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Preview: Seoul E-Land vs Ansan Greeners

K League 2 Preview: Seoul E-Land vs Ansan Greeners

A light has been shone on Seoul E-Land in recent weeks. After nine straight defeats, the club has clocked up four consecutive wins in a row, something they haven't managed to achieve in two years. Focus now shifts to Saturday in Jamsil once more, as they take on the Green Wolves, Ansan Greeners. Can Seoul E-Land make it a historic fifth for the club? Or will Ansan etch even closer to that desired play-off position?

Last Time Out

Coming into the game, Anyang looked the stronger team. They have been scoring for fun in the league, and they would have liked their chances against Seoul, regardless of their great run. The boss Woo Sung-yong kept with his trusted 3-4-3 formation. Seoul E-Land started well, and it was to be the story of the game. Seoul just looked the better side. It could easily have fooled an ill-informed fan to say that Anyang was the team sat in 9th, and it was Seoul sat nicely in the play-offs. It took Seoul only 22 minutes to put the ball in the net. Duarte converted from the penalty spot, as Kim Kyung-jun was taken down, by a missed timed Yang Dong-won clearance. Things went from bad to worse for FC Anyang, as a poorly timed tackle on Won Ki-jong, saw the ref blow for VAR. After viewing the incident, he gave Choi Ho-jung his marching orders. Anyang is starting to have a discipline issue in recent weeks.

Most of the talking points did come in the first half of the game, and one particular moment occurred on the 32nd-minute mark. A pull of the shirt from Seoul's Byeom Jun-byum on Mo Jae-hyeon saw the referee go again to VAR. It was confirmed to be a shirt pull, and the ball was taken to the penalty spot. Up stepped Anyang's Alex for the shot, and heroics from Kim Young-kwang saw him parry the ball to the right-hand side of the post, a fantastic save. Seoul continued to push after their fortunes and had the ball in the net again in the 44th minute, a through ball from Kim Mink-yun to Won Ki-jong saw him almost one on one with the keeper. Won Ki-jong crossed it to Kim Kyung-jun to finish it off and make it 2-0. After VAR intervened again, it was apparent that Won Ki-jong was fractionally offside, to the point wherein another game, the goal may have still stood.  Anyang survived again.

The second half kicked, and it only took five minutes after the restart for another major talking point. Kim Hyeon-jin blocked a Kim Mink-yun cross to Duarte with his hand, and the referee blew up for another penalty. The third in the game. Kim Kyung-jun stepped up, having have won the penalty in the first half, as well as scoring a disallowed goal as well. He took the shot and was very lucky indeed. The keeper Yang Dong-won actually got to the ball, but it snuck under him and rolled into the net. Seoul were running riot here, but that was it for the major talking points. It was as if both teams ran down the clock after then, and there was no more to be said about the game. Apart from in the 61st minute, when VAR intervened again. It appeared that Byeom Jun-byum took down Palacios in the box. After inspection, it was apparent that Jun-byum actually got the ball first, a fair tackle.

Full Time: Seoul E-Land 2-0 FC Anyang



Ansan Greeners made the short distance over to Suwon on Saturday, as they faced off against a fallen Suwon FC side. The team gave Seoul their third win a week prior and were desperate to bounce back. They were playing an Ansan Greeners side who lost their previous two games though and were looking for a win. It took the Green Wolves only 12 minutes in the game to go ahead. Gustavo Vintecinco was left completely unmarked when Jang Hyeok-jin lobbed in a freekick from distance. It was terrible defending from Suwon, and they paid for it. Ansan kept pushing, and doubled their lead only 10 minutes later, as an outside the box shot from Ishida took a wicked deflection off  Woo Ye-chan, and whistled past Jeon Su-hyun. The keeper found himself picking the ball out of the net for a second time, on his first start in the league this year. Suwon pulled one back in the 42nd minute, Egbuchunam with a curled shot in the box game the Castle men hope as half time drew to a close.

The second half kicked off, and Suwon kept going and picking long balls over to their frontman. And in the 58th minute, it was Egbuchunam again to make it 2-2. Some excellent strength held off the Ansan defence, and he blasted it into the net. It looked as if Suwon could turn it around, but VAR interrupted their proceedings in the 67th minute. After analysing the footage, it appeared that Park Jin-sub's header did, in fact, cross the line. A few more missed chances from both sides, and we soon found ourselves at the full-time whistle.

Full Time: Suwon FC 2-3 Ansan Greeners



Previous Meetings

The last time the two sides met, was back in the end of June. There was just the one goal in the tie. It said a lot about the state Seoul was in at the time, as it was a Jang Hyeok-jin corner, which was met by Seoul E-Land's Lee Byung-wook and his glancing header which passed Kim Young-kwang.

The truth be told about the game, Ansan was unlucky not to run riot. The game could have easily had more goals in the home team's favour. Despite attack after attack, Seoul held on. They were far away from the recent form of the past few weeks.

Full Time: Ansan Greeners 1-0 Seoul E-Land

Team News

Seoul E-Land has finally found their sweet spot in formations. A 3-4-3 that they have relied upon for the past four games. They look heavily into Kim Mink-yun in the middle of the park to look for through balls for Won-Ki jong. He is also not afraid to switch positions and run down the wing, and put in a cross. He is easily Seoul's best player at the moment.A fantastic bonus for the Seoul faithful in the Anyang game was the return of club captain, Ahn Ji-ho. The defender has been out with a knee injury since the end of March, and only made his 4th appearance on the weekend.

Are Seoul E-Land starting to truly work and function together as a well-oiled machine?

This may give the gaffer some headaches now, does he interrupt a winning team, to slot back in the captain? He showed stability at the back when he came on in the fixture, but the three at the back have been getting better, week in and week out. Anyang never really got a chance to scare Seoul in the last round. It was a totally professional performance. Another boost for Seoul was the return of Douglas Coutinho. The Brazilian hasn't been seen since early July. One thing is for sure, Seoul can actually start to admit that they have alternative options for the back and the strike, if their tested system doesn't come to fruition on Saturday.

The Adversary

Both teams have no suspensions going into the game. Ansan Greeners will look to unleash Gustavo Vintecinco on the Leopards, who has the same amount of goals as Douglas Coutinho this year, with seven. Ansan also have a powerful midfielder in Jang Hyeok-jin, who has been damaging to Seoul in the previous game.

If Ansan can keep their nerve in the tie, they could come away with something, but they have the tendency to slip up and take it down a gear in the second half.  Fatigue from the side makes them concede goals in quick concession, this would suit Seoul, as they have been very quick at running at teams in recent weeks. Ansan already have 10 wins to their name this year, but their goals scored has been a bit flat for a team at the higher end of the table (29). Ansan will play a long game against Seoul, and look for their weakness, rather than an all-out attack.

Prediction

Seoul are flying at the moment, and Jamsil is truly rocking to the sound of the Leopards. Ansan coming to town may sour this, but in 90 minutes, Seoul are showing that anything can happen. Ansan are desperate to continue their winning run as they are so close to achieving a play-off position. Yet, they will have to wrestle points of Seoul, who will want to keep this momentum going for as long as possible. This one is very hard to call.

Full Time: Seoul E-Land 1-1 Ansan Greeners

[READ: K League 2 Round 25 Preview.]

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