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FA Cup Preview: Chungnam Asan FC vs Jeonju Citizen FC

Chungnam Asan FC have not had a good start to the season as they currently sit bottom of K League 2 and face some serious questions in terms of who is going to provide production for the team up front.  Swedish forward Philip Hellquist has yet to appear for the team and Armin Mujakic can't possibly shoulder the load on his own.  They have had several concerns defensively as well, as the number of goals conceded is already in double digits after only five matches.  Their opponents on Saturday, Jeonju Citizen FC also have had a hard time of it in K3 with three consecutive losses to open their season while their goal differential is at minus six.  Something will have to give - one of these sides will have to progress.  Who will it be?  KLU's Branko Belan previews the match. 

Match: Chungnam Asan FC vs Jeonju Citizen FC
Venue: Yi Sun Shin Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday June 6th, 2020; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Chungnam Asan FC 0-1 Seoul E-Land

Asan fell by a single goal at home to Seoul E-Land and are now winless in five matches to open the league season.  The solitary goal in the match came very early, in the second minute, when rookie Bae Su-yong fouled Richard Sukuta-Pasu in the box and was whistled for a penalty.  Leandro stepped up to the spot and converted.  

The club from the capital would keep up the pressure and could have gone two in front on a pair of occasions in the first half, but Sukuta-Pasu's shot clipped the bar on the way over on thirteen minutes while Ham Seok-min was called on to make a save from an effort just inside the area seven minutes later.  Things did not get better for Asan as Mujakic was replaced by Kim Chan before the end of the first half because of a head injury.

E-Land continued to have the better of the chances in the second half, but were unable to add to their advantage.  Nonetheless, it brought them all three points and their first win of the season.


Jeonju Citizen FC 1-3 Gangneung City

Jeonju Citizen fell to a heavy defeat at home to Gangneung City last weekend.  Han Sang-wun put the visitors ahead midway through the first half while Lee Min-su added a second just after the restart.  Ha Tae-kun made it three with under ten minutes to go, while Choi In-chang got a consolation goal for the hosts at the end of the ninety.

Gangneung completely dominated the first half both in terms of possession and chances, with Jeonju penned back in their own half most of the time.  Things did not improve much after the interval, as the lead was doubled just minutes in and the second half followed the same script as in the first half with the road team applying most of the pressure in the attacking third.  With such an unconvincing performance, it is hard to see Jeonju getting any kind of result on the weekend, but the cup has been a theater for upsets over the past few years.


Team News

If Armin Mujakic is unavailable to play on Saturday evening, it will leave a big void up top, as both Kim Chan and Park Min-seo lack experience to lead the line.  Both have partnered in attack with Mujakic this season, but their lack of goal scoring form leaves to question where the goal production will come from.

Lee Jae-keun played only the first half against E-Land on Sunday, and didn't put out a particularly good performance.  Nothing has been said with regards to an injury, so he is expected to be in the starting eleven.  Asan does not have the luxury of opting to play younger players to give them match minutes as the first team is still looking to gel and needs to work on chemistry.  The cup match may be a good chance for them to start to do that.

Things have not been looking up in Jeonju so far this year, with their only positive being their first round cup win against Bluebird FC a K5 League club.  Both goals came in the first half, the opener courtesy of Lee Dong-jun in the 26th minute and the second from Kim Do-hun in the 40th minute.  Kim Jong-seok and Lee Kyung-taek are both on yellow cards coming into the match, and may either be left on the bench or entirely out of the lineup as a result.  In any case, manager Yang Yeong-cheol will likely field his strongest eleven possible.

The Adversary

Jeonju Citizen defeated Bluebird FC in the first round of the FA Cup. Photo courtesy of Jeonju Citizen Facebook.

While the numbers don't really look good on paper, it should be noted that Jeonju have lost to the top two clubs in the league in Gimhae FC and Gangneung City, while Daejeon Korail was an FA Cup finalist last year, holding Suwon Samsung Bluewings scoreless at home in the first leg before being overwhelmed 4-0 in the second leg.

Interestingly enough, their best performance of the season in the league was away from home against Gimhae where they only lost by a single goal.  At home, they have not looked good at all, shipping three goals on both occasions.  It remains to be seen how they will approach the match against Asan - if they will come out more aggressively or if they will have a tendency to park the bus and then try to hit on the counter.

Kim Geun-ung and Choi In-chang are the only two players to have scored for them in the league this year and judging by their last time out, it doesn't seem like they are much of a threat going forward, but Kim Do-hun may be one to keep an eye on.  One thing which stood out about the loss to Gimhae, however, is that both goals came early, almost back to back, so if they go behind within the first quarter of an hour against Asan, it could be a long day for them out on the pitch.

What to Watch

Asan have not had a lot of success this season at either end of the pitch.  Their defence was extremely leaky against Suwon FC when they allowed five goals, in easily the worst loss since Park Dong-hyuk has been in charge of the club.  A lot will depend on the lineup.  If Asan come out full strength or close to it, they may be able to roll the dice a bit and try to snatch an early goal.  If however the starting eleven is rotated, then it could take them a bit of time to get into any kind of rhythm, something which they have struggled to do all season.

This team is in dire need of a win, but even more in need of defining their style of play.  While several young rookies have made their debuts in recent weeks, some of the older players in the squad really have to step up and show leadership if this team is going to take steps forward.  Things have not started well in the domestic league, so perhaps a win and progress in the cup could be the kick start they need.



This match may end up being closer than a lot of people think.  With both clubs at the foot of the ladder in their respective divisions, which team will come out with more urgency and try to take the match by the scruff of the neck?  Asan are at home and need something to kickstart their 2020 campaign.  That might just be the motivation they need to get a win - their first ever as a citizen cllub, knowing that a familiar foe could potentially be waiting for them in the next round.

Predicted Score: Chungnam Asan FC 2-0 Jeonju Citizen 


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