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Preview: Asan Mugunghwa vs Ansan Greeners

K League 2 Preview: Asan Mugunghwa vs Ansan Greeners

Asan was finally able to snap their four-match skid with an away win in midweek against Daejeon Citizen, while a masterful second-half performance by the Greeners netted them a 3-0 victory at home to Jeonnam Dragons.  The last time these two teams met this season at the Wa Stadium, Ansan took full points with a 1-0 win.  Saturday's match will be on Asan's home turf, where the defending champions took all six points last season.  KLU's Branko Belan and Mike Brandon look ahead to the match.

Match: Asan Mugunghwa vs Ansan Greeners
Venue: Yi Sun Shin Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday May 4th, 2019; 15:00 KST

Last Time Out

Daejeon Citizen 0-1 Asan Mugunghwa

Asan had a very difficult away trip to Daejeon in midweek, barely scratching out a win against one of the second division K League sides from a season ago.  Things got going early, with both sides coming close with chances in the opening minutes, but Lee Jung-moon and Park Jae-woo were off target with their efforts.  Shin Hak-young then became the first player to go into the referee's book after a two footed challenge on Lee Myung-joo.  

Asan would go into the lead on nine minutes, after Oh Se-hun played a quick lay off for Ko Mu-yeol to hit at the top of the sixteen yard box.  The shot seemed to handcuff Daejeon 'keeper Kim Jin-young, although it most likely took a deflection on the way in.  Daejeon would pick up their play after conceding, but were unlucky to restore parity before the break.

The home side had the bulk of possession and chances in the second half, but again were not able to find a way through the Asan defence, although a VAR decision late on could have changed things, when Kim Do-hyuk looked to have held on to Park In-hyeok, who fell just inside the area, but replays could not find conclusive evidence for a foul, and no penalty was given.  Asan were lucky to come away with three points, and know they must do better if they are to secure another win at the weekend.

Highlights: here

Ansan Greeners 3-0 Jeonnam Dragons

Ansan are definitely a team starting to hit form at the moment, and their comprehensive victory at home in midweek over Jeonnam Dragons is proof that they are ready to contend for the top half this season.

The first half did not present much in the way of chances for either side, although Jeonnam should have taken the lead when Choi Hyo-jin cut into space on the left and got behind a defender to cut back for Bruno, who completely scuffed his effort on goal.  Ansan could have gone a man down when Gustavo Vintecinco got an elbow up on Kwak Kwang-seon in a one-on-one battle for possession on the touchline.  He was initially given a red, but VAR reduced it to a yellow.  

What a difference that decision would have on the second half, as Ansan exploded for three goals.  The first would come from the Brazilian himself from the penalty spot after Lee Ji-nam bundled over Jang Hyeok-jin in the box.  He would add a second in the late stages of the match, with what could easily be considered as an early candidate for goal of the season, as he lobbed Jeonnam 'keeper Park Jun-hyuk with an effort from just inside the midfield stripe.  Jang Hyeok-jin would add a third in injury time, making it the third time this season that the Dragons have conceded three times in a match.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

These two sides have already met once this season, and it was only weeks ago, when Ansan took the plaudits with a 1-0 win at home in Round 5.  Gustavo Vintecinco scored the lone goal in the match.  Despite having more possession and more shots on target, Asan could not make it count.

Asan had previously never lost to the Greeners, and will look to exact a bit of revenge when they take the pitch this weekend.

Team News

Asan did not look their best against Daejeon, but there were a few players who did catch attention with their performances.  Ko Mu-yeol is having a stellar season thus far, adding to his goal tally once again, giving him seven on the season.  Oh Se-hun also played a key role, despite not registering on the score sheet.  His constant pressing of the Daejeon back line kept the hosts from pushing out from the back consistently, limiting their chances in the final third.

Park Jae-woo also deserves mention for his gritty performance on the right side of Asan's defence, as he refused to allow Shohruh Gadoev and Shin Hak-young enough time and space to create an equalizer after Asan had gone in front, although the two Daejeon men presented a constant threat all evening.

Asan's play left a lot to be desired, as they lost possession too easily in key sections of the pitch, and lacked the final pass to create meaningful scoring opportunities in the second half.  Kim Do-hyuk and Ju Se-jong went into the book for Asan, but both should still be available for the weekend.  Oh Se-hun was banged up a bit at the end of the match against Daejeon, and maybe a match time decision whether he will start, as he is soon to join the Korean U-20 national side which will be competing in the World Cup in Poland beginning later this month.  Park Dong-hyuk will likely play his strongest lineup after some changes in midweek.

When it comes to their opponents, Asan have to be wary of several players for Ansan, who, it seems, are hitting their stride at an opportune time with the summer portion of the schedule just around the corner.  Vintecinco has played well, as has Jang Hyeok-jin, but another player who should not be overlooked is Choe Ho-ju who looked very dangerous in space, making several deep runs into the Jeonnam defence after coming on as a substitute for the Greeners.

Ansan also have no suspensions coming into the match and would like to build a bit of momentum after their midweek success and earlier win over Asan this season.  The teams are currently level on points in the table, but Ansan has the edge in the head to head and on goal difference as well.

The Adversary


Lim Wan-seop’s Ansan revolution continued midweek as the Green Wolves dispatched the Jeonnam Dragons 3-0.  Jeonnam arrived at the Wa unbeaten in four but came unstuck against a determined Greeners side who had held the league leaders Gwangju to a 0-0 draw on Saturday.  Gustavo Vintecinco opened the scoring on the hour mark before adding a second late on. The Brazilian continues to improve, both in terms of discipline, as he managed only a yellow card to add to his collection of red cards (two in four prior to this game), and bagged his first brace taking his tally to four in five for the season.

Austrian Felipe Dorta made his second league start as he led the attack with Vintecinco, being subbed off late on for Choi Ho-joo.  Choi’s appearance helped Ansan on to a late flurry as the aforementioned second Vintencinco goal and a very late third from Jang Hyeok-jin sealed a dominant night for the Greeners.

Lim has stuck to his guns as well, after dropping club captain Lee Hee-seong following his performance in Busan two weeks ago.  Hwang In-jae came in on Saturday and kept a clean sheet against Gwangju, and repeated the act on Wednesday night, meaning that he might be the new first choice between the sticks after returning to Ansan failing to break into the Seongnam team last season.

Former Dolphin turned Wolf Lee In-jae has also impressed in defence, taking on the captain’s armband.  It is a big task for Ansan to go and get something in Asan, but with ten points from their last five games, they might just leave the home of their sans bachim namesakes with something to show for it.

Mike Brandon

Prediction

Asan finally erased the stigma of four consecutive losses with a narrow win in midweek, but they are up against an Ansan team which is eager to show the rest of the league that they are not just playing for pride this season.  Ansan will be looking to get another win, but it will be a bit more challenging doing so, knowing that they are away from home.

Asan have been inconsistent overall so far this season, and really need a win to stay in the conversation with the best in the league.  Things were made a bit more difficult in that all of the teams above them also won on Wednesday night.  If Park Dong-hyuk indeed does field his best lineup, then a win is possible, but the way Ansan have been going lately, it will still be a task, even at home.  It would be best to expect the sides to share the spoils in this one.

Prediction: Asan Mugunghwa 1-1 Ansan Greeners

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