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Preview: Asan Mugunghwa vs FC Anyang



Last season's champions will have only pride to play for this coming weekend as they close out the 2019 campaign at home against playoff bound FC Anyang.  Despite taking a one goal advantage into halftime last week, they were not able to stem the second half tide from Busan IPark at the Gudeok, falling 3-2 at the final whistle.  Anyang, meanwhile, settled for a 1-1 draw away to Daejeon Citizen after being reduced to ten men.  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to the final regular season clash for both teams.

Match: Asan Mugunghwa vs FC Anyang
Venue: Yi Sun Shin Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday November 9th, 2019; 15:00 KST

Last Time Out

Busan IPark 3-2 Asan Mugunghwa

Asan were unable to hold the fort in the second half after going to the break up a goal and eventually fell to Busan IPark last weekend.  The home side went in front early thanks in part to a bad deflection and some lax defending as Lee Sang-jun fired in from close range after an initial shot had bounded off the post.

Asan would respond, however, and by the end of the first half, they were in front, thanks to an eqaulizer from Park Se-jik on nineteen minutes, and Oh Se-hun converted from the spot with only three minutes left in the first half.

A win was not in the cards for Asan though, as Busan got a pair of goals in the second half, with Lee Dong-jun restoring parity with twenty minutes to play, and Rômulo providing the winner ten minutes later.  Busan have now clinched a spot in the second division final and will be favorites once again to progress to the promotion/relegation final as they did last season, where they were bested by FC Seoul in an attempt to get back to the top flight, where they haven't played since 2015.

Highlights: here

Daejeon Citizen 1-1 FC Anyang

FC Anyang missed a chance to solidify their hold on third place in the table, having to settle for a draw away to Daejeon Citizen, who found a goal late after the visitors had been reduced to ten men.

Mo Jae-hyun's early strike looked as though it might be enough, but Choi Ho-jung's sending off after seventy-two minutes looked as though it was going to have an impact on proceedings.  Eventually, it did as Kim Seung-sub struck an equalizer seven minutes from time giving both teams a share of the spoils at the final whistle.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

When the sides last met in the summer, FC Anyang walked away with a very handy 4-1 victory.  They have won two of the three meetings in the head to head this season, but overall, both teams have won three apiece and one match has ended in a draw.

Kim Sang-won scored a brace in the match in July, with Cho Kyu-sung and Manuel Palacios adding a goal each, while Ju Se-jong scored the only goal for the men in yellow and blue.  Lee Myung-joo was sent off in the match with less than ten minutes left in the first half, making matters quite difficult for the soon to be former military club to get a result on the day.

Lee Han-saem was the only man to get on the board in Asan's win in May, while Cho Kyu-sung and Alex Lima provided the firepower for the Violets during their first meeting in April.  Things have changed massively for Asan since the summer with the exodus of their core group, so Anyang have a good opportunity to close out the last week of the regular schedule with a solid result.


Team News

Saturday's match will be the final one for Oh Se-hun in an Asan uniform, as he is set to join Sangju Sangmu next season to complete his military service.  The U-20 World Cup star scored seven goals and added four assists in twenty-nine appearances this season, and will look to add to that total after scoring last week for the first time in eight matches following back-to-back goal performances against Bucheon and Gwangju at the beginning of September.

The team has now lost their last four matches in a row, and have won only once in their last twelve.  Despite losing to IPark, they managed to score twice, something which they had not done in their three previous losses.  Park Dong-hyuk will have a task in front of him to motivate the squad, but a home match to finish the season should give the players the impetus needed to put a positive mark on what has been a very difficult second half of the season.

There are no suspensions in the side, but with it being the last match of the season with nothing but pride to play for, there will not likely be too many changes from the side that took the pitch last weekend.

For Anyang, Choi Ho-jung will miss the last regular match of the season thanks to his sending off against Daejeon last week.  Defender Kim Sang-won was named in the K League 2 Best XI for the last round, so once again, goals could prove to be difficult to come by for Asan this weekend.

The Adversary

Mo Jae-hyun vs Daejeon 11.02.19
Mo Jae-hyun found the net for Anyang last time out against Daejeon.


Anyang are not on the best form themselves coming into the match, as they have won only once in their last six matches, a 3-2 success against Ansan Greeners at home on October 26th.  They do have a lot to play for in this match, as with one match to go, they only have a two point edge for third in the table over the same Greeners team, who have made a charge in the second half of the season to put themselves in playoff contention.  

They do have a lot of attacking firepower which will certainly cause a problem or two for Asan's young back line.  Cho Kyu-sung has thirteen goals this season and has shown himself to be a natural threat in front of goal, while Alex Lima has twelve goals to his credit, and Manuel Palacios completes the trio of Anyang players in double digits with ten of his own.

If they manage to hold on to third spot, it will give them home field advantage for the semi-final playoff on November 23rd.  At current, they could face either Ansan or Bucheon, who still have an outside chance, albeit a slim one, depending on how results go.

Prediction

Things have gone completely downhill for Asan since the departure of their big guns at the end of the summer.  No one has been able to step up to fill the scoring void left by Ko Mu-yeol when he returned to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

Anyang still home field advantage to play for and should be motivated for the test.  They have been much the better side when the two are compared side by side, and their scoring prowess should be enough to get them over the line in this one.

Predicted Score: Asan Mugunghwa 1-2 FC Anyang

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