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FA Cup: No repeat for Seongnam; Incheon victorious on the island

While Jeonnam and FC Seoul claimed victories in the 2015 Korean FA Cup quarterfinals, there were two other matches that will taking place that would determine the make-up of the final four. Holders Seongnam took on struggling Ulsan Hyundai, while Incheon's stern defense faced off against Jeju's vibrant attack.

Seongnam FC 1:2 Ulsan Hyundai (AET)
Both managers recognized the importance of this tournament, with neither team realistically expected to crack the top three of the K League this season. Seongnam opted to leave Park Yong=ji and new signing Javier Reina on the bench, while Ulsan also started their regulars, with no room in the first XI for Croatian new signing Ivan Kovacec. Server Djeparov did not start the match for unclear reasons, while in defense there was a minor shift with Im Chang-woo moving out from centreback to fullback, after playing in central defense for the last two league games.

Seongnam started the better of the two sides, with Kim Do=heon being at his influential best, and Nam Jun-jae constantly breaking the Ulsan lines with excellent timing and frustratingly pinpoint runs on the left wing. However, Kim could not take his chances, opening the door for Ulsan to take a hold on the encounter. A longball down the pitch (not to Kim Shinwook, a rarity for the Wookie-dependant Tigers) was found it's target, and poor physicality by Yoon Young-seon allowed the ball to find Kim Tae-hwan. The speedy former Seongnam player curled the ball past Park Jun-hyuk, but refused to celebrate against his former club, with whom he won the Korean FA Cup last season.

But the hosts found a way back into the match in a fortunate manner. A corner kick was whipped out into deep to Kim Do-heon, who volleyed the ball into the box, where Hwang Ui-jo redirected the ball into the net with a timely header. Once again, Seongnam had several more crucial opportunities after the break off of setpieces and from open play, but Kim Seung-gyu would not be beaten. On the other side, Park Jun-hyuk needed to make a reaction save in the latter stages of the second half which could have sent his team packing.

Extra time was indeed needed, and new signings graced the pitch. And while former Seongnam Ilwha Chunma player Javier Reina made his debut for the now citizen incarnation of Seongnam's football franchise, he was unable to find any chemistry with any of the tired legs on the pitch. It was indeed the other new signing, Ivan Kovacec, for Ulsan, showing that he could not just function as a target man like Kim Shin-wook, but he also was quick and had an eye for goal. Receiving the ball in the 93rd minute off of a long ball, he beat one defender and fired a rocket of a shot into the top corner of the net. Park Jun-hyuk was helpless, a save that no ordinary keeper in the K League would be able to make.

New signing Ivan Kovacec was the hero for Ulsan Hyundai

 Hwang Ui-jo nearly curled a dramatic last chance equalizer in the 119th minute, but it was not to be, as Seongnam lost their aspirations of a Korean FA Cup repeat, and if that wasn't disappointing enough, lost centreback Yoon Young-seon to injury, which could potentially set the Magpies not one but two key centrebacks down (along with long-term injury Im Chaemin). For Yoon Jung-hwan and Ulsan, it is a key victory that still keeps their fans hope of qualifying for the Asian Champions League despite their abysmal league position.

Jeju United 0:2 Incheon United (AET)
In a match without streaming, highlights or even a recap or a god damn match report from the KFA, Jeju United squared off against Incheon United in Seogwipo. The Neoazzurri of Korea were the citizen club's only hope of holding onto the Korean FA Cup and keeping it away from chaebol hands. In similar fashion to their meeting earlier this month, both teams were locked in a 0-0 stalemate after 90 minutes. However, Jeju's defense finally gave, with fullback Kwon Wangyu scoring a mere two minutes into the additional periods, while Kim Dohyeok sealed the deal for the visitors in the 107th minute. Incheon will make a return to the semi-finals for the first time since 2007 and will hope to reach the grand finale for the first time in their club's history in September.

권완규 득점에 환호하는 인천선수들
The KFA gave us a photo at least, to prove the game actually happened...


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