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Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Asan Mugunghwa

Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs Asan Mugunghwa K League 2 Round 21
Still looking for a first victory under new manager Lee Heungsil, not to mention a first win since April, Daejeon Citizen host K League 2 Champions Asan Mugnghwa this Saturday night. The Purples sit second bottom of the table and nine points adrift of Jeonnam in eighth meaning that there is little else other than pride left to play for this term for the beleaguered citizen club. On the other hand, sitting in fourth place and with just a one-point cushion over Suwon FC in fifth, Asan will be determined to make it two wins on the spin.


via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Daejeon Citizen 2-4 Suwon FC

Despite taking the lead via an Aurelian Chițu spot kick, the Purples fell to a sixth straight defeat last Sunday, thanks to a 4-2 loss against Suwon FC. A Kim Seungseop cross was adjudged to have struck the arm of Suwon's Jang Junyoung sliding in. Chițu stepped up to send Daejeon into a fifth minute lead with Suwon custodian Park Hyungsoon going the opposite way.

However, just 10 minutes later and the visitors were level. Baek Sungdong with a composed strike from just inside the penalty area. Chițu thought he had restored Citizen's lead on 37 minutes but the Romanian was a fraction offside and so the goal was chalked off. The score remained level going into half time but just 10 minutes after the restart and Suwon had turned the game on its head, Cho Yumin with a near post headed from a corner. The Purples struck back though with a well-placed Park Sooil free-kick from distance on 76 minutes to restore parity.

But, it wasn't to be Daejeon's day as Suwon struck twice more in time added on, first An Byongjun with in the 90th minute before Baek Sungdong added a second deep into stoppage time.


Asan Mugunghwa 3-2 Seoul E-Land

K League 2 Champions Asan Mugunghwa kept their pursuit of the playoffs well and truly alive with a narrow win over Seoul E-Land last Sunday. The win could have been a lot more comfortable given that Park Donghyuk's men had a 3-0 lead heading into the 81st minute, on loan Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors striker Ko Muyeol with a hat-trick.

However, substitute Wesley Alex pulled a goal back before Kim Minkyun fired in an 88th minute penalty to give the league's basement side a lifeline. However, the spot kick proved to be too little too late for the now Cheonan-based club.

Match Recap: here


Previous Meetings

Saturday's meeting at Purple Arena between Daejeon Citizen and Asan Mugunghwa will be the third between these two sides in 2019. Already this term Asan have picked up two victories against the Purples, both by a single goal to nil. The most recent encounter was at Yi Sunsin Stadium on 22nd June when a Kim Reo strike in the 38th minute sealed the points for Mugunghwa.

The most recent meeting at Daejeon World Cup Stadium was on 1st May this year and again finished 1-0 to Asan, Ko Muyeol with the only goal of the game with just nine minutes on the clock.

Last season, however, Daejeon lost just once to Asan Mugunghwa, the first of the four matches played between the two sides in 2018. A 2-1 Asan win in Daejeon in mid April last season preceded a 1-0 Citizen victory a month later, Ahn Sanghyeon with the goal, before the two teams played out a 2-2 draw in Asan last July.

Overall, since Asan's inception in 2017, the two sides have met 10 times with Asan having the upper hand with four victories to Daejeon's three and three draws.

Team News

Daejeon Citizen will be without 19 year-old centre back Lee Jisol after the Korea U20 international picked up a third booking of the campaign during the 4-2 loss to Suwon FC. Yun Kyungbo or Hwang Doyeon are likely to deputise.

Last time out Lee Heungil handed debuts to left full-back Park Mingyu, centre back Lee Ingyu, and forward Kim Chan following their respective arrivals last week. Defender Kim Taehyun turned out for the reserves in the 5-2 win over Ulsan reserves on Tuesday having joined from Ulsan just last week.

There could be K League debuts for Brazilian attacking duo Matheus Antonio, 24, and Rafael Ramazotti who both put pen to paper on Wednesday. Antonio signed from Fluminese whilst Ramazotti arrives from Mexican first division side FC Juárez.

Daejeon Citizen starting lineup versus Suwon FC, K League 2 Round 20.

The Adversary

Asan Mugunghwa make the short trip to Purple Arena still very much in the hunt for the playoffs. Sitting in fourth, Park Donghyuk's men have nine victories to their name, four draws and seven defeats from the first 20 rounds. However, despite being just three points behind FC Anyang in third, Mugunghwa have the worst goals scored tally and worst goal difference out of any team in the top five having scored just 27 and conceded 29. Bucheon FC 1995, for instance, have a goal difference of minus three compared to Asan's minus two yet languish in midtable.

Ko Muyeol's hat-trick last time out propelled the once K League 1 Young Player of the Year into the golden boot hunt, bagging his ninth, tenth and eleventh goals of the campaign. Ko is the only Asan player to make it into the top 15 goalscorers in K League 2, the same can be said for league leaders Gwangju too but Busan IPark, FC Anyang, and Suwon FC all have more than one player in the top 15.

Asan tend to score the majority of their goals between the 60th and 75th minute of games, a period where Saturday's opponents Daejeon have managed just one solitary strike. Mugunghwa tend to score first in around the 32nd minute, however, compared to the 37th minute when Daejeon tend to concede the first goal of proceedings. Away from home, Asan have come unstuck on four occasions by failing to find the net, Daejeon meanwhile have drawn a blank at home six times already this term.

Formation wise, last year's K League 2 Manager of the Year Park Donghyuk has largely stuck with a 4-3-3 formation which has, 32% of the time has appeared as more of a 4-2-3-1 shape. However, last time out, the former police team were set up in a 3-4-3, a formation which has been used just once before this term - the 2-0 loss to Suwon FC at the end of May.

Ahead of Saturday's match, Lee Myungjoo and Kim Dongjin are both back in contention after serving one-match bans. Goalkeeper Choi Bongjin, who was selected in the Round 20 Best XI, is likely to keep his place between the sticks with Yang Hyungmo set to return to parent club Suwon Bluewings in just a few weeks time. Choi picked up a first cleansheet of the season when these two sides last met.

Asan Mugunghwa starting lineup versus Seoul E-Land, K League 2 Round 20.

Who To Watch

Ko Muyeol

Once one of the brightest prospects in K League, Ko Muyeol found first team football hard to come by whilst with parent club Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. Ko made the move to Jeonju Castle from the Pohang Steel Yard in 2015 and was part of the club's 2016 ACL triumph under Choi Kanghee. In 2017, the 28 year-old made just 14 first appearances before starting military duty with Asan Mugunghwa in 2018 where he scored six goals in Asan's K League 2 title winning season.

This year, however, Ko is experiencing a career-best in terms of goals scored with 11 from 20 starts, a record of just over one in two. Predominately operating from the left-hand side of a front three, Ko has three assists as well as his 10 goals for the season as well as 29 shot assists. Ko scored the winner when these two sides last met at Purple Arena on May 1st.


Daejeon's dismal form of late will make Asan the outright favourites for Saturday's match. The Purples have lost their last six and have picked up two points from a possible 39 since their last win. Daejeon have a handful of new players to bed in and will need time to do so. Asan, whilst not as potent as last term, are in the playoff hunt will be determined to pick up where they left off against Seoul E-Land. Neither team have been able to stop leaking goals so it is perhaps to be expected that both teams well get themselves on the scoresheet but with Asan to come out on top.

[READ: K League 2 Round 21 Preview]

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