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Preview: FC Anyang vs Chungnam Asan FC

After a string of three consecutive losses to open the season, FC Anyang have found their footing of late, advancing in the FA Cup following a second round victory over Goyang Citizen as well as winning and drawing their last two matches in the league.  Chungnam Asan finally picked up a win following their cup success against Jeonju Citizen, but still only have two points to their credit in the league and occupy the foot of the table.  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to the match.

Match: FC Anyang vs Chungnam Asan FC
Venue: Anyang Sports Complex
Kickoff: Sunday June 14th, 2020; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

FC Anyang 2-0 Goyang Citizen (2nd Round FA Cup)

FC Anyang regrouped from a slow start in the first half to record victory by a two goal margin in the second round of the FA Cup against K4 side Goyang Citizen.  With the Violets searching for a way through, a pair of changes either side of halftime proved to be the difference as Maxwell Acosty and Maurides made the difference that turned the result in their team's favor.  The latter would provide the assist for Koo Bon-hyeok's right-footed finish in the 52nd minute.  Only five minutes later, Goyang went down to ten men after Shim Jun-suk received his marching orders for a second yellow card.  Nilson would convert from the penalty spot just over a quarter of an hour from time and that would round things out in terms of the result.  They will be up against it in the third round as they host Daegu FC next.

Chungnam Asan FC 1-0 Jeonju Citizen (2nd Round FA Cup)

Chungnam Asan picked up their first-ever victory in their new era across all competitions by advancing with a 1-0 win over Jeonju Citizen.  Kim Won-seok scored the only goal of the match in the 35th minute.  It was a relatively quiet and slow paced first half, although the K3 side did show signs of life on the counter from time to time.  The second half did not improve much in terms of quality and Asan looked unconvincing for long stretches.  Jeonju had a pair of men sent off within the final fifteen minutes of the match and from then on, there was really no way forward for them.  The Owls can take solace with the victory but know their overall performance needs to improve in future matches.

Previous Meetings

The head-to-head series between the two clubs when Chungnam were still a military club was close, although last season was dominated by the Violets as they won three of four matches, including back-to-back 4-1 victories in the second half of the season.  Overall, Anyang have won four matches to Asan's three with one match ending in a draw.  The most notable victory for Asan in the tie is of course their come from behind 2-1 win in November of 2018 which saw them clinch the K League 2 title.

Both teams look much different currently and Anyang's form is arguably better.  They also have home field advantage for this weekend's match and will look to utilize it to their advantage.

Team News

Anyang have looked better of late and that has a lot to do with the coming to form of Maxwell Acosty and Maurides.  In all likelihood, the team will line up in its customary 3-4-3 formation as tehy have over the past several weeks.  It took a bit of time for the unit to start working well together, but it seems they have found their legs as a group and will be focused on building on the chemistry they have begun to develop recently.  There are no suspensions in the side so the expectation is that the strongest eleven will be fielded with the team playing at home and considering the match as a sure chance to take all three points.

After playing a mostly young squad in the cup last weekend, Asan is expected to return to its normal rotation for the upcoming match against Anyang.  It has been a rough going for the team so far this season, as many players have only just made their team debuts either in the league or the cup as was the case last weekend.  They showed grit to pull out a result, but will have to be better if they hope to take anything from the match on Sunday evening.

The Adversary

Lee Jae-keun's goal earned Asan a draw against Jeonnam earlier this season.

Asan have yet to really see the wheels start turning this season, but a positive is the fact that they were able to advance in the FA Cup last weekend with their win, although a narrow one, over Jeonju Citizen.  The team in fact does have some pieces which could pan out in the long run, but one of the biggest concerns for the club this season has been establishing chemistry on the pitch and how to integrate the more experienced players with the younger ones.

Armin Mujakic has been a presence for the club and would certainly like to add to his goal tally, but he needs more help from the players around him.  Another thing hampering the club is the uncertainty regarding when Philip Hellquist will return to full health and then subsequently match fitness.  Asan struggled in the goals department last season and that has carried over, so the club is in need of as much offensive firepower as they can get, but with a low budget allocated to transfers. they can't exactly go big in the transfer market in the summer if Hellquist is to be out for any extended period of time.

Park Dong-hyuk will have to remain patient for now and hope that results eventually do start to fall in Asan's favor, but it's safe to say that regardless of their position in the table, his position as manager does not seem to be under threat, as he has had a good degree of success in developing young talent at the club in recent years.  If they could pull a surprise this weekend, it would be a welcome sight, as the Owls are the only club in the second division without a league win this season.

What to Watch

Maxwell Acosty has begun to find the net for FC Anyang.

Maxwell Acosty made the switch to the K League in the last transfer window, coming over from 1. HNL side NK Rijeka.  With goals in each of his past two matches, he seems to have re-found his scoring touch.  It will be needed against Asan as the club has only scored six league goals in five matches this season.

He's physically fit, as is evidenced by the fact that he has started and played all ninety minutes in all five matches so far this season.  While with the Croatian club, he scored 17 goals in 87 appearances, also adding thirteen assists.  He won the Croatian Cup with them in the 2018/19 season, the third trophy overall in his career.  It seems his adjustment to Korean football is starting to come around, and he is definitely a player to be counted on in any success Anyang have this season.

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Anyang certainly are the favorites with home field advantage and better form heading into this weekend.  They also have a much better overall squad and should be able to take all three points, knowing that the road ahead will get a lot tougher for them, so they have to make the most of their opportunities when they come to them.

Predicted Score: FC Anyang 2-0 Chungnam Asan FC

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