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Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Asan Mugunghwa

Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Asan Mugunghwa K League 2 Round 9
Just three days after a disappointing home defeat to FC Anyang, Daejeon Citizen will have the opportunity to bounce straight back when Asan Mugunghwa make the short trip to Purple Arena this Wednesday. The K League 2 Champions are somewhat out of sorts at present having lost their last four outings.

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Daejeon Citizen 0-2 FC Anyang

The Purples were left black and blue following a 2-0 home defeat to the Violets at home on Sunday with some some defensive blunders to blame for the defeat. The first came with 25 minutes on the clock via fledgling centre back Lee Jeesol who was caught napping, allowing Ukrainian striker Mykola Kovtalyuk to convert from close range. Anyang then doubled their advantage 10 minutes after the restart, Alex Lima capitalising on a mistake from Daejeon skipper Ahn Sanghyeon.

Highlights: here


Suwon FC 2-1 Asan Mugunghwa

Asan Mugunghwa suffered their fourth defeat on the spin thanks to a Kim Byungoh strike in the 84th minute, the forward's first goal in nearly two years. At Castle Park, Asan fell behind with 51 minutes on the clock, Jang Seongjae giving the hosts an early second half lead after turning in Sebastián Velásquez's corner from the right on the half-volley.

Oh Sehoon then levelled 10 minutes later to restore parity, a close range tap in from Kim Dohyuk's out-swinging free-kick with what was the striker's third of the campaign. However, after being introduced as a half-time substitute, Kim Byungoh fireed in a late winner just six minutes from time, finding into the bottom corner from just inside the area after a great display of power and desire.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Despite Wednesday's opponents Asan going onto lift the K League 2 Championship last season, the Purples lost just once in four meetings in 2018. The first encounter of the year took place at Purple Arena where Asan ran out 2-1 winners thanks to a somewhat controversial winner eight minutes from time. A Kim Minkyun spot kick gave the then police team the lead on 22 minutes before Kim Seungseop levelled things up 10 minutes later. However, despite what former Daejeon Citizen CEO Kim Ho strongly believed was a foul on Kim Yesung in the build-up, enough for the former Korean National Team manager to storm into the referee's room after the match to remonstrate, a Heo Beomsan winner in 82 minutes gave Asan the win.

Thereafter Daejeon picked up two wins in Asan before recording a 2-1 win over there own the last time these two sides met. In October last year, Daejeon came back from the dead with two goals in the last 10 minutes to turn the game on its head as the Purples kept up their pursuit of the playoffs. Kim Hyunsoo had given Asan the advantage on 35 minutes only for Hwang Inbeom, who had spent the majority of the season on loan to Asan as part of his military service, levelled with a spotkick on 80 minutes. Uzbek attacking midfielder Shohruh Gadoev fired in an 88th minute winner.

Overall, from eight previous meetings, Daejeon have three wins to Asan's two and two draws. However, against police teams, including the Ansan Mugunghwa team which disbanded in 2016, Daejeon have five wins to Asan's six and five draws. At Purple Arena, Daejeon have three wins in eight encounters.

Team News

Daejeon Citizen goalkeeper Park Juwon is a doubt for the visit of Asan through injury. The 28 year-old, who had been ever-present for the Purples this season, picked up a knock and so Kim Jinyoung came in to deputise. Centre back Lee Jeesol is due to join up with the Korea U20 team and so could be replaced by Lee Jungmoon or Yun Kyungbo.

Daejeon Citizen lineup versus FC Anyang, K League 2 Round 8

The Adversary


Asan dropped its fourth straight match over the weekend, as they fell at home to Suwon FC. It was the first time Asan have ever lost to them, as it finished 2-1 to the visitors. The growing pains are starting to become more apparent for last season’s champions, as the young players are starting to realise the toll that a long season will take on them. The loss saw them fall to seventh spot in the league table, and they are now only two points off the bottom.

A trip away to Daejeon will not help matters much, as they were quite a thorn in the side for Asan last season. While Daejeon themselves are struggling, Asan’s road form this season has not been good. It is possible that Park Donghyuk will need to rotate his side in the coming matches to see how best to put a starting eleven on the pitch that will produce results. After a good start to the season, the away loss to Gwangju aside, the wheels have started to fall off a bit in recent weeks. 

Lim Changgyoon had to be replaced after only a half hour on the pitch on Sunday afternoon, and it is uncertain whether or not he will be available for Wednesday night. His replacement, Ahn Hyunbeom also went down with an injury and had to be carried off the pitch.  He sustained damage to his ear in an aerial duel, and had surgery following the match to suture the affected area. He will miss time, and the team hopes he will be able to make a quick recovery. 

Ko Muyeol picked up a yellow card against Suwon, but will still likely be on the team sheet. As one of the top scorers in K League 2 with six goals to his name, good for second in the league along with Busan IPark’s Rômulo, he will be counted on to find the net if Asan are going to have a chance to take points from this one.  Having already surpassed his goal tally from last season, he needs to stay on form if Asan are going to get out of their current slump.
-Branko Belan

Asan Mugunghwa lineup versus Suwon FC, K League 2 Round 8

Who To Watch

Daejeon Citizen - Park Sooil

Park Sooil (R) in action for Daejeon at home to Asan in 2018
Right-footed left back Park Sooil has become one of Ko Jongsoo's must trusted players since his arrival from Gimhae City last year. Park began as a central midfielder before eventually shifting to left full back. From the left, Park notched 10 assists last season, second only to Busan IPark's Rômulo. So far this season, Park Sooil has two assists to his name from eight appearances and can boast of a 76% passing accuracy rate. The 23 year-old's delivery is a valuable asset to the Purples and will be something to keep an eye out for come Wednesday night.

Asan Mugunghwa - Ko Muyeol

Ko Muyeol (R) has five goals from seven appearances this season.
Former K League 1 Young Player of the Year Ko Muyeol is in his final year of military service with Asan Mugunghwa. The on-loan Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors forward, now 28, is amongst K League's leading marksmen with five, higher than his expected goals tally of 3.45. Over 60% of Ko's shots have found the target and has completed 83% of all passes into the final third.

Prediction

Neither Daejeon Citizen nor Asan Mugunghwa head into Wednesday's game in the best of form having picked up just two wins in five between them. That said, on Sunday, Daejeon weren't as bad as the scoreline suggested as two defensive blunders can be attributed to the defeat. If Purples gaffer Ko Jongsoo can make a few adjustments to his starting eleven, such as look to Shohruh Gadoev on the wing, then Citizen might have a chance of picking up a win. If there's a good time to pick up a win over the current champions then it's now.

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