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Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Seoul E-Land

Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Seoul E-Land K League 2 Round 17
Ansan Greeners welcome lowly Seoul E-Land to the Wa~ Stadium on Saturday evening in K League 2 Round 17. The hosts are looking to keep in contention for a playoff spot with a victory in this one, while the visitors are desperate for the three points after a torrid run of eleven games without a win.

Last Time Out

Ansan Greeners 0-0 Busan IPark

Ansan Greeners and Busan IPark played out an entertaining goalless draw at the Wa~ last Saturday. The home side’s South American striker, Gustavo Vintecinco came close to opening the scoring midway through the first-half after striking Kim Hyung-geun’s crossbar, following a well-worked set-piece that saw Park Jun-hui nod Jang Hyeok-jin’s delivery into the Brazilian’s path.

The Gyeongsang travellers started the affair in a surprisingly lacklustre fashion, but sparked into life in the later stages of the first forty-five, Vintecinco’s compatriot, Rômulo hit the woodwork with a howitzer from the edge of the Green Wolves’ penalty area, after a clever Kim Jin-kyu dummy from Lee Jeong-hyeop’s cut-back on the stroke of half-time.

Cho Deok-je’s men started the second period with greater energy and vigour and bossed proceedings after the restart. Former Ansan forward, Han Ji-ho forced an excellent two-handed stop from Hwang In-jae with a bending free-kick, as IPark began to turn the screw twenty minutes from time. But the Greeners’ backline, expertly marshalled by stand-in skipper, Lee In-jae, managed to absorb Busan’s relentless pressure, and Lim Wan-seop’s boys almost snatched the unlikeliest of successes, when Bang Chan-jun headed Jang Hyeok-jin’s corner against the post from close-range. 

The Yeongnam club’s response was instant however, as South Korean international, Kim Moon-hwan drew a fine block from Hwang in between the Greeners’ sticks, the ex-Seongnam goalie then pulled off a remarkable save from Bang Chan-jun’s unintentional backwards defensive header from Rômulo’s corner, somehow clawing the ball onto his near post.

The meeting ended in a controversial manner, when Hwang was initially given a straight red card in the last minute of stoppage time for an apparent foul on Lee Dong-jun, after the forward latched onto Han Sang-woon’s slide rule pass and was seemingly felled. However, a VAR referral overruled the dismissal, as replays showed that the onrushing Ansan keeper made contact with the ball as opposed to the man. The Gyeonggi eleven kept the southcoasters at bay for the remainder and were good value for their hard-fought point against a true title contender. 

Highlights: here

Bucheon FC 1995 3-2 Seoul E-Land

As for their adversaries this weekend, Seoul E-Land were on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller at the Bucheon Stadium. The home side edged a tight first-half, having taken the lead in fortuitous circumstances, when Park Kun’s shot from Song Hong-min’s ball beat Kim Young-kwang via a deflection off Lim Dong-Hyuk.

Song Sun-ho’s team then took firm control of the match early into the second-half courtesy of a moment of magic from Marlon de Jesús. The Ecuadorian brilliantly brought a long punt under control before unleashing an unstoppable half-volley that gave Kim no chance from the edge of the E-Land box, and the three points looked all but sewn-up on the hour mark when ex-Leopard, Gam Han-sol tucked home Kim Ryun-do’s cross after a 1995 counterattack. 

Enter Wesley Alex. The former Daegu striker came off the bench to give the traveling supporters some cause for optimism going into the Ansan battle. Kim Dong-cheol had the goal at his mercy following a Kim Min-kyun corner, but could only find the crossbar after Alex’s flick-on five minutes from time. However, his fellow defender, Park Seong-woo showed him how it was done, nodding in what looked like a mere consolation moments later. But the Jamsil side were not finished there, and Alex brought them right back into the match after blasting through Choi Cheol-won after being teed up by Lee Hyeon-seong. It wasn’t to be for the Wiryeseong club though, as Bucheon saw out the game to claim an invaluable win that kept their playoff aspirations alive and kicking.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Choi Ho-joo’s late equaliser earned Ansan a deserved point at the Olympic Stadium at the beginning of March. Wesley Alex opened the scoring on the quarter-hour mark with an improvised hooked finish, the Brazilian was first to react to Lee Kyung-ryul’s blocked shot to bag his first goal of his second stint at E-Land. 

But Lim Wan-seop’s players were transformed in the second-half and could have taken all three points back to the Wa~, as remarkably midfielders, Jang Hyeok-jin and Fauver both missed penalties for the away side. Kim Young-kwang atoned for conceding the first penalty, after bringing down Lee In-jae, producing a wonderful one-handed stop from Jang from twelve yards. Former Gyeongnam offensive midfielder, Fauver then curled well wide from the spot late on, before Ishida Masatoshi’s lofted cross was converted by Choi at the death.

Team News

South Korea’s U-20 captain, Hwang Tae-hyeon is vying for a place in Saturday’s matchday squad. The full-back was absent for the Busan stalemate after being granted a rest period following his World Cup efforts, that saw the young Taeguk Warriors reach the final in Łódź, Poland a fortnight ago.

Defender, Choi Jong-hoan is expected to make his debut for the visitors, the ex-Incheon United right-back joined the Namgyeong tabbies earlier this week, and Woo Sung-yong looks set to hand him a place in his XI in an attempt to shore up what has been a leaky rearguard of late. Wesley Alex also staked a claim for a starting berth for Seoul following his performance as an effective second-half substitute in the Bucheon reversal. Woo may well be tempted to play the South American from the off in this clash, as the 31-year-old seems to have the Indian sign over the Greeners, having enjoyed a lot of success in the ‘Line 4 Derby’ encounters that he featured in during his FC Anyang days.

The Adversary

Seoul E-Land caretaker manager, Woo Sung-yong is yet to taste victory since taking charge.
The Leopards sit rock bottom of the K League 2 table, and find themselves five points adrift of ninth-placed Daejeon Citizen. Interim Seoul E-Land boss, Woo Sung-yong, has failed to build on the encouraging display that E-Land produced in their heartbreaking last-minute defeat at the Anyang Sports Complex in late May. Three consecutive losses to Asan Mugunghwa, Jeonnam Dragons, and most recently Bucheon 1995 have seen Seoul supporters voice their discontent over the way the club is being run, with many questioning the selection of Róbson Carlos Duarte, a player who is yet to score in eleven K League 2 appearances for the club, over Wesley Alex, who bagged his fifth league goal of the season on Monday. Head coach, Woo needs a positive result this Saturday to breed new life into a so far disastrous season for the Hanseong felines.

What To Watch

The Green Wolves’ talismanic playmaker, Jang Hyeok-jin has made an impressive start to the 2019 campaign with three goals and four assists to date. The former Gangwon midfielder is proving to be a real threat from set-pieces, and stole the show with a cool penalty-finish and a lung-busting run and assist in the Greeners’ last victory, which came against Daejeon Citizen at the Purple Arena earlier this month. 

Bang Chan-jun is another player to watch out for in this fixture. The six-foot attacker has been used primarily as an impact substitute by Lim, and proved to be a nuisance for the IPark defenders following his introduction last time out. The ex-Suwon Bluewings’ man scored late winners in the Bucheon and Daejeon triumphs on the road, and offers a direct and pacey option from the bench, something which the Gojan outfit desperately lacked last year.


Ansan have been outstanding in their last three outings and will be looking to take maximum points from this contest. E-Land’s caretaker gaffer, Woo Sung-yong has the unenviable task of turning the Hanyang side's fortunes around, and no wins from their last eleven in all competitions suggests that the Greeners will have too much for the Leopards this weekend.

Predicted Score: Ansan Greeners 1-0 Seoul E-Land

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