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Preview: Chungnam Asan FC vs FC Anyang

Chungnam Asan have a bit of momentum going for them as they enter the weekend on a three match unbeaten run, with a draw against Ansan Greeners, a win over Gyeongnam FC and a draw against Suwon FC in their last three matches.  FC Anyang have continued to struggle and have slipped to ninth in the table.  The last time the two sides met, each took a share of the spoils.  What will decide things this time around?  KLU's Branko Belan previews the Sunday evening match in K League 2.

Match: Chungnam Asan FC vs FC Anyang
Venue: Yi Sun Shin Stadium
Kickoff: Sunday July 19th, 2020; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Suwon FC 1-1 Chungnam Asan FC

On paper, Suwon were overwhelming favorites going into the match.  The league leaders are where they are for a reason.  They have played some very attractive football all season and An Byoung-jun has been a huge reason for their success.  The hosts had spells of pressure in the first half, but Asan's back line was able to cope and the on-fire North Korean striker was kept off the board.

The match would take on a completely different look after the restart with both teams looking to go for it more as the match wore on.  It was Asan who went in front on 53 minutes when Philip Hellquist got in on goal and placed the ball into the net with the outside of his boot despite looking off-balance, which in turn seemed to leave Yoo-hyun unable to move on his line.

The lead would not last long, however, as the league's leading goal scorer bagged his ninth of the season eleven minutes later.  It was the result of a well-worked team goal that the league leaders found their way to an equalizer.  A quick break eventually resulted in An being played through on goal and he made no mistake from a scorer's distance in the box, calmly slotting the ball into the net.

Things remained tied until late, when Asan could have taken all three points, but Kim Chan's shot on goal in the 85th minute hit the post and the Owls were denied again from a corner in injury time, but in all, it was one of their best performances of the season and they earned a well-deserved point for their efforts.


FC Anyang 0-0 Jeonnam Dragons

Despite the scoreline, the first half was quite entertaining with both teams going end to end creating chances, but both goalkeepers were up to the task and were the reason why the match went to the break scoreless.  The second half was not much different.  Both sides had their chances, but neither were concrete enough to put the match in their favor.  For Jeonnam, it was yet another clean sheet, but also another match in which they failed to score a goal.  Anyang also had their moments, but the longer they go on failing to win matches, the more likely it will be that they finish near or at the bottom of the division come the end of\the season.


Previous Meetings

The two sides have met once this season and it finished in a 1-1 draw.  Asan took the lead early in the match, but did not do enough after the interval to keep their advantage intact and take all three points.  Anyang were traditionally a tough opponent for the side from Asan even when they existed as a military club.  Over that period, Anyang won four matches to Asan's three, including three of four matches last season.

Team News

Philip Hellquist scored for the second match in a row against Suwon FC last weekend and earned himself a spot in the K League 2 Best XI for the round.  Kim Min-seok started on the right in the front attacking three last week and showed that he can be an option moving forward when Park Min-seo is unavailable to start or Park Dong-hyuk feels the need to rotate the squad.

The manager felt that the match against Suwon was too defensive in the first half, but was still satisfied with the result, saying that the team has looked better of late and looks ready to compete as long as they can maintain their current form.

He challenged his players before the match with Suwon to prepare just as they had for the match against Gyeongnam, and in the end, they were able to get a result.  The result against the Reds gave him and the team confidence, so whether they can carry it over into this weekend will be a determining factor whether they can continue their current run of form.

There are no card suspensions and no injuries of note, so it should be a similar lineup with similar tactics for this weekend as well.  Park Min-seo could return to the starting lineup to fill out the three in attack, but most of the rest of the squad will likely remain unchanged.

For Anyang, it was recently announced that the contract of Khursid Giyosov was terminated as he didn't get much playing time with the club during his stay there.  He made only four appearances for the club, scoring one goal.

Kim Nam-tak is another player to have left the club recently after completing his military service.  He had been with the club since 2015.

One new face in the side is Joo Hyun-woo, who made the move from Seongnam FC.  In his career, he has played a total of 134 matches with six goals and twelve assists.  He is capable of playing on either wing, in the center of midfield and even as a fullback, so he could be a versatile piece for them down the stretch.

There are no player suspensions for the Violets coming into the match, but Hwang Mun-ki looked to have taken a bit of a knock and had to be substituted in the second half against Jeonnam, so his status could be up in the air, but the rest of the squad should be available for selection.

The Adversary

Maxwell Acosty has been a fine addition for the Violets this season, arriving from 1. HNL side NK Rijeka.

The 0-0 draw with Jeonnam was only the second clean sheet in the league for Anyang this season, the only other coming against Seoul E-Land at the end of May.  They have only scored more than two goals in a match once this season - against Daejeon Hana Citizen at the end of last month, but in that match, they had a two goal lead and let it evaporate.

Anyang seems to have found ways of letting matches get away from them on several occasions this season.  Another good example is their match against Jeju United recently, where they went up a goal just a minute into the game, but conceded shortly thereafter and the momentum turned against them in what ended up a 2-1 loss.

It's true that they have had to endure a lot since the loss of so many players in the off-season, but if they don't find a way to turn things around fast, there could be even more changes coming later this season and this coming winter once the season concludes.

What to Watch

When Lee Ki-hyun took over the goalkeeping duties for Asan last August when the final crop of military recruits left the club, he played fairly well despite a noticeable dropoff in the quality of football played by the club in the first half of the season.

Recently, he has seen his playing time increase, and the team's results have improved as a result.  He has been in goal for each of the last three matches, and Asan have not lost over that stretch.  If Park Dong-hyuk decides to make a permanent switch between the sticks, then it could have a positive impact on the club as they try to finish the summer portion of the schedule with as many good results as possible.

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The winds have started to blow in a different direction for Asan lately, and this weekend's match is not a stretch at all in terms of getting a win.  Anyang have been struggling all season, and have in fact only won once all year.

Asan seems to have found something that is working for them, although it is still a bit difficult to pinpoint exactly what that something is.  In any case, something seems to have been working for them lately, and this weekend could be a very good chance to see them get their second win of the season.

Predicted Score: Chungnam Asan FC 2-1 FC Anyang

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