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Preview: Asan Mugunghwa vs Ansan Greeners



Asan Mugunghwa come into their midweek clash with Ansan Greeners at home in K League 2 knowing that a win is essential if they are to stay in the conversation for a spot in the playoffs.  Last time out for both clubs was not so fruitful as Asan fell 3-1 to league leaders Gwangju FC while Ansan were beaten by the same scoreline against FC Anyang.  Asan has looked shaky defensively in recent outings, and will have to tighten the screws at the back if they are to come away with a result.  KLU's Branko Belan previews the all-important fixture.

Match: Asan Mugunghwa vs Ansan Greeners
Venue: Yi Sun Shin Stadium
Kickoff: Wednesday September 18th, 2019; 20:00 KST

Last Time Out

Gwangju FC 3-1 Asan Mugunghwa

The first half didn't really spring into life from the kickoff as neither side was able to create much in terms of chances in front of goal.  The first concrete opportunity for either side came in the 20th minute when Oh Se-hun was played through on goal, but his effort struck the post and stayed out.  Asan would get caught near the end of the half soaking up too much pressure in their own box, and it cost them as Gwangju went in front through Jurani Francisco Ferreira on 42 minutes as he took a pass and smashed the ball into the roof of the net from close range.  

The second half picked up where the first half ended with Gwangju coming out with the initiative in the early stages after the interval, but it was Oh who would equalize for the visitors with a superb headed effort from a cross sent in from the right flank.  Gwangju would re-take control of the match and went in front thanks to a VAR awarded penalty for handball which was converted by Willyan da Silva Barbosa with a quarter of an hour left.  Asan should have been awarded their own penalty not long afterwards, also for a handball in the area, but it was overlooked and Gwangju would proceed to find a third goal from Lim Min-hyuk with three minutes of regular time remaining, and the league leaders walked away with all three points on the night.

Highlights: here

Ansan Greeners 1-3 FC Anyang

Ansan swallowed a hard pill at home against FC Anyang, as the visitors struck for three goals in the first half to seal all three points on the night.  Cho Kyu-sung netted a brace within four minutes with the first coming from a header on the half hour after the Greeners had started well.  He would pounce for his second following up an effort from outside the box, tapping in from close range off a rebound.  Alex Lima would add a third for them just two minutes before the break off the counter and the visitors had a convincing lead going into the second half.

Ansan found it difficult to find their flow after the re-start, but did manage to pull a goal back through Bang Chan-jun, who capitalized on a defensive error to nick the ball past the goalkeeper.  The hosts would pile on the pressure in the last ten minutes of the match but could not find a way to cut the deficit, and Anyang moved up to third in the table, now two ahead of the Greeners with the win.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The sides have already met three times this season, with it being split even as both have won once and one match ended in a draw.  The last time the two met at the Wa, Asan came away victorious by a 2-1 margin, with all three goals being scored in the second half.  Hwang In-jae was charged with an own goal just five minutes after the re-start, and Oh Se-hun added a second on 68 minutes.  Park Jin-seop would score Ansan's only goal of the match ten minutes later.

Asan still has a considerable edge in the series, winning five times while Ansan got their only win against the soon-to-be former military club this season and the aforementioned draw was played out in May.  Goals have been hard to come by in this fixture, with Asan averaging just over a goal a game, while Ansan has struggled to score against their midweek opponents, but with Asan's form dipping of late, the last meeting between the two this season could provide a different script.

Team News

Asan have not looked good defensively of late, conceding three goals in each of their past two matches against Gwangju and Bucheon.  Just as concerning has been their form at home this season, as it seems their nerves seem to get frayed playing in front of the home crowd.  The last time they played Ansan at home it resulted in a draw.

There are no suspensions in the side, so all players should be available for selection.  As the side is growing with so many recent changes, it does not seem that there will be too many changes to the side which took the pitch on the weekend.

Ansan lined up in quite a defensive formation against Anyang, but it backfired on them as they conceded three in the first half against Anyang.  Whether they will stick to the same formation when they face Asan remains to be seen, but there is a good chance that they will opt for a more attacking approach as they will want to solidify their hold on a playoff position knowing that Asan could close to within a single point of them should the hosts win on Wednesday night.  They too are without suspended players and will see the return of Gustavo Vintecinco from his yellow card suspension, so the expectation is that the best possible eleven will be selected.

The Adversary

Gustavo Vintecinco vs Gwangju FC 09.01
Gustavo Vintecinco in action for Ansan against Gwangju.


Prior to their setback against Anyang, Ansan had enjoyed a three match win streak with successes over Gwangju FC, Seoul E-Land and Suwon FC.  If they get a result against Asan, they will most certainly be in the driver's seat for a playoff berth.  Jang Hyeok-jin has been one of the main catalysts for Ansan's success this season as he is the co-leader with three others in assists this campaign with seven and has consistently shown his ability to distribute the ball to his teammates.

It remains to be seen who will start in goal, but the consensus is that it will be Hwang In-jae, as he has been getting most of the starts lately.  There is still the option to go with Lee Hee-seong, but having conceded seventeen goals in thirteen appearances may suggest he will likely stay on the bench.

The return of Vintecinco could mean that Ansan may play two up top which would have him partnering with Masatoshi Ishida.  It could be a formula for success as Asan have struggled to contain attacking players in recent matches.

Prediction

This one will be a bit difficult to call, as the previous results have been split right down the middle.  Based on recent form, however, it would seem that Ansan have the edge with wins in three of their last four.  Asan, however, desperately need a win if they are to stay in contention for the playoffs and a boost in the arm for their home form.  With both coming off heavy losses, there is a chance that both may approach the match with a bit of caution, and it could well end with both sharing the spoils.

Predicted Score: Asan Mugunghwa 1-1 Ansan Greeners

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