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Preview: Chungnam Asan vs Suwon FC



Chungnam Asan scratched out a 1-0 victory against Seoul E-Land last weekend despite being dominated in almost every statistical category while Suwon FC kept pace with league leaders Jeju United with a win of their own at home against Bucheon FC 1995.  Suwon have had the edge in the head to head this season, taking four out of a possible six points from the first two matches.  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to the tie.

Match: Chungnam Asan FC vs Suwon FC
Venue: Yi Sun Shin Stadium
Kickoff: Monday September 21st, 2020; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land 0-1 Chungnam Asan 

Both teams had early chances to score in this one, but the deadlock wasn't broken until the 35th minute when Armin Mujakic converted from the spot for the Owls.  He took a hard shove in the back from Kim Dong-gwon and the referee pointed to the spot without hesitation.  The former Austrian youth international confidently tucked the ball into the net, and that would be the difference going into halftime.

The hosts were by far the more assertive team in the second half, but could not make their chances count.  They should have had at least a share of the spoils at the very end of the match, but Lazar Arsić put his volleyed effort the wrong side of the post with virtually the last kick of the ball, and Asan held on for three points.

Highlights


Suwon FC 1-0 Bucheon FC 1995

Suwon managed three points against Bucheon last time out, even if they didn't look particularly convincing in doing so.  Bucheon could have taken the lead in the 20th minute, but Cho Soo-cheol's blazed effort on goal was punched over the bar by Park Hyung-soon.  Suwon in fact failed to find their feet in the first half and there was the slightest hint of a major upset in the making.

It took a 75th minute winner from Danilo Alves to secure victory, but their cause was aided by the fact that Choi Bong-jin had been sent off with a second yellow card just minutes earlier after tackling Lars Veldwijk outside the area after the South African had been sent clear in on goal.  Suwon continued pressing for a second until the end of the match, but in the end, the one goal would be enough to ensure a win and keep pace at the top of the standings.  Bucheon's nightmarish run, meanwhile, continues.

Highlights


Previous Meetings

Asan and Suwon have met twice this season.  The first match was one to forget for Park Dong-hyuk's men, a 5-0 loss which was the worst under the current manager going back to the military days.  Mo Jae-hyun and Masatoshi Ishida scored in the first half, while An Byoung-jun scored a pair of goals early in the second half.  Danilo Alves added a fifth with ten minutes remaining.

The second meeting was surprisingly a lot more balanced and finished in a 1-1 draw.  Philip Hellquist opened the scoring in the 53rd minute, but the lead did not last long as An Byoung-jun found an equalizer only nine minutes later.  Nonetheless, it did show how much the team had begun to make strides since the beginning of the season, but it will still be a strong test for them as they look to put a largely unsuccessful month of August behind them.

Team News

Asan are currently unbeaten in three with wins over Bucheon FC 1995 and the one last week against Seoul E-Land and a draw against Ansan Greeners to open the month of September.  

Park Dong-hyuk relayed the reasons for victory following the match.

"We were able to win because we prepared well for the match and the players had the desire to get a result.  They also played with a great deal of responsibility," he said.

Of the team's four wins this season, two have come against E-Land.  Asked if there was any special secret for their success against the Jamsil-based side, he refuted any such claims.

"It is just a coincidence.  Good results come when the players work hard.  I just want the players to become stronger," he concluded.

Lee Sang-min is still out due to the suspension he received in June.  All other players should be in contention for the squad, however.  One notable absence in the last four matches has been Philip Hellquist, who has been out of the squad since playing 86 minutes in a 2-0 loss to Gyeongnam FC on August 16th.  This could coincide with the fact that Bruno has been given much more playing time of late, and he is taking advantage of his opportunity, with full minutes in each of the past five matches.  There is a good chance he will be in the starting eleven once again this weekend.

For Suwon, there are no suspensions and the squad looks to be in full health.  There have been no indications to the contrary in the days leading up to the match, thus, it is likely that there will not be too many changes to the side which faced Bucheon last weekend.  Last weekend also marked the 100th appearance in the K League for Kim Do-hyung.  He could be a good option from the bench this round as well.


The Adversary

An Byoung-jun has scored three goals against Chungnam Asan this season.

Suwon FC actually snapped quite a dubious streak with their win last weekend.  It was their first win against Bucheon in eight matches dating back to August 2018.  It was obvious that their attacking strategy did not work well in the first half, but once Masatoshi Ishida was introduced into the match, they look much more dangerous going forward.  

Marlone also played an important role in the victory as it was his corner which was headed home by Danilo to secure maximum points.  He is now again getting a good run of minutes recently after a stretch of matches out of the squad.  He will likely once again be a factor against Asan this weekend.

What to Watch

This match is a must win for Suwon FC.  They almost let an opportunity for three points go astray last weekend, and they can't afford to leave matters late again if they don't want to risk falling further behind in the title race.  Jeju will be up against Bucheon this weekend, and will most likely get the result they need to keep them top of the division for at least another week, so it is imperative that Suwon do not slip up.  They can take some confidence in the fact that Asan have won just one match at home this season, so their chances for taking all three points could be vastly improved based on that particular statistic.


Prediction

Playing at home, Asan will most likely have a difficult time of things as their home form has dipped considerably in each of the past two seasons.  Suwon, meanwhile would love nothing more than to keep pace with Jeju at the top of the table, and they may even be able to overtake them if results go their way.  It is getting to a point in the season now where there is very little room for error.  Suwon last played in the top flight of Korean football in 2016.  This season is perhaps the best chance they have had to get back there.  They should be able to take all three points from the match.

Predicted Score: Chungnam Asan 1-2 Suwon FC


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