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Preview: FC Anyang vs Gwangju FC

FC Anyang finally got a long overdue victory in the dying minutes last time out against Seoul E-Land. Can Anyang continue to challenge for the K League 2 playoffs, or will a match against a still undefeated Gwangju prove too difficult to handle?


Last Time Out

Anyang finally managed to get a victory at the third time of asking in their newly refurbished stadium. It wasn't the prettiest of games, but it showed a side of Anyang that had been missing in their recent games, the ability to come back after conceding. Previously, they hadn't come back into a game after conceding first in over 15 games.

The game started poorly from an Anyang standpoint with Seoul E-Land's pressing them high up the pitch, especially so on the flanks where Anyang were suffering from injuries and suspensions. The inexperience of the Anyang defence was taken advantage of in the first half with a goal conceded in the 29th minute. Kwon Ki-pyo was the goal scorer and after some sensational passing sequences by the E-Land team the Anyang defence parted and the finish was easily dispatched.

For most of the first half it's fair to say Seoul E-Land were fantastic, having the majority of all the attacking chances and seemingly being defensively strong. That all changed with the last kick of the first half, with Seoul E-Land possibly being more focused on the whistle than the player making a darting run into the box. With the confusion and the first half tiredness the ball bounced around and finally settled into the back of the net for an own goal with the last kick of the half.

The second half was a very tense affair with both sides have chances, but as the game wore on Anyang grew into the game and took control. After the introduction of club favorite Kim Won-min, the game was turned on it's head. The pace quickened and the chances also cam quickly. Kim Won-min made a darting run into the box and was fouled in the process. The penalty was slightly questionable but the finish by Cho Kyu-sung was not. 

With only 3 minutes left in the game it was almost sealed by Palacios after he made an incredible 80 yard dribble into the box, rounding the keeper only for his effort to bounce off the post. The game ended 2-1 to the home side in what was a well deserved and hard fought victory.

Previous Meetings

The last time these two teams met was back in game week 5, when the final score was 2-2. Anyang had been incredibly lucky in the game and had rode their luck at times with the help of an own goal in the first half. Gwangju responded quickly with two goals in 10 minutes. 

With Anyang missing some of their key players who were instrumental in that 2-2 draw, and Gwangju still undefeated it's going to be a tight rematch between the two sides.

Team News

Recurring injuries from last week should still plague this Anyang team with defensive issues at right back and Alex still yet to make a reappearance after his injury. Kim Won-min is still going to be playing limited time due to his ongoing groin injury, but expect him to make an impact off the bench if the game is tied.

Kovtulyuk will have his game time continually monitored as he is still yet to finish back-to-back ninety minutes. Cho Kyu-sung will mostly likely start but he has been looking fatigued in the last few games. Despite his goal last time out it's possible he could be on the bench.

Adversary

Gwangju must show their resolve of character after falling off the summit of the K League 2 last weekend. With Busan IPark taking advantage of a turgid goalless draw in Asan for the Yellows last time out, Park Jin-seop’s side have been pushed to second on goal difference. Manager Park’s side may have revenge on their mind after Anyang stole their last-equaliser in April. After scoring what he thought was to be the winner on that day, Gwangju are expected to finally welcome back bustling striker Felipe. Against Asan Mugunghwa it did seem as though creative ideas ran dry up top, so his return alongside winger Lee Hee-gyun will be much welcomed.


Interviews at the club point towards the psychological burden of leading the pack that rivals Busan now possess, which in truth seems something that those not in first position would come out with. Gwangju’s second game of a series of away games against the division’s top sides, the Yellows will want to prove that their impressive start was not just a flash in the pan. Lee Han-do is expected to again have to settle for a place on the bench, suffering from Rustam Ashurmatov’s impressive form, while Kim Ju-gong appears the natural victim of Felipe’s comeback.

- Peter Hampshire

One To Watch

Manuel Palacios is instrumental to Anyang's chances of winning this game and he will no doubt play the full ninety minutes barring injury. It's only a matter of time before the winger get's his goals back. His tireless work ethic and trickery will cause problems for the Gwangju back line just like in the last match between these two sides.

For Gwangju, Yeo Reum, the midfielder, is in fine form both defensively and offensively, chipping in with 3 goals to Gwangju's unbeaten season thus far. Also, Lee Eu-ddeum, who has played nearly every minute this season for Gwangju, is a defensive rock in the center of the pitch. Watch for these two midfielders to attempt to control the game and stall out the Anyang attacks.

Prediction

These are two sides that aren't in great form in the league, but boast strong defenses in comparison to other K League 2 teams. They should cancel each other out if Anyang can control the ball more than last time.

Anyang 0-0 Gwangju

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