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Preview: Seoul E-Land vs Ansan Greeners


Seoul E-Land did, what many thought was unthinkable, in the last round of the 2020 K League 2. The Leopards handed Daejeon Hana Citizen their first loss of the season, in what ended up a convincing game for the capital side. With three wins in a row for Seoul now, their attention turns to Ansan Greeners, a side who have won only one game in the last six league outings. 

Many avid Seoul fans will still be wary of the Green Wolves, as E-Land did especially struggle against them in the previous season. Michael Redmond takes a look at the fixture down below.    


Match Details

Fixture: Seoul E-Land vs Ansan Greeners
Date: Monday 22nd June 2020, 19:30 Kick off 
Venue: Seoul Olympic Stadium, Leoul park

Last Time Out

Saturday night brought football once again to the Seoul Olympic Stadium, as Daejeon Hana Citizen made the journey to the capital. A game which last season, saw 9th and 10th battle one another, this time, it has taken different importance in 2020. Both sides are looking to make an impact this year, and prove their worth in the league. It took Seoul only three and a half minutes however to draw first blood. A swung in corner kick from Kim Min-kyun was poorly defended. The ball ended up at the feet of Park Sung-woo, whose shot hit the off the inside of the post. Richard Sukuta-Pasu then tapped it in. Fans may believe the goals should have gone to Park Sung-woo, but Sukutu-Pasu was given the credit.
Park Sung-woo's shot may have looked as if it crossed the line to some Seoul E-Land fans. (Image Via K League's Youtube Channel)
Daejeon tried to break down the Seoul E-Land defence throughout the game, but Seoul stood firm and really left Daejeon bamboozled throughout the entirety. In the 52nd minute, Seoul struck again. A perfect through ball pass from Lazar to Seo Jae-min, saw him faint the defender, and cross the ball across the Daejeon goal. Sukutu-Pasu was there to blast in his brace. Goodnight Daejeon. Seoul just kept on pushing. They smelt blood. In the 60th minute, Leandro chased down the ball. He passed it into captain Kim Min-kyun, who just took one too many touches, and hit the ball at the keeper. Kim Hyung-gyun was called into action to block a shot in the 79th minute. That was some action, for a keeper, who mostly had a quiet evening.

As full time approached, Leandro again ran against Daejeon. This time, his pass was given to Sukutu-Pasu, looking for his hattrick. The German striker finessed it over the bar. It was not all Seoul however, as the four minutes of added time was all Daejeon. Keeper Kim Hyung-gyun did more in injury time than he did in the entirety of the game. As full time blew, there was a real sense of achievement in the air for Seoul. They were head and shoulders the better team in the fixture, and the game will have turned a few heads in the K League 2.

Full Time: Seoul E-Land 2-0 Daejeon Hana Citizen



Ansan made the trip down to Changwon on Monday evening, looking to secure only their second win of the season. Their first came on the opening game of the year when they beat FC Anyang 1-0. This was not going to be an easy task however, as they faced off with a Gyeongnam side, looking to climb up the table. It took the home side 27 minutes to grab their first goal, as Baek Sung-dong, took a well-placed shot. Ansan found themselves 1-0 down.  Ansan got back into the game, however, and applied pressure from the restart. Gyeongnam Keeper Son Jung-hyun, who was fantastic against E-Land, came off his line too soon. It lead to Felipe heading the ball over him. Some may have said former Seoul defender Kim Tae-hyeon tapped the ball in, but the Brazillian was given the goal.

Ansan Greeners scored only their third goal this season, in the 2-1 defeat to Gyeongnam

In the second half, it was Ansan's shoddy defence which led to their demise. After the away side got a goal kick launched high and long, Gyeongnam's Australian defender Ansell headed the ball straight back to Park Gi-dong. He then beat Kim Tae-hyeon, and put it past the keeper. The defenders ran up the field too quickly and were left out in the cold, as Gyeongnam claimed all three points.

Full Time: Gyeongnam 2-1 Ansan Greeners


 

Previous Meetings

The 2019 matchups between Seoul E-Land and Ansan Greeners, were very one-sided, to say the least. The first game ended in a 1-1 draw in Jamsil. Then after that, the remaining three fixtures went in Ansan's favour.

The last time the two sides met, was back in October 2019, in the Ansan Wa~. Goals from Vintecinco and Kim Dae-yeol, saw the Green Wolves run out 2-0 winners. Seoul will look to get some revenge, from such a whitewash in the year prior.

Team News

Seoul E-Land's Kim Hyung-geun, and Leandro, made it into the best 11 for Round 6. Leandro has made all but two so far this year. Richard Sukutu-Pasu also made it into the team and was voted the MVP of the round. He and Leandro linked up well with one another throughout the Daejeon game. Lazar Arsić finally got his first league start. After scoring in the week prior in the FA Cup. The Serbian found the pass to Seo Jae-min, which opened up Daejeon on the weekend, and got Seoul their second goal.
Richard Sukutu-Pasu scored a brace on the weekend, can he do the same again against Ansan Greeners?
Won Ki-jong is still an uncertainty for the game against Ansan. The Korean forward has not been featured in the last few rounds due to injury. The boss went with a 3-2-4-1 formation on the weekend, with Choi Jae-heon and Park Sung-woo being in almost defensive midfield roles. Chung Jung-yong pushed Kim Min-kyu slightly forward in the round, to work with Lazar in an attacking midfield position. It will be interesting if the same tactics will be brought out on Monday.

The Adversary

I have said in previous rounds, that it is still too early to predict the table in the K League 2. However, it is some worrying viewing for many Ansan fans. After parting with many players in the offseason, Ansan have so far, played how everyone would have predicted. With only one win in six games, Ansan have also only managed to score three goals this year. Seoul E-Land fans might feel sympathy for the Green Wolves, as they were in a similar situation, the year prior.

Ansan have all four foreigner slots filled this year. Soony Saad is their AFC representative, from Lebanon. He featured in midfield in the prior game. Felipe, a Brazilian, who is not to be confused with Gwangju's frontman, scored their third goal of the season, in the Gyeongnam game.  They also have Spanish midfielder Ismael Jorge and Brazilian Bruno. There really has not been much impact from Ansan this year, so to pick out any highlights of their season is difficult. Ansan really needs to pull themselves together, if they are to salvage anything this year.


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Prediction

This will be Round 7 of the 2020 K League 2 season, which means we're already a quarter way through the year. Seoul E-Land, look as if they learnt from the Anyang game, and pushed on strength by strength. They scored two goals from open play on the weekend, which was a worry for a lot of fans. It is strange to talk about Seoul in this way, as last year, it was Ansan, who were having a great season. Now its Seoul, who are level on points with Suwon and Gyeongnam. Only six goals separate the three teams, and the difference between 4th and 7th place.

There is still so much to play for in the K League 2, No team who are seriously contemplating promotion can slip up. Seoul are only three points off top spot, and if games go their way this weekend, they could leapfrog up the table. Ansan will give Seoul a game however, they always do. Sometimes, it is not about the team that lines up, it is who wants it more on the night.

Prediction: Seoul E-Land 1-0 Ansan Greeners

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