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Preview: Chungnam Asan FC vs Ansan Greeners

 

Chungnam Asan will look to step further away from the foot of the table when they play host to Ansan Greeners this weekend.  They fell short against Jeonnam Dragons last time out, while the Green Wolves drew with title contenders Jeju United.  Both previous matches between the sides ended in draws.  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to the match.

Match: Chungnam Asan FC vs Ansan Greeners
Venue: Yi Sun Shin Stadium
Kickoff: Sunday October 18th, 2020; 16:00 KST

Last Time Out

Jeonnam Dragons 1-0 Chungnam Asan FC

The match did not get off to a good start for Asan as they went behind after only seven minutes.  Hernandes played a one-two on the left before crossing into the area for Ha Seung-un, who headed home from close range.  Hernandes could have had a second for the Dragons just before the half hour when he found space on the left to shoot on goal, but Lee Ki-hyun was on the spot to keep the ball out with his feet.

Asan had a spell of pressure towards the end of the first half, and also several in the second half, but they could not make their chances count, and Jeonnam kept themselves in the thick of the playoff hunt with the win; just one point out of third at the conclusion of the weekend.

Highlights



Jeju United 1-1 Ansan Greeners

Ansan Greeners were seconds away from the upset of the season before a late second half equalizer split the points between the islanders and the Green Wolves.  Ansan had the better of the chances in the first half and were rewarded for their endeavor when Kim Dae-yeol headed them into the lead from a corner just before halftime.

The visitors could have been two in front just after the restart when Felipe Augusto had a chance in close, but sprayed his effort wide of the post.  Jeju would have a chance to level the match on 63 minutes when second half substitute Ryu Seung-woo was fouled in the penalty area, but Lee Chang-min made a hash of the spot kick, sending it well over the bar.  Just when it looked as though the islanders were going to fall to defeat, they were awarded a second penalty late in injury time for what looked to be a rather trivial offense.  Nonetheless, Jung Woon stepped up and slotted his penalty low into the bottom corner of the net, salvaging a point, even if it was undeserved based on their performance on the afternoon.

Highlights



Previous Meetings

Both matches between Asan and Ansan this season have ended in 1-1 draws.  The last time the two sides squared off, Choi Geun-joo gave Ansan the lead after just fourteen minutes, but Lee Jae-keun tied it up on 65 minutes with the result remaining unchanged until the final whistle.  Asan had the possession advantage while Ansan were wasteful in attack, with only two of their sixteen total shots in the match on target.

Team News

Asan has the youngest squad in K League 2 this season with 30 percent of the players under the age of twenty-two.  One, in particular, has stood out.  Lee Jae-keun leads the team with four goals and one assist this season and has lofty ambitions at this point in his career.

"Every player's goal is to one day play for the national team.  When I was included on the convocation list for the U-23 team in 2018, it was a great experience to train with some of the best players.  I especially enjoyed training with Han Seung-gyu.  He is a really good player," Lee began.

"I also want to increase my goal scoring total so that Asan can compete for the promotion playoffs [next season].  We have a young team, but with the presence of players such as Park Se-jik, Kim Jong-gook and Jeong Da-hwon, things have been easier.  It's a team where young players are able to adjust well," he finished.

Park Dong-hyuk was satisfied overall with the performance against Jeonnam with the exception of the early conceded goal setting them back together with the fact that they were unable to provide a response before halftime.

Park Dong-hyuk is confident his side will achieve positive results before the end of the season.

"If you do not score in the first half, your tactics will be anomalous in the second half.  The players' understanding of expectations is positive.  We just couldn't score goals [against Jeonnam].  There is no room to go down anymore; we can only go up.  If we prepare with the same mindset in the remaining matches, there is a chance to move up the rankings," he said.

Philip Hellquist will be key to Asan's chances of victory on the weekend.  He is working back to full fitness after recently spending time out of the squad for recovery.  Armin Mujakic has missed the past two matches and is a potential doubt once again for the match against the Green Wolves.  Kim Chan has been taking his spot in the starting eleven in his absence but has struggled all season to find his scoring form.  Jang Soon-hyuk played only eleven minutes in the win against Daejeon and was not in the squad last week against Jeonnam, so he too may be left out if he is not ready to go.

All other players should be available for selection as the rest of the squad looks fit and there are no suspensions on record.

For Ansan, there are not expected to be many changes to the side which faced Jeju last weekend, although they will welcome the return of manager Kim Gil-sik to the sideline after he finished serving his two-match ban.  There are no suspensions among the players and no major injuries.


The Adversary

Choi Geon-ju leads the Green Wolves with three goals this season.

Ansan will feel slighted that they were not able to get all three points against Jeju United last weekend with the island side equalizing with the last kick of the ball from the spot.  They will rely on the likes of Choi Geon-ju, who leads the team with three goals, and Felipe Augusto, who leads the team with three assists in attack.  Kim Tae-hyun and Soony Saad should also play significant roles as well.  The Green Wolves are winless in their past three matches, with their last win coming against Gyeongnam FC on September 19th.  They will finish out the rest of the season at home to Seoul E-Land next week, then away to Jeonnam Dragons, and close out at home against Bucheon FC 1995 on November 7th, so there is still a slight chance for them to gain points after this weekend.

What to Watch

Chungnam Asan had a lot of possession against Jeonnam last weekend and enjoyed extended spells of pressure in the offensive third, but in the end had nothing to show for it.  For the Owls to have a chance, all three of their foreign players (Hellquist, Mujakic and Bruno) must play, if fully fit.  The younger players in attack have struggled, thus, they need more of a killer instict up top if they are going to get maximum points from the coming match.

They must also be sound defensively.  Both Lee Ki-hyun and Ham Seok-min have been left out to dry on occasion this season, but the emergence of players like Bae Soo-yong and Cha Yeong-hwan recently has been promising.  They will be of even greater importance this weekend if vice captain Jang is not fit.


Prediction

Despite a negative result last weekend, there still seems to be a lot of optimism in the side based on recent performances.  Asan will have to take advantage of the opportunity they have this weekend, but that could only be possible if they are able to remain stable at the back and execute their chances in front of goal.  If they are able to field an optimal lineup, their chances for victory will be increased.  Ansan may come into the match a bit deflated owing to the events last weekend, so Asan must strike while the iron is hot.

Predicted Score: Chungnam Asan 1-0 Ansan Greeners

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