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Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Seoul E-Land

Out-of-form Ansan Greeners welcome bottom-of-the-table, Seoul E-Land to the Wa~ Stadium on Saturday afternoon with both sides seeking morale-boosting maximum points. The hosts are without a win in their last five, while the visitors have not tasted victory since mid-August. The Green Wolves are desperate to arrest the slide in order to keep their playoff hopes alive, while the Leopards are in real need of an away success in order to avoid the dreaded K League 2 wooden spoon for consecutive seasons.

Last Time Out

Gwangju FC 2-1 Ansan Greeners

Ansan suffered a narrow defeat to Challenge leaders, Gwangju FC at the Guus Hiddink Stadium on Tuesday evening. The home eleven made a terrific start to the contest, opening the scoring with just three minutes on the clock, when Brazilian forward Willyan blasted a half-volley past Hwang In-jae after expertly controlling Kim Ju-kong’s hopeful cross. Lim Wan-seop’s pack produced an instant riposte however, with Japanese attacker, Ishida Masatoshi bagging an instant equaliser. The ex-Kyoto Sanga man’s close range tap-in beat Lee Jin-hyung following Gustavo Vintecinco’s knockdown from Jang Hyeok-jin’s lofted ball to bring immediate parity. But it was not to be for the Gyeonggi canines, as Lim Min-hyeok curled home the game’s decisive goal on the half-hour mark, bending an exquisite free-kick beyond Hwang’s despairing dive into the top left corner of the Greeners’ net to send Park Jin-seob’s men seven points clear at the top of the division.

Highlights: here

Seoul E-Land 1-1 Asan Mugunghwa 

Seoul earned a hard-fought point against Asan midweek at the Cheonan Stadium. The Namgyeong tabbies found themselves a goal behind ten minutes into the encounter following Min Jun-yeong’s volleyed thunderbolt. The Mugunghwa winger rifled home from all of twenty-five yards after Yang Tae-ryeol’s set-piece had fortuitously rebounded off Lee Jae-gun’s heel into the debutant's path. But this early setback seemed to spark E-Land into life, and Woo Sang-yong’s men were level moments later, Robson Duarte’s clever through ball found the run of Jeon Seok-hun, who fired beyond Lee Ki-hyeon for his first league goal of 2019. The Gyeongseong grimalkins’ tails were now well and truly up, and the Hanyang team looked on course to achieve an unexpected turnaround, only for Kim Min-kyun to fluff his lines from twelve yards after Jeong Da-hwon had clumsily bundled over Jeon in the Asan penalty area on the stroke of half-time. Former Gyeongnam keeper, Lee was the hero for Park Dong-hyuk’s XI, pulling off a fine two-handed stop to thwart Kim’s spot kick. The draw was enough to see the South Chungcheong club leapfrog Ansan into fourth though, and leave the Wiryeseong felines rooted to the foot of the table.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The Green Wolves came out on top in this fixture at the Wa~ in late June, running out one-nil victors courtesy of Lee Byung-wook’s early own goal. The E-Land defender planted an inexplicable bullet header past Kim Young-kwang from Jang Hyeok-jin’s corner on seven minutes, and this error proved to be enough for the Gojan outfit to claim a vital three points.

Team News

Ansan gaffer, Lim may be tempted to give Choi Myeong-hee the nod over Kim Jin-rae in defence. The one-time Suwon Bluewings full-back endured a difficult night’s work in the Gwangju loss and was culpable for Willyan’s opener, after affording Kim Ju-kong too much time and space on the right flank to pick out a pass, and was also lucky not to have put into his own net twenty minutes from time, diverting another Kim delivery onto Hwang’s crossbar.

The Adversary

Seoul are currently on a seven game winless streak, recording four defeats and three draws in that time, and have not enjoyed a triumph since beating FC Anyang at the Olympic Stadium two months ago. However, the form of Robson Duarte has given the Hanyang faithful some faint hope of catching ninth-placed Daejeon Citizen. The Londrina-born attacker has found the back of the net on three occasions during E-Land’s difficult run, and was a goalscorer in the Anyang upset from the penalty spot. The ex-Gwangju forward has five goals and three assists to his name this term, including a stunning solo effort versus the Greeners in Jamsil in a 3-1 reversal the last time these two teams met. Head coach, Woo will certainly be hoping that Duarte can inflict some damage upon Ansan’s playoff aspirations in this one.

What To Watch

 


Gustavo Vintecinco is key to the Green Wolves’ K League 1 pipe dream, and the former Bragantino centre-forward has made a stellar contribution this year with eight goals and two assists to date. The 24-year-old has not registered a goal since late August though, and Lim will be doing his utmost to get the 6’3” South American firing on all cylinders once more. Vintecinco does have previous against Saturday’s opponents however, after scoring the first in the recent 3-1 away conquest in Hanseong, and the striker did superbly well to set-up Masatoshi’s leveler at the Gwangju World Cup Stadium on Tuesday night too. The Danwon supporters are praying that Vintecinco can rediscover his impressive early form to breathe new life into the Greeners’ faltering playoff push.

Prediction

Neither Ansan or Seoul are playing with any real self-belief or particular conviction at present, and both defences are shipping in goals with alarming consistency. This battle may very well come down to a samba shootout between Duarte and Vintecinco.

Ansan Greeners 1-1 Seoul E-Land
 

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