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Asan Look to Carry Momentum in Away Trip to Anyang

Following their midweek cup success, Chungnam Asan have now won four matches in a row in both the league and the FA Cup.  Facing them next is an away trip to FC Anyang, where they face a Violets' side on a good run of form of their own.  Matches between the two clubs have mostly been tightly contested, and with both looking competitive out of the gates, Sunday afternoon's encounter should be no different.  KLU's Branko Belan previews the match.

Match: FC Anyang vs Chungnam Asan 
Venue: Anyang Sports Complex
Kickoff: Sunday April 18th, 2021; 13:30 KST

Recent Form

Impressive Cup Success Maintains Violets' Momentum

FC Anyang have been playing very well of late, with their signature win coming against Incheon United in the third round of the FA Cup in midweek.  They also defeated Busan IPark 2-1 in their most recent league match, coming from a goal behind to take all three points.  Nilson Junior scored for Anyang inside the first ten minutes against Incheon and Jeong Jun-yeon and Ha Seung-woon scored in the second half to secure a convincing victory and progress to the fourth round.

Their latest league match saw them come from behind against Busan IPark as an An Byoung-jun 17th minute penalty strike was answered by Kim Kyung-jung's 36th minute leveler and Mo Jae-hyun's go-ahead goal just four minutes after the break that turned out to be the winner.  Only three points separate the sides heading into the weekend, making the contest one to look out for in Round Seven.

Owls Continue to Fly

It's now four wins in a row in both the cup and the league for Chungnam Asan, as they enter Sunday's action on the heels of a last-ditch 1-0 victory against Seoul E-Land last weekend, followed by a win by an identical margin against Ansan Greeners in the third round of the FA Cup, avenging an earlier season loss to the Green Wolves in the process.  Kim In-kyun found the back of the net with virtually the last kick of the ball against the Leopards, while Matheus Alves scored his first goal in Asan colors, dispatching the ball into the goal just minutes into the second half on Wednesday night.

Park Dong-hyuk's men have looked solid so far this year but will have to play equally well against Anyang to keep their momentum moving in the right direction.  They have already surpassed the expectations of many to this point in 2021 but know that they are now a club that can compete with the rest of the teams in the division.  Anyang have been a bit of a thorn in their side in recent years, all the more reason for them to get a result in the upcoming fixture.

Team News

FC Anyang

Anyang will look to draw level on points with Asan on Sunday afternoon.
Nilson Junior will be a critical piece to Anyang's success this weekend as he has been since his arrival at the club.  Primarily a defender, he is capable of going forward in attack and chipping in with a goal or two from time to time.  He was a big reason why Anyang was able to turn the match around against Busan last weekend, negating IPark's movement into the attacking third for prolonged periods during the match.  He has played well against Asan in his career and will look to do so again on Sunday.

From an attacking standpoint, Mo Jae-hyun leads the team with two goals so far this year and captain Joo Hyun-woo can be looked at as one of their creative forces in midfield.  After missing the first match of the season due to fitness concerns, Costa Rican center forward Jonathan Moya has played the full ninety minutes in each of the past two matches and will be looking to get his name on the scoresheet for his new club in the league against Asan.  He did score in Anyang's 5-1 second round FA Cup victory against Cheonan City but has yet to register in the second division.

There are no suspensions in the side, and the expectation is that Lee Woo-hyung will stick with his 5-4-1 setup with fullbacks moving up to support the attack whenever possible.

Chungnam Asan

After the departure of Lee Jae-gun from the club due to a drunk driving charge and subsequent suspension, Ryohei Michibuchi's future with the Owls is in serious question as well.  He was charged with domestic violence in Japan last year but the club still proceeded to sign him in the winter transfer window.  According to a media source, his contract has been terminated, but he is still listed as a squad player for the time being, signaling the possibility of potential legal issues in the near future, something the club can ill afford if they are to remain focused on the season and continued progress with the current campaign.

The availability of Alex Sandro this weekend may be in doubt also, due to the recent passing of his father.  He missed out on the cup tie in midweek and may take more time to be with his family.  If that turns out to be the case, increased minutes for last weekend's hero, Kim In-kyun or Park Min-seo could be in order.  There are no suspensions and it is not expected that there will be too many changes to the regular matchday lineup.

What to Watch

Can Asan Get a First League Win Against Anyang?

Last year was Chungnam Asan's first season in the second division as a citizen club and Anyang took seven of a possible nine points in the head to head matchup.  If the Owls are going to remain a contender in the weeks to come, that is something that has to change immediately.

Park Dong-hyuk knows he has a capable group at his disposal and the recent performances have been motivating to say the least.  Holding out against a very potent and competent Seoul E-Land side that had only conceded once in the league going into play last weekend and snatching a late winner in the process shows that the club has finally tackled the learning curve and is now in a position to be relevant again for the first time since winning the league crown in 2018 when they were still the Mugunghwa military club.

Lee Ki-hyun in goal has been a critical piece of the early season success as has Choi Kyu-baek in anchoring the back line.  Park Se-jik has shown himself to be a dependable captain, steering the club through the recent controversy with his play on the pitch and leadership off of it, while a variety of players have contributed offensively.  It is still very much a work in progress, but progress has been made in leaps and bounds since the end of last year.  If they are able to clean up their internal affairs and be able to concentrate solely on football, they could be a factor in the months to come.

Who to Watch

Kim In-kyun - Chungnam Asan

Kim In-kyun could be in for a bigger role for the Owls in the matches to come.
The goal hero against Seoul E-Land should see his playing time increase considerably not just owing to late game heroics against the Leopards but because of his overall performances this year.  He also scored in the 4-0 rout of Busan IPark earlier in the campaign and was one of the few bright lights for the team in their inaugural season.  

Yet to crack the starting eleven this season, that should change in the near future and could be as early as this weekend.  According to Transfermarkt, he has only played nine percent of the team's total minutes this year, but his goal participation stands at forty-two percent.  He has clearly proven himself to be an asset and is a player who can be counted on to contribute clutch minutes in close matches.

Initially listed as a left back, he is keen on making runs on the flank to open up scoring opportunities for players around him and has a knack of finding himself in scoring positions as was the case when he scored his winner last weekend.  He is definitely one to look out for and will likely develop into a key man as the season progresses.

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