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Preview: Seongnam FC Vs Daejeon Citizen

Daejeon Citizen travel to Tancheon to take on Seongnam FC this Sunday in a game that sees two sides who were tipped for promotion go head to head. Instead of leading the second tier, both sides make up the bottom two with Sunday's visitors Citizen propping up the table, four points adrift of the Magpies. Whilst both teams have endured a poor start to the campaign, Seongnam have lost just once in their last five league outings. Citizen, on the other hand, have just one league win all year and will see the trip to south west Gyeonggi Province as must win game if they are to salvage their season.

Image courtesy of Facebook.com/dcfc1997

Graphic from Soccerway,com
Last Time Out

Both sides competed in the FA Cup 5th round on Wednesday evening with Seongnam (4-2-1-2-1) causing an upset thanks to a 1-0 victory away to K League Classic side Gangwon FC. The Magpies' Croatian centre back Oršulić netted the only goal of the game on 67 minutes to set up a quarter final tie with Mokpo City.

With Daejeon World Cup Stadium being used for the U20 World Cup, the Daejeon (3-4-3) found themselves in unfamiliar territory in North Chungcheon Province and at Boeun Stadium for their 5th round clash with Jeonnam Dragons.

What was familiar for Citizen, however, was the feeling of defeat as Lee Youngik's side were unable to slay the Dragons, losing 2-1 and subsequently crashed out of the FA Cup.

Hungarian forward Róbert Feczesin put Jeonnam ahead just shy of the half hour mark and sent the visitors in at half time with a 1-0 lead.

Daejeon levelled through central defender Jang Junyoung on 58 minutes before Bae Chunsuk sealed the win on 72 for the Jeolla boys.

Previous Meetings

The last time these two sides met was for Daejeon's first home game of the season in March when Citizen came from behind to secure a draw and their first point of the campaign.

Seongnam took the lead inside two minutes via an Ahn Jaejun header at the far post, the Magpies captain was unmarked and had the simple task of guiding the ball home.

On 36 minutes Daejeon were level though, thanks to Lee Hoseok who was on hand to score his second goal in Daejeon colours since joining from Gyeongnam over the winter.

On the counter attack, former Ulsan Dolphins winger Kim Jungjoo cut inside and found Lee Hoseok in acres of space on the opposite wing with a clever pass; Lee Hoseok's shot took a slight deflection to beat Seongnam goalkeeper Kim Dongjun but he didn't mind one iota.

Daejeon's last trip to Tancheon was during their ill-fated relegation season of 2015 when Seongnam comfortably dispatched Citizen in a 3-1 victory.

On a hot and humid evening in July 2015, Seongnam lead at half time thanks to a goal from Nam Junjae on 36 minutes before Yun Youngsun doubled the Magpies' lead immediately after the restart.

Hwang Euijo made it 3-0 on 58 minutes before Hwang Inbeom pulled one pack for Daejeon less than ten minutes later.

In total, Daejeon and Seongnam have faced off on no fewer than 40 occasions with Seongnam notching up 26 wins compared to Citizen's five and nine draws.

One for sorrow - The Magpies

Historically, Seongnam are Korea's most successful club with seven K League titles, three FA Cups, three League Cups and two Asian Champions League wins to their name. However, at present the Magpies are in a similar predicament to Citizen, propping up the second tier and with fans fearing that 2017 might already be a write-off.

Typically, Park Kyunghun has set his Seongnam side up with a 4-2-1-3 with one striker and two inside forwards/inverted wingers. In that respect Park has stuck with the system that he had instilled when Seongnam were relegated last season.

Forward Hwang Euijo has often operated as the main striker but has also found himself on the left side of that front three, as he was against Gangwon in the FA Cup on Wednesday evening (see left), or even behind the main striker in an advanced midfield role.

Hwang is Seongnam's top scorer with three goals so far this term and will be one for Daejeon to try and contain.

Relegation(less) six-pointer

Of course, with no risk of relegation, the game on Sunday cannot be considered a relegation "six-pointer" as such but a defeat for Citizen would see them well and truly cut adrift at the bottom and in need of a minor miracle if they are to mount any sort of promotion push this year. A win on the other hand would narrow the gap to just a point, giving the Purples with some sort of hope to cling to.

What success Seongnam have achieved, even as recently as 2010, simply has to be ignored when those clad in "bloody purple" cross that white line at Tancheon because this ought to be seen as a must-win game for Citizen. Quite, the Daejeon players need to put behind them their poor form and simply concentrate on the next 90 minutes. The mood around the club at present is one of despair and apathy, a win would do the club the world of good; not to mention under-fire boss Lee Youngik.

Lee himself will see Sundays clash as a must-win game, simply because if his beleaguered side don't get anything from Sunday evening's clash, they will be SEVEN points adrift at the bottom of the table and, depending on results elsewhere over the weekend, could be almost twenty points behind the playoff places. Such a huge gap at a relatively early stage of the season could signal the end of his time in the hot seat at Purple Arena.

Team News

Daejeon will have captain Kim Jinkyu and fellow defender Jan Junyoung back from suspension after the pair sat out the defeat to Bucheon last week. The defensive duo returned for the FA Cup defeat to Jeonnam on Wednesday and could keep their places for the trip to Seongnam,

Kang Yunsung could be involved, the midfielder who has operated predominantly as a left-sided full back in his second season as a professional, was allowed time away from the club to recover from a minor injury.

Seongnam are still expected to be without Brazilian duo Paulo Sérgio and Danilo Neco, Neco has been out of action since the 2-1 defeat to Gyeongnam in round 7 and Paulo has not featured since the 3-1 win over Cheongju City in the FA Cup the following week. The pair are said to be nearing a return but Sunday's visit of Daejeon is thought to be too soon for the pair.


Even though Seongnam will be no doubt buoyed by their win over Gangwon on Wednesday, Daejeon themselves have reason to feel somewhat encouraged after only narrowly losing to free-scoring Jeonnam Dragons. Neither team will want to lose this and I'd expect to see the teams set up accordingly; 1-1 draw.

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