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Preview: Jeju United vs FC Anyang



With their win on Monday night, Jeju United re-took their place on top of K League 2, restoring the two point advantage they had going into the last round.  FC Anyang, meanwhile, could only settle for a draw against Bucheon FC 1995, putting a dent into their very slim chances of getting into the playoffs.  The islanders won convincingly the last time these two met.  What will this weekend have in store?  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to the match.


Match: Jeju United vs FC Anyang
Venue: Jeju World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday October 3rd, 2020; 13:30 KST

Last Time Out

Jeonnam Dragons 0-2 Jeju United

After a largely uneventful first half devoid of chances, it was the islanders who took the initiative in the second half, scoring a pair of goals within a span of nine minutes to take all three points from the match.  The first to strike was Jung Woo-jae, who teed up a rocket from just outside the area following a corner.  The ball fell kindly to him on the bounce, and he fired his volleyed effort past Park Jun-hyuk in the Jeonnam goal on 69 minutes.  

Needing an insurance marker to guarantee full points, the chance came nine minutes later when Ahn Hyun-beom was fouled in the area.  Ryu Seung-woo stepped up for the spot kick, but his attempt was saved by the Dragons 'keeper, only for second half substitute Gong Min-hyun to be on hand to emphatically slot home the rebound.  In the end, despite being matched against a difficult opponent, the islanders once again found a way to win, extending their current unbeaten run to ten matches.  Jeonnam fell to fifth with the loss, but are still only a point out of a playoff place.

Highlights


FC Anyang 0-0 Bucheon FC 1995

Anyang missed a golden opportunity at home to pick up maximum points.  The first twenty minutes of the match did not produce much by way of chances for either side, until Maxwell Acosty almost put the hosts in front with a spectacular overhead kick from Kwon Yong-hyun's cross from the left, only for his shot to come crashing off the woodwork and stay out.  It was the only real chance of consequence for either side and the sides went to the break scoreless.

Bucheon could have taken the lead right after the re-start when Cho Geon-gyu was played in on goal with a through pass, but he flashed his effort just wide of the far post.  The visitors carried play for much of the second half, but could not make their chances count.  It turned into a chippy affair with players from both teams going into the referee's book.  Bucheon continued to struggle in terms of realizing opportunities in front of goal, while Anyang really couldn't muster anything going forward.  In the end, a goalless draw can be seen as a fair result for both clubs.

Highlights

Previous Meetings

Jeju have won both meetings with the Violets this season.  The first match was a tight-knit affair with all goals being scored in the first half.  Anyang were in front just two minutes into the match through Kim Kyung-min, but Lee Chang-min leveled the score just five minutes later.  The winner would come from Gong Min-hyun just after the half hour mark, and that would stand as the difference as the islanders took all three points.

The second meeting at the end of August was much more convincing for the league leaders as they got two goals from Lee Dong-ryul and a goal and an assist from Joo Min-kyu en route to a 3-1 victory.  Kwon Yong-hyung scored the only goal for Anyang in the match.

Team News

Jeju have now spent eight consecutive rounds atop the K League 2 table.  Their current ten match unbeaten run is the longest in the division this season.  Since their 3-2 loss against Daejeon Hana Citizen back in May, Jeju have found the net in nineteen straight matches.  In ten matches at home this season, they have a record of six wins, three draws and only one loss, with a goal difference of 20:9.  Gong Min-hyun currently leads the team with twelve attack points (nine goals and three assists).  Jeju come into the weekend having not conceded a goal in three matches on the spin.

Jung Woo-jae, who was one of the main protagonists in Jeju's latest win, has been a revelation of sorts for the club this year.  His wide array of skills have been highlighted by the fact that both goals he has scored this season have come with his right foot while all three assists he has recorded have come with his left foot.

Jung Woo-jae's winner on Monday night sealed an important three points for the islanders.

  He credits manager Nam Ki-il's faith in him as a key factor in his improved performance.

"This season, thanks to the belief of Nam Ki-il, it is a good fit.  Suwon's pursuit is not easy, but the players are not shaken at all.  We are only looking ahead.  The will in the team is strong and we are sure that automatic promotion can be ours," he said.

Joo Min-kyu was left out of the squad for the Jeonnam match, but will likely return for the match this weekend.  His goal against Anyang the last time they played not only sealed the victory for his side but also broke a months-long goal drought for the striker, who would love nothing more than to get his name on the scoresheet once again.  There are no suspensions, and with the side being rotated on Monday night, the speculation is that Nam will go with his regular eleven on Saturday afternoon.

For Anyang, there are no major injuries and no suspensions.  Few changes are expected to the starting eleven which took the pitch last time out.


The Adversary

FC Anyang come into the weekend with just one win in their past five.

FC Anyang have not been good on form with just one win in their past five, a run that began with their 3-1 loss to Jeju.  With the likes of Maxwell Acosty, Maurides, and Kim Kyung-min, this team has some pieces but hasn't managed to put things together on a consistent basis this season.  Their schedule until the end of the season does not get much easier, as they travel to Changwon for a date with the Reds following their match with the islanders this weekend.  They then host Seoul E-Land on October 17th, before heading on the road to Asan and Daejeon.  They finish out their schedule at home against Suwon FC on November 7th.

While there are still chances to pick up points, the draw against Bucheon last weekend may just be a bit too much for them to overcome in terms of sneaking in the back door to the playoffs.

What to Watch

As the table stands at the moment, Jeju are currently undefeated against teams in the bottom half of the table, with matches still to come against Ansan Greeners next week, Seoul E-Land on November 1st and Chungnam Asan on November 7th.  They also finish out their final six matches with four of them being at home, including the all-crucial tie against Suwon FC on October 24th.

The opportunity to finish matters on their own terms is there and the players are fully aware of the fact.  They have their fate in their own hands, and the performances over the past several months have been indicative of that.  The momentum is very strong at the moment, and the full intention is there to keep it going.  They mustn't be concerned about what other teams in the division are doing - they just need to remain focused on the task at hand - and that is achieving the goal set at the beginning of the season by winning automatic promotion back to the top flight for 2021.


Prediction

There is still a lot at stake for Jeju in their upcoming match with Anyang, a team who, despite their recent form, cannot be taken lightly.  But, Jeju have been firing on all cylinders for quite some time now, and have the fuel in the tank to go out and get another three points.  The Violets will have their moments, but the islanders should be able to pull it out in the end.

Predicted Score: Jeju United 2-1 FC Anyang

   


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