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Preview: Suwon FC vs Chungnam Asan FC

Suwon FC continued their fine form with a decisive 3-0 victory away to Seoul E-Land last weekend, keeping them atop the second division with a one point lead over Jeju United in second.  Chungnam Asan finally broke the mould with their first win as a citizen club in K League 2 defeating Gyeongnam FC by a score of 2-1 last weekend.  The last time these two sides met, the league leaders walked off in convincing fashion.  Will Saturday night's encounter provide more of the same or will it be closer than most will expect?  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to the match.

Match: Suwon FC vs Chungnam Asan FC
Venue: Suwon Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday July 11th, 2020; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land 0-3 Suwon FC

Suwon controlled most of the first half and really should have gone in front before the break, but could not find the target in the first forty-five minutes.  To their good fortune, however, the floodgates would open after the restart, as they scored all three goals inside the first fifteen minutes of the second half to secure the result.  An Byoung-jun, the current top scorer in the division opened the scoring on 46 minutes thanks in part to a great assist from Masatoshi Ishida for his eighth of the season.

Kim Sung-hyun would add to Suwon's lead with an own goal less than ten minutes later.  A free kick was swung into the area from the right side of the box, and he was the first to get his head to the ball.  Kim Hyung-keun could do nothing as it sailed past him into the net.  

Ishida would round out the scoring and ensure the result with Suwon's third on the hour mark.  He pounced on a rebound from close range after the E-Land 'keeper couldn't hold the initial attempt on goal and the match was put to rest.  Suwon continued to press forward relentlessly in search of another goal but the result would remain unchanged by the time the referee blew for the final time to bring the match to an end.


Chungnam Asan FC 2-1 Gyeongnam FC

The Owls achieved a historic first by sealing their first victory in K League 2 with a win over Gyeongnam last weekend.  Both sides were among the chances in the first half, but it was Asan who would go to the break in the lead after they were awarded a penalty on 39 minutes.  Reds' defender Nick Ansell was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area after an attempt on goal by Park Min-seo, and Philip Hellquist stepped up to convert from the spot for his first goal since his arrival at the club.

Asan would double their lead less than ten minutes into the second half.  Lee Jae-keun found himself in space at the top of the sixteen yard box following a failed defensive clearance and smashed a low right-footed drive into the bottom corner of the net.

Gyeongnam would get a goal back through Baek Sung-dong on 67 minutes, whose looping header found the back of the net from Jang Hyuk-jin's lofted pass over top of the Asan defense.  The visitors did their best to try to even the match before the final whistle, but were unable to do so, and Asan moved up to eighth spot in the table and out of the basement with the win.


Previous Meetings

The first time these two opponents met this season, it was a match to forget for Asan, as Suwon outclassed them by a final of 5-0.  Mo Jae-hyun and Masatoshi Ishida scored the goals in the first half, while An Byoung-jun scored a second half brace in the space of five minutes and Danilo Alves came on as second half substitute to score a fifth for the visitors that day with eleven minutes to play.

Team News

An Byoung-jun scored his eighth goal of the season for Suwon in their latest win, and continues to affirm his good form as the season heads into its second third.  Knowing that he scored two of his goals against Asan in that big win earlier in the year will likely motivate him to want to be on the score sheet once again on Saturday night.

Suwon was relentless in their approach against Seoul E-Land and did not cease going forward until the Leopards could hold the fort any longer.  Even after taking an insurmountable lead, they continued to press for more.  It has become a defining characteristic of their play under Kim Do-gyun this season and has them in the mix for automatic promotion to the top division in 2021.

The team recently announced the acquisition of 30 year old winger Kim Do-hyung, who had recent stints with Sangju Sangmu and Pohang Steelers.  

"I am pleased to join Suwon FC, and even if I have joined the club in the middle of the season, I will do my best to adjust to the conditions as quickly as possible and help the club as much as I can until the end of the year," he said.

There are no suspensions in the side, and no injuries of note, so it will be another strong side to take the pitch at home to face the Owls on Saturday night.

Thanks to their best performance of the season, three Asan players made the K League 2 Best XI for round nine: goalkeeper Lee Ki-hyun, defender and captain Jang Soon-hyuk, and midfielder Lee Jae-keun, who scored what turned out to be the winning goal.

As already made public by the league, Lee Sang-min was rendered a fifteen match suspension for a DUI which he failed to disclose, and likely will not play for the club again this season.  Other than that, there are no other players under suspension and no injuries of note, thus, there could be few changes to the side which got the club its first win last weekend.

The Adversary

Armin Mujakic will be a key man for Asan moving forward this season.
Spirits have been lifted in Asan following the team's first win of the season, and first as a citizen club in the second division.  Could it be possible that Park Dong-hyuk has found a formula which could work for him up top?  Against Gyeongnam, Philip Hellquist and Park Min-seo started on the wings with Armin Mujakic the lone striker up top, and it seemed to work well.

If the two foreigners can manage to stay healthy for the rest of the season, there is a great chance for them to continue to build chemistry both on and off the pitch as they have been doing since arriving at the club.

With regards to the first win of the season, Park Dong-hyuk had every reason to finally breathe a sigh of relief.

"The players' will to win was strong.  I know Gyeongnam is a good team in terms of their buildup play, so my game plan was to stop their development in attack and then to hit them on the counter.  We managed to score enough to win, although it is a shame that we did concede one, but I want this win to give the players confidence that they can beat strong teams like Gyeongnam," he said after the match. 

Park Dong-hyuk can finally feel a sense of relief now that Asan has their first win of the new campaign.
He also stressed the importance of being consistent in terms of the team's tactics since the beginning of the season.

"I am not the sort of coach who changes tactics frequently.  These are the things we have been working on since the beginning of the season going back to winter training camp.  If the players attend to their assigned roles as they are meant to, then we can eventually become the kind of team which is able to threaten our opponents," he concluded.

The mood has certainly been different this week leading up to their second match with Suwon, and the manager hopes it will be the beginning of more positives to come in the future.

What to Watch

Suwon is by far the most attractive squad in terms of their offensive play in the second division at the moment.  The array of talent they have at their disposal is envious, to put it one way.  

In the earlier stages of the season, Brazilian Marlone was a standout, but he has been missing in the side as he had not been named in the squad in three of the past four outings, his only action coming against Jeonnam Dragons as a second half substitute in a 2-1 win on June 28th.

Masatoshi Ishida put in a Man of the Match type performance with a goal and an assist against Seoul E-Land last weekend.
  Will he get a chance for a run out against Asan on Saturday night, or will the manager continue with Masatoshi Ishida as one of the focal points in attack?  The Japanese forward has contributed four goals this season and has really started to gel with his teammates on the pitch.  Whatever the tactical decisions will be, the\current league leaders will look to continue with their pressure-filled offensive press as they go in search of a new three points this weekend.



After a narrow loss to Jeju United last month, Suwon have rolled off three wins in a row in the league and also advanced in the FA Cup on penalties against Incheon United.  It is difficult to see a team in the second division that is able to stop them at the moment.

While a first win for Asan and moving out of the league basement can be seen as major positives for the club as they move forward, a win against their hosts this weekend is still a step too far.  They should be able to put up a better fight and should be better prepared tactically and otherwise, but getting a result may just be too tough an ask for them.

Predicted Score: Suwon FC 3-1 Chungnam Asan FC


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