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Preview: Chungnam Asan FC vs Daejeon Hana Citizen



Chungnam Asan FC are coming off their second win of the season as they overcame Seoul E Land by a score of 2-1 last weekend.  Their opponents Daejeon Hana Citizen also successfully brought an end to Jeju United's unbeaten run in the league with a victory by the same margin against the islanders.  When these two sides met earlier in the season, they settled for a share of the spoils.  What does the upcoming K League 2 fixture hold for both teams?  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to the match.

Match: Chungnam Asan FC vs Daejeon Hana Citizen
Venue: Yi Sun Shin Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday August 1st, 2020; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land 1-2 Chungnam Asan FC

Things started fairly evenly in the first half for both sides, but it was the hosts who would go in front on eighteen minutes when Kim Min-kyun beat Lee Ki-hyun with a low drive from the top of the area,  His initial attempt on goal was blocked by a defender, but he didn't miss with his second opportunity.

Asan could have had a chance to level the match just over ten minutes later when Armin Mujakic looked to have been fouled in the box, but the penalty was called off after a VAR review.  The video assistant would be called into action only minutes later after Lee Jae-keun's cross was headed off the bar by Cha Young-hwan, and the resulting shot inside the box from Lee Eun-beom was adjudged to be handled by a defender.  Philip Hellquist stepped to the spot and converted.  

That would not be the end to the scoring in the first half as Asan nudged in front just before the break thanks to a wonderful set piece initiated by Lee Jae-keun's lofted free kick into the box which was touched on by Cha into the path of Kim Chan who smashed the ball into the side netting, giving the Owls a one goal lead at the interval.

 The second half was not as eventful but did produce a few good chances.  Mujakic hit the post with an hour gone, but a closer look at the replay would suggest he may have held on to the ball a little too long before unleashing on goal.  Leandro could have got a second for the Leopards with just minutes to go in regulation, but his shot was touched over the bar.  Asan held on for three points in the end and moved back up to eighth spot in the table with the win.

Highlights



Daejeon Hana Citizen 2-1 Jeju United

Daejeon picked up a very important win at home to Jeju United last weekend after suffering a heavy loss against league leaders Suwon FC the previous week.  It was the second time this season they have beaten the islanders and it moved them back into second place in the league table.  The first half was dominated possession-wise by the islanders.  If fact, they had 65 per cent of the ball but had nothing to show for it even after Joo Min-kyu had a chance to put them in the lead from the penalty spot, but his shot was easily read and dealt with by Kim Jin-young.

That would come back to bite them in the second half as Daejeon went into the lead less than ten minutes after the second period had gotten underway.  Park Yong-ji got the Purples in front, finishing off a nice passing move which saw Kim Ji-hun's ball dummied through to the winger, who made no mistake from close range.

Jeju would respond with a goal of their own only minutes later, as Gong Min-hyun scored his fourth league goal of the season after Kim Hyun-woo's initial header had been kept out.  He pounced on the rebound and shot across the 'keeper to level the match, but it wouldn't last as Andre Luis got on the score sheet as he had done in the first match against Jeju.  His 74th minute strike off the post proved to be the difference in the match and Daejeon now have second spot secured for the time being as they look to add to their points total against Asan.

Highlights


Previous Meetings

The only other match between the two earlier this year ended in a 2-2 draw in what was an entertaining match.  Armin Mujakic scored early to give Asan the lead.  It was his first ever goal for the citizen club.  Things would be all square at halftime as Andre Luis converted from the spot,  His initial penalty was saved, but Ham Seok-min was thought to have gone early off his line, and the Brazilian scored on the second attempt.

The second half saw the match open up a bit more and Asan took the lead for a second time in the 71st minute when Jang Soon-hyuk headed home, but Luis was on the mark again ten minutes later to ensure that Daejeon at least picked up a point from the match.

Team News

Asan have some injury concerns to contend with, as Lee Eun-beom, who came over to the club on loan from Jeju United, picked up and injury against Seoul E-Land late on in the match and had to be carted from the pitch.  The severity of the injury is still unknown, but there is a good chance he may not be available for selection this weekend.

Kim Chan finally broke his goal drought for the Owls, scoring his first of the season in the win against E-Land.  The player himself commented in a press release from the club of his previous frustration for not being able to score, but now that he has shed the image of a striker unable to score, it could turn his season into a positive direction.  If he can become an offensive threat, Asan have a chance to be a competitive team as the season progresses, and may even be able to steal a few points off the teams vying for a move up to the first division for next season.

Manager Park Dong-hyuk was not lost on Kim's contribution to the victory.

"I had been under some stress because he had not been able to score in previous matches.  I had seen him in tears and it hurt me a lot.  That is why I want to congratulate him on his first goal," he said at a press conference following the match.

He also commented on the performance.

"It is the first away win and the first reverse win since the club was founded.  I think the win will give great strength and confidence to the players.  The attitude they had to play the way they did, the attitude they had to win the match and outpace the opponent should be congratulated," he finished.

Other than the injury to Lee, all other players should be ready for selection, with the exception of Armin Mujakic, who picked up his fifth yellow of the season against the Leopards.  Lee Sang-min is still under suspension, however, and will not be available until very late in the season, but there is a chance he may not be in the club's plans for the rest of the season.


The Purples will likely keep to the 4-3-3 formation they had a lot of success with against Jeju, and it is also likely that there will not be a change between the sticks despite the arrival of Kim Keun-bae from Seongnam FC on loan for the rest of the season.  The 33 year old 'keeper has made one start since coming to the club, earning a clean sheet in the 2-0 win over Ansan Greeners a few weeks back, but Kim Jin-young likely did enough last time out to keep his spot in the starting eleven.

Bruno Baio returns from suspension and Lee Woong-hee could return from injury.  Park In-hyeok is still serving his suspension for driving under the influence of alcohol and will not be available for the foreseeable future.  There are no other suspensions or injuries of note, but it remains to be seen if Hwang Sun-hong stays with the same lineup as he used against Jeju or if he will rotate the squad.

The Adversary

Andre Luis has been on fire for Daejeon this season.

Daejeon jumped up to second spot with their win last weekend and looked to have shaken off the walloping they took at the hands of Suwon FC.  While they did not dominate for long stretches of the match, what they did do is take their chances when having the opportunity to do so.  Andre Luis was on the mark again against Jeju as he had been in the first match and now has nine goals and two assists in twelve appearances for the club this season.  He also scored both goals against Asan the last time the Owls and Purples met, so he will want to add to his goal tally as he looks to narrow the gap with An Byoung-jun, who leads all scorers in K League 2 with thirteen goals.

Hwang praised his players for their effort to turn their fortunes around after a heavy loss.

"It was a difficult match, and there were a lot of new players in the lineup.  The players' desire to win was strong and they did their best.  I want to thank the players," he began.

He was impressed with the performances of several players who played for the first time this season.

"I needed a new mood and new power throughout the squad.  A lot of new players were going out for the first time, so I had some concern about their ability to adjust to the speed of the match and their overall physical strength, but I think the players did well overall," he concluded.

What to Watch

Philip Hellquist (center) has three goals in his past four matches for the Owls.

There is no question that Andre Luis is the man to look out for when Daejeon is in the conversation, but Asan have recently also discovered that Philip Hellquist has become quite valuable at the offensive end for Park Dong-hyuk's men.  With three goals in his past four matches, he is already the club leader in goals scored despite missing a good chunk of the season because of injury.  He has been particularly good with his wing play but has also shown a propensity to play through the middle, and it is quickly becoming clear that he is the more clinical of the two foreign signings brought to the club in the winter.

What has been even more encouraging is that his runs into space have been found by his teammates around him on a more regular basis.  If he can create space for himself around the area on Saturday night, he could be a goal factor once again.

FNR
 

Prediction

While both teams are coming into the match following wins, and both have been in good form lately, Asan just hasn't been able to secure results at home going back to the beginning of last season.  Daejeon also have an extra motive in that they are directly involved in the promotion fight and would like to maintain the current wave of momentum carrying them.

Asan will likely put in a game effort, but in the end, they may come up just short.  Daejeon has traditionally been a bit of a thorn in the spine of teams from Asan going back to the military club days, and that may just continue considering what is at stake.

Predicted Score: Chungnam Asan FC 1-2 Daejeon Hana Citizen

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