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Preview: Asan Mugunghwa vs Bucheon 1995 FC

Asan Mugunghwa play host to Bucheon 1995 FC this weekend coming off a draw on Monday night against Suwon FC where they were fortunate to come away with a point.  Bucheon, meanwhile, were dispatched at home by Jeonnam Dragons last round.  Asan have had a leg up against their opponents so far this season, and will look to add another win to their account when the teams take to the pitch on Sunday evening.  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to the match.

Match: Asan Mugunghwa vs Bucheon 1995 FC
Venue: Yi Sun Shin Stadium
Kickoff: Sunday September 1st, 2019; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Asan Mugunghwa 1-1 Suwon FC

Asan were lucky to come away with a point from their match against Suwon FC last time out on Monday night.  The first half was more or less even, with both teams finding the score sheet before the break, but the visitors could not find a way to make their chances and possession count in the second half, and both had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Suwon went into the lead after only a quarter of an hour thanks to their leading goal getter on the season, Chisom Egbuchunam, who powered in past the Asan defence and slotted home from close range.  The lead lasted until just past the half hour mark when Asan were awarded a corner, and Yang Tae-ryeol found the mark directly from the corner flag.  There was little of any consequence thereafter and the teams went into the break knotted at one apiece.

The second half saw Suwon assert themselves a lot more, but despite all their effort, they could not make the most of the possession and chances they had, even though Asan continued to invite pressure as the half wore on and they began to tire.  In the end, it was another disappointing result for Park Dong-hyuk's men, and they will have to hope for better things this coming weekend.

Highlights: here

Bucheon 1995 FC 0-3 Jeonnam Dragons

Bucheon fell to a heavy defeat at home to Jeonnam Dragons last weekend, compounding a major problem which has plagued them over the past several seasons - inconsistency.  The first half didn't produce much from either side, but the second sprang into life for the Dragons, who found the net through Jung Jae-hee in the 52nd minute, and then twice more within the final minutes of the match, as Bruno Baio struck two minutes from the end of regular time, while Yoon Yong-ho added the third in the third minute of injury time to seal a comprehensive result.

Bucheon managed to have the edge in all key statistical categories including possession, total shots and shots on target, but once again as has been the case on a number of occasions this season, it did not translate into goals.  Bucheon are trending down right now while the Dragons are on the up - another poor result this coming weekend could effectively put an end to their season in terms of mounting any sort of serious last ditch challenge for a playoff berth if the loss to Jeonnam didn't do it already.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Asan have taken four of six points after the first two fixtures between the clubs this year, with Asan coming out on top by a final of 3-2 on the strength of a Ko Mu-yeol hat-trick when the teams first met in March, while the last time they met, it finished goalless.

Overall, the teams have played each other on six occasions, with Asan winning four of those matches, and both draws ending without goals.  Whether Asan will be able to keep the unbeaten streak going with a much younger lineup is something to watch out for in this coming match.

Team News

Asan have slipped to fifth in the table following the result in the last round, and they took a bit of physical punishment in the process.  Several players were banged up over the course of the match, with Oh Se-hun having to briefly leave the pitch to be tended to be the training staff, but he did return and finished the match.

Both he and Yang Tae-ryeol were named to the Team of the Week following their performances, and one would have to argue that Yang's goal was arguably the goal of the round.  Oh was also named to the U-22 squad for Korea's pair of friendlies on Jeju in September against Syria, a sign that his development as a player has continued at a high level under Park Dong-hyuk.

In other team news, the future of the club is still in question, but that also means that the youth ranks will be severely affected if there is no senior club next year, as it would be impossible for the youth program to continue if the transition to a citizen club cannot be realized.  To this end, Ko Mu-yeol and Lee Myung-joo have come up with an initiative to help fund the youth program while the situation is being monitored.

"I think the best solution is to make the transition,"  Lee said.  

"Of course, during the process, it is necessary for the youth players to continue running towards their dreams without giving up.  But, it needs to happen in a supportive environment.  I hope the youth fund will be used to keep the youth players from losing their dreams," he finished.

For Bucheon, Marlon and Kim Ryun-do are the club's joint top scorers this season, but the former has been favored lately up top as a lone striker in a 4-5-1 formation with Kim going to the bench, which seemed to have brought them a bit more success.

However, they reverted back to a 3-5-2 last week against Jeonnam with both strikers in the lineup and things did not end on a good note.  Having said that, it would be plausible then that Bucheon will most likely go back to five men in the midfield with the Ecuadorian leading the line.  

There are no suspensions or injuries of note, so with the exception of Kim, there is a chance that Bucheon may line up similarly to when they faced Asan last and were able to pull out a draw.

[READ: K League 2 Round 26 Preview]

The Adversary

Bucheon will be looking to erase a five match winless slide against Asan.

Bucheon have struggled through their past five, with only one win over that span, a 2-1 success away from home over Daejeon Citizen two weeks ago.  They are dropping fast, now level on points with Jeonnam who they lost to last time out, and things don't figure to get any easier for them as they face Suwon FC, Gwangju FC, Ansan Greeners and Busan IPark in their next four matches following their clash with Asan this weekend.  All of those teams are in the top half of the table, and will prove to be stiff competition for a team who, despite having some better success in front of goal this season, still boasts one of the lower tiered defensive records in the league this season.

Their style of play is susceptible to getting bogged down in midfield when things are not clicking, so they will be hoping that Marlon will be able to present himself as a factor if they are to have any chance of getting a result from the match.  Where they could benefit is from attacking Asan on the flanks to put pressure on their relatively inexperienced fullbacks, and that could dictate how the match will play out for them.


This match could be a bit tricky to call, as Asan did not finish well against Suwon last week and also were not able to find the back of the net the last time they faced Bucheon.  Couple these two aspects with the fact that Asan is still in search of a player to truly take over the scoring load following the departure of Ko Mu-yeol, and one can conclude that victory in this match may actually not be a foregone conclusion.

Bucheon have struggled lately themselves, but have played relatively well against Asan this season.  A win could put them level with Suwon FC on points, but that would also depend on the outcome between Asan's opponents in the last round in their match against Jeonnam this weekend.  If they do go with only one up top, the midfield could become too congested for them to move the ball forward, even if they have been averaging a goal a game over the past month.

Whatever the case, it has the potential to be another tight affair between the two, but with neither team really looking on form at the moment, and with Asan's spotty home form all season as another thing to consider, a draw would be the most likely outcome once again.

Predicted Score: Asan Mugunghwa 1-1 Bucheon 1995 FC


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