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Hwaseong FC v FC Seoul FA Cup Preview

Hwaseong celebrating their first trophy last year (www.kfa.or.kr)

Tonight, FC Seoul journey down to Hwaseong Stadium, which seats over 35 K, to take on Hwaseong FC in the FA Cup.  Hwaseong FC, which is in the K3 League, is a massive underdog so it is expected that Seoul will win.  However, should FC Seoul walk in expecting this, then a massive upset could be in the making.  Hence, the "magic" of the FA Cup.  

Hwaseong FC

They are located in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi-do, which is on line 1  (Byeongjeom Station).  According to Wikipedia, Hwaseong has the largest farmland of any city or county in Gyeonggi-do and in 2016, Universal Studios was suppose to open their largest theme park there.  However, the project was put on hold in 2014.  I am not sure what the status is as of now.  

Also, according to Wikipedia, Cha Du-ri's father, Cha Bum-kun is a notable resident there.  He was recognized as Asia's player of the century and is the Korean national team's all time leading scorer.  Also, he has played for three clubs in the Bundesliga.

Hwaseong FC was founded in 2013.  They finished runner's up in their first year and won the league in their second.  They currently lead Group B, having won 11 of 12, and have not lost in nine games.  

In the FA Cup, Hwaseong FC's history is short.  In their first year out, 2014, they were knocked out by Suwon City 4-3 in the second round.  In my opinion, that is a decent showing against a K-League Challenge side.

This year, Hwaseong has beat three teams in the FA Cup so far.  They defeated fellow K3 League team Yangju Citizen 3-0.  Afterwards they knocked out two teams in the Korea National League, which is one tier above them.  They beat both Mokpo City and Changwon City 2-0.  I believe this shows that this is not a team for Seoul to sleep on.  


Not happy memories (modernseoul.org)

FC Seoul

If you are reading this, then you most likely know the history of Seoul and where they play, so I won't go into that.  I will say a bit about Seoul's FA Cup history.  In short, the FA Cup competition has not been kind to Seoul.

When they played as the Anyang LG Cheetahs, they won the FA Cup in 1998.  In 2014, they were the runner-ups last year, losing to Seongnam on penalties.  Of course, if Escudero somehow conspires to shoot into the open net rather than missing twice, Seoul are probably the current champions.

Instead Choi Soo-yong opts to play for penalties.  He switches out Kim Yong-dae for Yun Sang-hun since Yun Sang-hun saved penalties against Pohang in a an earlier competition and he saw LVG do this with the dutch team.  He also saved Molina until the end so he could take a penalty, but both moves backfired.  Instead, Yun Sang-hun didn't save anything, but Molina's penalty was and Seongnam are the current champions.

Other than that, they have done nothing of note in this competition.  In 2010 they were beaten in the last sixteen by Busan 2-1.  In 2011, they lost to Pohang 4-2 in the quarters.  In 2012, Suwon beat Seoul at home 2-0 in the round of sixteen and in 2013 Busan beat Seoul at home, again, 2-1 in the quarterfinals.  Before last year, the quarterfinals was as far as they had been in the last ten years.

So yeah, in their long and storied history, Seoul has not had much to show in the FA Cup.  They have won the League Cup twice and were runners up in AFC Champion's League in 2013, but that is all they have to show in cup competitions.  Maybe this is the year things will change.

Tonight's line-up will be made up of youngsters.
Line-up

I expect that Seoul will give many of their younger players or those who have not played in a while a run out.  I expect that veterans such as Yun Il-lok, Kim Hyun-sung, Kim Min-hyeok, Lee Seok-hyun, Kim Nam-chun, and legendary keeper Kim Yong-dae will make the line up for the game.  I can't imagine anyone who played in Saturday's game being run out onto the field with Saturday's upcoming Super Match.



Prediction

Last time out, Seoul beat Gyeongju KHNP 3-0.  However, that scoreline was flattering since they didn't score the last two goals until the end.  I expect that it will be just as close this time as well.

Seoul will win, but they will struggle to create anything of note.  Hwaseong FC seem like a decent side going forward, will probably nick a goal, but will not be able to stop Seoul from scoring two.

Final Score: Seoul 2- 1 Hwaseong FC










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