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Preview: FC Anyang Vs Seoul E-Land


A last gasp equalizer saved Seoul E-Land on Tuesday. A loss for the Leopards would of seen them in the gloomy last position of the K League 2. With results going Daejeon Citizen's way also mid-week, a battle of the bottom has certainly come to life in recent weeks. For Seoul E-Land,  focus now shifts to FC Anyang, who have been looking to continue their good season so far. Can Seoul cause an upset on Sunday, and make it their third win against the men in violet this year alone? Or will it be more of the same for Anyang, in their quest to stay firmly in the playoffs?

Last Time Out

Seoul welcomed Jeonnam Dragons to Cheonan on Tuesday, their first game back after their summer stint back in Jamsil. In what was an explosive start for Seoul, saw a pinpoint through ball to Duarte make it 1-0 to the home side in under five minutes. Seoul ran riot in the first half, but they still had the defensive errors shown in past games. 

In the second half, it took the away team two minutes to equalize, Seoul did not prepare themselves for the next 45 and Bruno Nunes made it 1-1. It went from bad to worse for the Leopards, as in the 59th minute, Jeonnam managed to get the ball past seven Seoul players trying to defend. Jeong Jae-hee made it 2-1 to the Dragons, and with Daejeon drawing against Busan, Seoul were looking down the barrel of a gun. A loss would have seen them drop down to 10th. Heroics prevailed, however, and with seconds left of the game, and with Kim Tae-hyun’s Rory Delap-esque long throw-in, Choi Jong-hoan levelled the game. It was to be the last kick of the match and a vital point in the end for Seoul. 

Full Time: Seoul E-Land 2-2 Jeonnam Dragons 





FC Anyang also had mid-week duties in the K League 2. The Viotets welcomed Suwon to the Anyang stadium, in the hope to distance themselves from Ansan Greeners in fourth. Suwon did not get the memo, however, and were looking to take all three points from the home side. After a goalless first half, it was Suwon's top scorer Egbuchunam who broke the deadlock and put the away side ahead. After Anyang failed to deal with a fantastic looping through ball, the Nigerian frontman slotted the ball home and put Suwon in the driving seat.

Suwon went from strength to strength.  In 57th minute, Anyang struggled to deal with a Suwon corner, which resulted in Palacios fouling Lim Chang-kyun inside the penalty area. Palacios will feel especially hurt over the turn of events, as he may have felt that he deserved to have a penalty for Anyang in the first half. Baek Sung-dong stepped up for Suwon and made the game 2-0. Anyang had 30 minutes to try to salvage something from the game, yet failed to do so. The loss, along with Ansan claiming a point against Asan Mugunghwa, now sees them only a point away from dropping down to 4th spot. Anyang will not wish to repeat this on Sunday.

Full Time: FC Anyang 0-2 Suwon FC

Previous Meetings

This will be the fourth and final time the two sides meet in the 2019 K League 2, and it is easy to conclude that Seoul E-Land have actually had the better of the two teams. The first encounter ended in a 4-1 thumping from Seoul E-Land back in April, giving then-manager Kim Hyun-soo his first victory of the season. The second game went more in Anyang's favour. Kwan Gi-pyo put the Leopards ahead, then a goal on the stroke of half time, and a Cho Kyo-sung 90th minute winner saw Anyang steal it at 2-1.

The last encounter between the two was actually very recent, only a little over a month ago. Back in August when Seoul were having a renaissance of sorts. After welcoming an in-form Anyang to Jamsil, it was the Leopards who had all the glory. Goals from Duarte and Kim Gyeong-joon, both coming from the penalty spot, saw Seoul win 2-0. The boys in blue will look to sour Anyang's promotion push even further, and take that third win against them when they play on Sunday.

Team News

It was evident that Ahn Ji-ho was missed in the game against Jeonnam, who will also be unavailable in this game. The red card two rounds prior against Daejeon Citizen has seen Ahn receive a two-match ban, and will only become eligible next week against Gwangju. The defence for Seoul looks shaken whenever forwards press on them. Seoul's defensive issues will continue for now, as they are also unable to play suspended Kim Dong-cheol, who picked up a booking in the game against Jeonnam. Another game, another suspension seem to be the flavour of the month for Seoul E-Land and they will look patched up at best on Sunday.

One positive which is always the case, however, is the presence of Lee Tae-ho. A defender who plays with passion and pride for the game. He gives a lot for the side, although prone for mistakes, he leaves his mark on every game. Anyang will have to deal with Kim Mink-yun on Sunday, as he will be put back into the team. Seoul are starting to build an identity for themselves and they have the key players to bring them forward. Again, we see Duarte flourishing in a blue shirt, and showing everyone why he plays for the capital. 

Choi Jong-hoan saved Seoul E-Land from a defeat in the last round of the 2019 K League 2. Can he repeat his heroics in the game on Sunday against Fc Anyang?

The question now will be, will we see Alex? He has been absent for the last two games, and with Anyang being his last team, will Woo Sung-yong play him. The team has good chemistry on the pitch and the gaffer tries to change as little as possible. The presence of number 32 Ko Jun-yeong, on his debut against Jeonnam was welcoming to supporters, a very hardworking and fast young man, could see himself involved somehow on Sunday. The boss is building something with this team that fans are getting excited about. He is not afraid to drop players who lack composure, and his tactics are paying off for the Leopards. 

Seoul have to defend on Sunday though. Anyang are tough, they love to attack, and Seoul struggle to defend. If the middle of the park is won by Seoul in most occasions throughout the 90, they should be able to get something out of the game. If they get caught out with over the top through balls and counter-attacks, like they do every week. Then the Leopards faithful could be in for a very long evening.

The Adversary

FC Anyang have been having a stellar season, compared to the few campaigns prior. With twelve wins, eight draws and eight losses, the Violets see themselves sat in third, only six points behind Busan in 2nd. In saying that though, they are only one point ahead of Ansan Greeners in 4th, which shows how tight it truly is at the top of the K League 2. Anyang have no suspentions going into the game, so they will rely on their strongest squad against an unpredictable Seoul E-Land. Their two top scorers have been Cho Kyu-sung and Alex, with 12 and 11 goals respectably. Anyang's strike force shows as they are second in the league with goals scored (47). With that in mind, they are also coming up against a Seoul E-Land side who have already conceded 49 goals this year, the most in the league.

Anyang will be looking to go all out against Seoul, giving their defensive issues. Anyang will have to be defensively sound, however, as Seoul can be very strong in counters and running with the ball at their feet. Attacks do normally come out of nowhere for Seoul, as they pick and choose their attacks. Anyang will have to read Seoul's game if they are to defend any type of Seoul flourish.

Prediction

Anyang are kicking and punching their way up the table this year. They have been a completely different side from past years. This is their best chance to get up to the K League 1 and prove their worth. Seoul won’t lie down, however and will show Anyang that the Leopards still have a roar. Seoul’s main goal now is to finish above Daejeon in the league. They can not finish last for two seasons in a row. If they can play like they did in the first half against Jeonnam, for the full game against Anyang. Then we could be in for an interesting encounter.

FC Anyang 2-1 Seoul E-Land



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