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Preview: Chungnam Asan FC vs Daejeon Hana Citizen

Following last weekend's disappointing showing, Chungnam Asan are at home again this weekend to face a Daejeon Hana Citizen side that is tenuously clinging to third spot in the playoff race despite a 2-1 victory away to Ansan Greeners last time out.  Will the Owls be able to pull out a result despite their lacklustre home form this season?  KLU's Branko Belan previews the K League 2 match set for Sunday afternoon.

Match: Chungnam Asan FC vs Daejeon Hana Citizen
Venue: Yi Sun Shin Stadium
Kickoff: Sunday October 4th, 2020; 16:00 KST

Last Time Out

Gyeongnam FC 3-1 Chungnam Asan FC

Things did not go well in Changwon last weekend where, despite opening the scoring in the first half, Chungnam Asan unraveled in the second half, conceding three goals en route to their eleventh loss of the season.  Lee Eun-beom struck inside the final ten minutes of the first half with what could be considered one of the goals of the season with a sensational dash from inside Asan's own end of the pitch, slotting home on the end of the run to give the Owls the lead going into the break.

A triple substitution at the beginning of the second half turned the tides immediately for the Reds as Ko Kyung-min got on the scoresheet right after the break.  He would add two more goals in the 72nd and 77th minutes to complete his hat-trick to seal the points for the visitors, keeping them in the thick of the playoff hunt with just six matches remaining on the schedule including this weekend's trip to Asan.


Ansan Greeners 1-2 Daejeon Hana Citizen

The Purples secured a big three points away to the Green Wolves last weekend thanks to goals from Park In-hyeok and Jeong Hee-woong.  Daejeon kept their foot on the gas for most of the first half but failed to find a breakthrough when the teams went into the break.  It was a physical first forty-five minutes, with players from both teams going into the book, but matters remained all square heading to the dressing rooms.

The second half was entirely a different story as the visitors would go into the lead just after the hour mark through Park, who was on the spot to tap in from close range following a corner.  The goal was initially disputed and the referee had a second look, but on review, it was allowed to stand, drawing the ire of Ansan manager Kim Gil-sik, who protested a bit too vehemently and was given a straight red card for his efforts.

The match result was confirmed with just five minutes remaining of regular time when Jeong was fouled inside the area and stepped up for the spot kick, powering the ball into Kim Sun-woo's left top corner.  Lee Ji-hoon would add a consolation goal in injury time for the Greeners, his first of the season, but it was not nearly enough as the visitors locked up the victory at the final whistle.


Previous Meetings

Daejeon have had the upper hand in the head to head this season with a win and a draw in the previous two matches.  The Purples defeated ten-man Asan the last time they met thanks to goals from Kim Seung-seub and Andre Luis from the penalty spot.  Philip Hellquist scored the only goal for Asan ten minutes after Park Jae-woo was sent off for a last man challenge, leading to the eventual winner.

Team News

The loss for Asan was their second in as many weeks.  The good news is that they have a stretch late on in the season where they will face Ansan, FC Anyang and Bucheon FC 1995 in an effort to capture points to get them off the bottom of the table before they face Jeju United to close out the campaign.

Park Dong-hyuk held himself accountable for the result against Daejeon.

"I should have made a tactical change quickly.  There were too many differences in the second half.  We conceded too many goals.  The players worked hard, but I was not good enough," he said.

Lee Sang-min will serve the final match week of his lengthy suspension, but the rest of the squad is not in question.  There is a possibility that all three foreign players, being Armin Mujakic, Hellquist and Bruno will share the pitch on Sunday, and that could add a different element to the Asan attack if it comes to fruition.

Bruno Baio may still be an injury concern for Daejeon this weekend.  Connor Chapman returns after suspension and is a likely candidate for the starting eleven.  Park Ju-won is back in training after missing the entire season due to a wrist injury but is unlikely to be on the team sheet this weekend.

Lee Woong-hee returns as does Lee Ji-sol, with the only question remaining who will start in goal.  Kim Keun-bae got the start last week after Kim Jin-young had started a string of matches.  It will come down to the manager's decision.  

There are no suspensions in the team, so the expectation is that the Purples will go with the strongest eleven available.

The Adversary

Jeong Hee-woong scored the winner from the spot against Ansan.

The win against Ansan reversed a two match skid, but Daejeon still maintains third spot in the table due to results elsewhere, albeit by a very fine margin.  The return of Park In-hyeok has energized the team as a whole.  He looked good last time out, and if given a spot in the starting eleven on the weekend, which is highly likely, he can be a factor.

However, conditioning could be a potential concern down the stretch as the Purples try to lock up a playoff spot.  Caretaker manager Kang Chul recognizes the fact, but also remains defiant that his club will be among the select few to vie for a place in K League 1 next season.

"If we manage our results well, then the possibilities are open.  This is a situation in which we must not give up," he commented.

Their schedule until the end of the season is playable, but they should be wary of the challenge which presents itself next week in the form of Suwon FC at home and away to Gyeongnam FC to finish out the season on November 7th.

What to Watch

Andre Luis still has an outside chance at the Golden Boot in K League 2 this season.  Currently sitting on twelve goals, he is five behind An Byoung-jun.  He has already scored three goals against Chungnam Asan this season and would like nothing more than to add to that tally as he has not scored since the end of August against Jeonnam Dragons in a 1-1 draw.

Andre Luis challenging for the ball with Ansan's Yeon Je-min.

With Park In-hyeok back in the lineup, he should have ample opportunities to make a presence of himself in the final third on Sunday afternoon.  The Asan back line has been prone to mistakes at key times in matches on several occasions this season, and the Brazilian will know how to take advantage of such a situation should it arise.


Daejeon still have a lot to play for - the playoffs are still very much in reach, but Asan have, for the most part always been a tricky opponent for the Purples.  Nonetheless, the Owls have fared horribly on their own ground this season, and there is little chance of that changing this weekend.  Daejeon have the upper hand on current form and should be able to get over the line after ninety minutes.

Predicted Score: Chungnam Asan 1-2 Daejeon Hana Citizen

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