asan have never lost to Suwon FC; they have a perfect record of eight wins out of eight against them, so they will have it all to do to get three points on Sunday afternoon.

Team News

In their three losses, Asan have only scored two goals and conceded eight, albeit five were to Busan IPark, who is looking a much stronger outfit in comparison to last season.  But, losses to Ansan Greeners and FC Anyang could have been avoided.  Discipline has been a concern this season, and the loss to Busan is a perfect example, as Asan were down to nine men in the second half.  Kim Jun-su received a straight red for a last man challenge, and he will still be out because of his two match ban.  

The match should see the return of Lee Han-saem to the lineup, a player that Asan badly needs to keep the back line sturdy, not to mention his presence on the pitch as a leader as the team's assistant captain.  Kim Dong-jin picked up a yellow card for Asan in the loss to Anyang, but is available for selection, although whether he is in contention for a spot on the bench this week remains to be seen.

Park Dong-hyuk knows his side needs a win this weekend, so the expectation is that he will field his strongest possible lineup.  If the likes of Ko Mu-yeol, Oh Se-hun, or even Lee Myung-joo can get on the scoresheet, it could swing the tide and the final result in Asan's favor.

Suwon are winless in April with two draws against Seoul E-Land and Jeonnam Dragons, and a loss against Gwangju FC last time out away from home.  With an overall record of two wins, two draws, and three losses, they're still in the middle of the pack and not far behind.  They have no players suspended for the match, so they will most likely come out with their best eleven to go head to head with Asan.

The Adversary


Suwon FC heads down to Asan for their second consecutive away game. Suffering a regretful defeat against the current leaders of the table Gwangju FC last week, Suwon FC’s boys will be hoping to bring three points back to Castle Park.

In last week’s match against Gwangju FC, manager Kim Dae-eui brought out his most trusted formation, the 3-5-2.  However, it was notable to see some new names listed in the starting line-up.  First of all, veteran midfielder, Lee Seung-hyun was placed on the left wing instead of Chae Sun-il who has usually taken up this position this season.  The reason behind the replacement was not addressed by the manager during the pre-match interview.  He revealed that he was aware that Gwangju FC’s wingers like Kim Jung-hwan and Willyan possess ample pace.  Thus, a fast winger like Lee Seung-hyun had to be deployed.  Furthermore, 19-year-old striker Kim Chang-heon made his debut for Suwon FC beside An Byong-jun.

Although Suwon FC suffered a regretful defeat last week, it was not a total loss.  Manager Kim was able to check on more talented players in the squad like, Kim Byung-oh, Lee Seung-hyun and Ahn Eun-san.  This would give the manager wider pool of players to utilize at times when various tactical decisions have to be made.  Also, the presence of forward Kim Byung-oh would give the team much more flexibility in their attacking system as the 29-year-old is able to play as both a winger and a striker.  Furthermore, An Byong-jun, the striker who is scoring most of the goals for the team, can avoid being overly marked from the opponent with the presence of this versatile forward.

As Suwon FC face the team that have conceded the most number of goals in the league this Sunday, a win or loss may lie at the feet of the strikers.

Prediction

Despite coming into the match on a three game slide, Asan should still be confident enough to secure maximum points against their opponents, considering the amount of success they have had against them.  

Suwon to their credit are battling to stay within striking distance of the top teams in the division, but a team like Asan, which has been starved a bit for results this season, cannot allow another opportunity to pass at home.  They have been befallen by some bad luck at times this season, but if they are to repeat the form they showed last season, they really need to tighten the screws a bit more at the back, and also need to be a touch more clinical in front of goal.  They don't seem to have developed the kind of consistency which made them such a dominant team last year, but they do have the pieces in place to make it happen.

This could be a close one, but Asan are in need of a win in order to keep pace with the top of the division themselves, and home field should see them nip this one in the end.

Predicted Score: Asan Mugunghwa 2-1 Suwon FC

K League 2 Round 8 Preview: here

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