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Preview: Suwon Bluewings vs FC Seoul


The biggest clash of the weekend sees high flying Suwon Bluewings face an FC Seoul side who have looked to have realised the gravity of the situation they are in, and are now making a late push for the highly coveted ACL spots. The third 'Super Match' of the season should prove to be an interesting affair. Whilst Suwon may have been busy midweek, needing extra time to overcome Gwangju in the FA Cup, they are still very much the form team coming into this game. FC Seoul's most recent outing on the other hand, saw them give up the lead twice to a resilient Daegu side, eventually resulting in a disappointing 2-2 draw. As usual with these matches, expect yet another tense affair.
(Photo courtesy of www.bluewings.kr)

Last Time Out

Despite going a goal down, Suwon were able to keep their pursuit of a league and cup double alive when they overcame a spirited Gwangju side in the FA Cup quarter finals on Wednesday evening.

In what was a tight and even game, Gwangju took a deserved lead in the 57th minute of the game when a quick breakaway resulted in the ball falling to an unmarked Cho Ju-young in the area and the forward cooly finished to give the away team the lead. However, shortly after that goal Gwangju abandoned the game plan that had given them an unlikely lead and instead engaged in 30 minutes of gamesmanship, and they were made to pay for that in the 86th minute. A Yeom Ki-hun corner fortuitously fell to Santos in the penalty area and the forward made no mistake to send the tie into extra time.

Suwon went from strength to strength in added time and should have scored more than the one goal they managed to in the 115th minute. Some smart play out wide from Kim Min-woo found the full-back in space and his beautifully whipped cross was met at the near post by Santos to send Suwon into the semi-finals of the cup and continue their impressive recent form.

Meanwhile, last Saturday, Seoul once again struggled in the heat of Daegu and followed up their April loss in the southern city with another disappointing draw against relegation threatened Daegu FC. Seoul began the game well enough when an excellent turn and shot from the edge of the area from Dejan Damjanovic saw Seoul take a 1-0 lead in the 5th minute. However, Some poor defending and hesitant goalkeeping allowed Daegu a way back into the game when Seoul failed to clear a corner effectively and Kim Jin-hyeok sent a weak header into the corner of the goal to level the game up.

Seoul went onto take the lead again after some superb one touch passing set Yun Il-lok up and his firm shot found the net courtesy of a slight deflection from an on-rushing Daegu defender. But once again, Daegu leveled the score through a set-piece situation in the 86th minute. Han Hee-hoon outran the whole Seoul backline and superbly attacked a teasing in swinging ball from Cesinha and handed Daegu a point that they thoroughly deserved and left Seoul to ponder what might have been.

Previous Meetings

Super Matches are often characterised as tense and the games of recent years have done nothing to alter that characterisation. Infact it is now almost 2 years since a game between these two teams saw a winning scoreline by more than a single goal.

Suwon's last Super Match win came during last season's FA Cup final when a Yeom Ki-hun cross found it's way past a despairing Yoo Hyun to hand Suwon a 2-1 win over their rivals whilst Seoul's last win came less than 2 months ago when they overcame Suwon 2-1 thanks to goals from Ha Dae-sung and Yun Il-lok.

Who To Watch

Given Seoul's reliance upon his goals most people may expect me to mention Dejan's name in this column, but rather than focus upon the main goalscorer it may advisable for Suwon to pay extra attention to the man who secured Seoul's win at Suwon in June with a superb half volley; Yun Il-lok.

This season, the winger has forced his way into the starting 11 more regularly and the regular game time has seen him hit new heights as a player. With a total of 10 assists to his name he comfortably leads the way as the leading assist maker in the league, and he has also impressively chipped in with a few important goals along the way.

His dynamic wing play, coupled with Dejan's goals, have been the two bright points in a stuttering Seoul season and without his contribution Seoul may find themselves closer to the bottom of the table than they currently are. Such outstanding displays for his club have led to some commentators calling for a return to the national team, and with 2 important World Cup qualifiers around the corner that international recognition may just be on the horizon.

Prediction

Suwon's extra time victory over Gwangju on Wednesday night certainly wasn't a perfect way to prepare for a huge Super Match, and the tired legs of the Suwon players may well be a huge factor in the game. However, although Seoul have improved their standing in the table over recent weeks, their performances still remain lifeless and mistake riddled, whilst Suwon continue to go from strength to strength in their push to reduce the gap between themselves and Jeonbuk at the top of the table.

But this is a Super Match and besides from the odd strange result these games are usually tight and settled by a single goal. Suwon have the players on form and the fire power to trouble a leaky Seoul defence. But Seoul equally have their own fire power in the form of Dejan and Yun Il-lok and ultimately this game will hinge on which of the big names can produce a moment of special quality.

Suwon 1-1 Seoul

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