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Preview: Chungnam Asan FC vs Ansan Greeners

Chungnam Asan host Ansan Greeners this weekend following their 2-0 victory over Bucheon FC 1995 last weekend.  Ansan, meanwhile, fell 1-0 to Seoul E-Land and have now fallen to the foot of the table once again.  Will the Owls be able to build on their success last time out or will the Green Wolves throw a wrench into their plans?  KLU's Branko Belan previews the match.

Match: Chungnam Asan FC vs Ansan Greeners
Venue: Yi Sun Shin Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday September 5th, 2020; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Bucheon FC 1995 0-2 Chungnam Asan FC

Things could not have gotten off to a worse start for the hosts as they went a man down after only three minutes thanks to a last man two-footed challenge from Cho Beom-seok on Kim Chan.  Despite the man advantage, Asan could not make it count for most of the half but did manage to go in front just minutes before the break courtesy of an own goal from Gam Han-sol, who directed the ball into his own net following a cross from the right flank which was fumbled by Choi Bong-jin, whose form has dipped considerably of late.

The second half was frantic in spots, and Bucheon really should have benefitted from a spell of chaos in the Asan penalty area just before the hour mark, but an initial chance on goal hit the post and eventually fell to Jefferson Baiano, who sent his point blank effort wide of the post.  The visitors would make their opponents pay on 77 minutes when Bruno got their second following a move down the left which saw Lee Jae-keun's initial attempt save following a cross from the flank, and the Brazilian was there to put home the rebound.  There would be no changes to the scoreline until the final whistle, and the win means that Asan temporarily move out of the league basement with a one point edge on their visitors this weekend.


Ansan Greeners 0-1 Seoul E-Land

The first half between the Green Wolves and the Leopards had its moments with both teams having chances to take the lead.  Yeon Jei-min could have put the hosts in front on 22 minutes with a slick volleyed effort from a corner, but Kim Hyung-keun got down well to his right to deny the chance.  Seven minutes later, it was E-Land's turn to pose a threat, but Kim Min-kyun was denied in close by Kim Sun-woo.  The visitors looked to have grabbed the advantage only minutes later when Won Ki-jong was played in and put the ball into the net, but it was called back for offside although the replay suggested otherwise.

Both teams struggled to find their footing in the second half.  E-Land had a second goal called back for offside when Leandro tapped in from a corner on 69 minutes, but it was a sign of things to come.  It was Leandro himself who would start the move which would lead to the winner with just minutes remaining.  His sprint down the left drew a defender allowing him to slide a ball to the right side of the box for Kim Su-an who had his attempt saved, but Choi Jae-hoon was on the spot to head in the rebound.  The decision went to VAR, but the goal was allowed to stand, and Seoul E-Land took all three points at the final whistle.


Previous Meetings

The sides have met only once previously this season, back in June at the Wa Stadium when it finished in a 1-1 draw.  Choi Geon-joo had Ansan in front after only eleven minutes, but Armin Mujakic was able to knot the score at one ten minutes before halftime.  Neither side was able to find anything after the break and a point apiece was the best either club could hope for based on their respective performances on the night.  

Team News

Bruno was the only foreign player in Park Dong-hyuk's starting eleven last weekend against Bucheon.  It paid off with the Brazilian scoring the goal to seal three points.  Swedish striker Philip Hellquist has not been in the squad in each of the past two matches, which is a bit of a curiosity as there has been no indication that he is injured.  It could just be a case of rotation rather than a case of him suddenly falling out of favor as he recently had a stretch that saw him net four goals in seven matches.

One player who has been a major disappointment is Kim Chan.  The twenty-year old striker on loan from K League 1 side Pohang Steelers has only managed one goal and one assist in fifteen appearances at the club in 2020.  Of those fifteen appearances, eight of them have been starts, and his numbers will have to improve in a big way soon if he is to see more playing time as the season rolls to a close.

The clean sheet victory was the first-ever for Chungnam Asan as a citizen club.

"I really appreciate the players.  They showed dedication in the match and wanted to win.  They prepared with a good attitude.  The defenders played well and were determined not to concede a goal.  I hope that we will continue to play like this and prepare for the upcoming matches with confidence," he said at a press conference following the match.

Park Dong-hyuk will be hoping for a reversal of fortune as Asan seek only their second home win of the season this weekend.

The win also snapped a four match losing streak, but the manager is aware of the importance of the upcoming fixture.

"Recovery is the most important thing.  Most of the players are playing full time.  Since this match [against Bucheon] is over, I will organize my thoughts on the day off so that we can finish this part of our schedule with six points from the two matches," he added. 

Lee Sang-min continues his suspension for a league infraction earlier in the season but the rest of the squad should be available for selection.  Park has been using some of the younger players in recent matches, so it remains to be seen if that will continue or if he will rely on the more experienced players in the squad this weekend.

Felipe Augusto returned for Ansan against Seoul E-Land, but was mostly a non-factor.  He has only managed two goals and two assists this season, well below expectations for a club that some thought would at least be in the conversation for a playoff spot at the beginning of the year despite a high rate of player turnover in the off-season.

There are no suspensions in the side, and no injuries of note.  Soony Saad started in the previous match and could once again get the call on the wing in midfield.  After a decent spell earlier in the season which saw him make five straight appearances, it would be a good idea to increase his playing time at this juncture in the campaign in order to raise his value on the market if he does in fact leave the club at the end of the season.

The Adversary

Shim Jaemin in action for Ansan against Baek Dong-gyu of Jeju United.

Ansan Greeners have had a season to forget in 2020 after coming up just one point shy of a playoff spot last season.  With only three wins to their credit, there is little to look forward to for them as the season slowly draws to a close.  Their greatest hope is that they do not finish bottom of the table, and that is why their match with Asan this weekend carries a lot of importance, or at least it should.

Luck may not be on their side come Saturday evening, however, as each of their wins this season have been followed by five match winless runs.  They are currently winless in four and with their opposition picking up a big win last weekend, one would think that the Owls would like to establish a bit of momentum with another result.  Even more worrying is the fact they have only scored one goal in the past five matches and have only found the net on nine occasions overall in seventeen matches.  Then, there is the issue of confidence, which is most likely lacking, although they did put on a fighting performance last weekend.  Losing the way they did, though, may have deflated their morale even further, suggesting that a result in Round 18 might just be out of reach.

What to Watch

Asan's home record this season has been abysmal with just one win against seven losses to this point in the campaign.  Their home form has suffered greatly since the championship winning season as Asan Mugunghwa in 2018.  Their first three home matches produced three losses where they were outscored 7-0 by Bucheon, Suwon FC and Seoul E-Land back in May.

Their only home match in June was a 2-0 loss to Jeju United.  Their only home win of the season came in early July against Gyeongnam FC, which was also their first league win of the season.  Since then, they have been outscored 6-1 in three losses, meaning they have scored all of three goals at home this season.  That sort of form suggests that it will be difficult for them to buck the trend, but something will have to give if they want to avoid defeat.


With the sides separated by a solitary point, both have something to play for in this match.  But, all of Ansan's wins have come away from home, the most recent and most notable against Suwon FC at the beginning of last month.  Both teams are coming off solid performances, although Asan had the benefit of a man advantage for the majority of the match last weekend and Ansan conceded late on to miss out on at least a point.  Having already played to a draw in their previous meeting, it would be safe to say that the outcome this time around may not be much different.

Predicted Score: Chungnam Asan FC 1-1 Ansan Greeners


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