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Preview: Suwon FC vs Asan Mugunghwa



Suwon FC go into Saturday's match against Asan Mugunghwa unbeaten in their last five.  Asan got an important victory last time out against Jeonnam Dragons to keep themselves in the thick of the playoff race, but know that they have to get another result if they want to keep the momentum going.  Four points separate the sides in the standings at the moment.  KLU's Branko Belan previews the fifth versus sixth clash.

Match: Suwon FC vs Asan Mugunghwa
Venue: Suwon Civic Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday September 28th, 2019; 17:00 KST

Last Time Out

Suwon FC 2-2 Daejeon Citizen

Suwon finished their last match down to ten men and had to settle for a draw at home to Daejeon Citizen.  They did start brightly in the first half, however, as they went into the lead midway through the first forty-five minutes thanks to a close range finish from Kim Byung-oh who swept the ball low to the left of the 'keeper.

That would be the highlight for the home side for most of the match, as Daejeon grabbed a tying goal from An Sang-hyun on 34 minutes and the teams went into the dressing room knotted at one apiece.  Daejeon would nudge in front just past the hour mark thanks to Lee Jeong-mun, and when the goalscorer Kim was sent off five minutes from time, it seemed that the result was in the bag for the visitors, but Chisom came to the rescue, stealing a point for Suwon at the death with a sublime strike on the half-volley from the right flank which kissed the underside of the bar on the way in.

Highlights: here

Asan Mugunghwa 1-0 Jeonnam Dragons

The military men needed a goal from Choi Jin-ho with under a quarter of an hour remaining to seal all three points at home last time out against Jeonnam.  The first half saw both teams struggle to create chances and neither goalkeeper was tested much, as the best chances for both sides ended up off target.

Both teams started quickly in the second half, and Jeonnam looked to go into the lead on 54 minutes, but a headed goal was called back after a VAR review.  Both teams made a host of changes in the middle stages of the half, and the one which would end up making the difference was the introduction of Joseph Choi (formerly Choi Jin-ho into the match for Kim Do-yeob on 73 minutes.  He was the recipient of a slipped pass in the box after a defensive error led to Park Min-seo splitting a pair of defenders, and Choi fired the ball into the roof of the net.  Asan would survive a scare late on as Jeonnam came close to taking a point from the match, but they were able to hold defensively and take a victory at home.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Suwon have had the upper hand this season against Asan, winning two matches, with the last meeting between them ending in a draw at this same venue.  Chisom Egbuchanam scored the first goal of the match after only fifteen minutes, but Yang Tae-ryeol leveled proceedings just after the half hour, with neither side able to find a way to victory after the re-start.

Coming into this season, Suwon had never beaten Asan, but the tables have turned.  Asan won all four meetings last season, and now look to take the last fixture in the head-to-head this season to increase their lead and possibly jump up to fourth depending on results elsewhere.

Team News

With his late equalizer against Daejeon, Egbuchanam now has fourteen goals on the season, good for second behind Felipe of Gwangju FC who has two more.  However, it is the Nigerian who is currently in better form, and will be a threat for the hosts going forward as he has already had success against Asan this season.

The match will see the 2018 champions come up against a pair of familiar faces as Lee Han-saem should get the nod in the back, while Im Chang-gyun will mostly likely win a place in the middle of the park.  One piece of good news for the opposition will be the absence of Kim Byung-oh, who scored last time against Daejeon, but also picked up a pair of yellow cards, the second coming five minutes before the end of regular time, earning him a suspension for Saturday afternoon.  Considering that three of their last six matches will be against the three of the top four teams in the division at the moment, Suwon should see this as one of their best chances for maximum points down the stretch.

For Asan, Choi chose a perfect time to score his first goal of the season.  He has been used sparingly this season, but may see more minutes as the season winds down now that the majority of the squad is younger following the departure of several key players at the end of the summer.

One of the big positives for Asan is that there hasn't been a lot of rotation in the starting eleven in recent weeks, showing that Park Dong-hyuk has faith in the players who have played on a consistent basis in the past while.  They still need more consistency from scoring options up top, as Oh Se-hun is certainly not capable of carrying the scoring load the way Ko Mu-yeol did for the first chunk of the season before he returned to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.  Park Min-seo, Lee jae-gun, and Kim Do-yeob, among others, will need to do more if Asan are going to continue to be a factor down the stretch.

There are no suspensions in the team, so the expectation is that there will not be too many changes to the side which won last time out against Jeonnam.

The Adversary

Joseph Choi against Jeonnam 09.23.19
Joseph Choi (kneeling) scored his first goal for Asan in the win against Jeonnam in Round 29.


The win against Jeonnam snapped the team's five match winless run, but they will have a lot of work to do if they are to pick up their first win against their weekend opponents this season.  Asan's form away from home has been better than most in the second division, so there is a chance for them to take all three points, but it is a match in which Suwon is considered the favorite.

Asan will not have an easy go as the season winds down to a close, as they still have to face Gwangju FC and FC Anyang at home, and go away to Busan IPark in early November.  With some tricky fixtures ahead, it is fair to say that they will have the chips stacked against them to earn a spot in the playoffs, but if they are serious about contending, then it has to start this weekend with a win against a team who has gotten the better of them in 2019.

Prediction

Suwon will want to put the match away as early as possible, so look for them to come out on the front foot and attempt to go ahead within the first twenty minutes.  If Asan can weather the storm, they could have a chance or two on the counter, but at the very least, if they can manage not to concede before the half, they will have a shout to come away with all three points.

This has the potential to be a very intriguing match for the fact that Asan currently have a four point edge in the standings on Suwon, so it could go several ways.  An Asan win would widen the gap between the two sides, and a Suwon win would narrow it to one.  A draw would leave things as they are, and both would have to look for answers elsewhere to rectify their respective positions in the table.  Expect a tight affair, with nuances likely to decide the outcome, but both teams should manage to get on the scoreboard.

Predicted Score: Suwon FC 1-2 Asan Mugunghwa 

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