For this preview, we will travel to the South Korean K2 League, the 2nd tier of South Korean football. The match we will check out will take place at Busan Gudeok Stadium, where we will see Busan IPark host FC Anyang for the opening match of the season.
Busan IPark are coming into 2019 season after yet another disappointing end of last season, where they missed the opportunity for promotion for the 2nd season in a row. But as they say, “third time’s a charm”, which is something Busan will hope is true as they step into yet another K2 season, still with the same goal in mind; return to K1. As mentioned, Busan IPark failed to get a promotion after failing to win against Seoul in the promotion/relegation playoff finals, which ended with an aggregate score of 4:2. Surprisingly enough, Busan lost the 1st leg at home 1:3, which was just too much for them to come back from in the 2nd leg. Nonetheless, Busan still had a decent season behind them, despite the fact they failed to catch up to the top 2 teams throughout the whole season.
The visiting side in this fixture, FC Anyang, much like Busan could have also hoped for a better finish of the 2018 season, where they finished 6th, only 4 points shy of reaching the 5th place, which would get them into a promotion race. The disappointing part is that FC Anyang were 5th with only 3 more rounds to go in the league, but 2 defeats against Gwangju (2:1) and Asan Mugunghwa (2:1) and a draw against Daejeon (2:2) in the last 3 games of the season were simply not enough for them to hold on to the promotion spot. last season Anyang met with Busan 4 times. out of 4 matches, Anyang only managed to grab 1 point with a draw, while the other 3 matches were won by Busan IPark.
Busan IPark are coming into this season with the same goal in mind as in the last 2 seasons and that is a promotion. Last time out they just barely missed the promotion and will hope this year will be the year they get to return to K1 after 3 long years in K2. For their first match of the season, Busan will host Anyang, who they managed to defeat 3 times out of 4 times they met last season, with an aggregate score of 11-6. Out of all the 4 games, the one that caught our attention was a 4:3 win in July, where Anyang came close to grabbing a point, but Ko Kyung-Min had other plans, as he scored a game-winning goal for Busan in the 84th minute.
This time out Busan is better prepared to face off against Anyang, with all the new signings they made in the off-season. Among others, Busan added Diego at the front and welcomed back Park Jong-woo as well as Lee Jeong-hyeop, who will all make the team much stronger compared to IPark Busan we were looking at last season. I believe Anyang will be eager to start this season better than the last, however, they have got a tough challenge in front of them, as they face the improved Busan. With the new coach and many players replaced, Anyang will need some time to get rolling, while Busan is “rolling” with full steam ahead. I would be surprised if we will watch anything else than a dominant performance from the home side and in the end a win for Busan.
Prediction: Busan IPark to win
Odds: 1.81 Pinnacle