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Preview: FA Cup 3rd Round

Preview: FA Cup 3rd Round
The Hana Bank FA Cup has reached the third round meaning that all 10 K League 2 teams enter the fray. This Wednesday sees eight of those in action, including an all K League clash of Seongnam FC Vs Daejeon Citizen. Elsewhere, however, National League teams, K3 teams and university sides will all be looking advance into when the big boys of the K League 1 enter the competition and earn themselves a glamour tie away to one of the big hitters. 

Wednesday 28th March 2018

Yangpyeong FC vs Siheung Citizen (14:00)

Having opened their K3 Advanced (4th division) season with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Cheongju FC, Yangpyeong FC remain at Longmen Life Sports Park for their first FA Cup match of 2018. After making a decent run last year only to be halted by FA Cup darlings Mokpo City, Yangpyeong will be looking to capitalize on the momentum gained in league play and dispatch of amateur side Siheung Citizen. Though Siheung may be in the amateur ranks now, it's only been two years for them in the K3 Basic league and if their authoritative 9-0 dismantling of Fuji Xerox Korea in the opening round of the FA Cup is any indication, they are still very much a team that means business.

University of Ulsan vs Gyeongju Hydro and Nuclear Power FC (14:00)

The track record isn't great for the Uni hosts with the vast majority of their appearances in the tournament being a one and done. Most recently they fell to Yonsei University 3-0 in 2017 and failed yet again to tally a single goal in the tournament. Ulsan will be hoping for a miracle when they host National League (3rd division) side Gyeongju HNP, who have won back to back to start league play. The defending National League Champs will look to make short work of Ulsan likely giving bench players and reserves a run out to see what they might be able to contribute during the rest of the season. If all else fails, look for 2017 second top scorer Jang Baekgyu to come on late and save the day for Gyeongju.

Chuncheon FC vs Jeonju FC (15:00)

These K3 Advanced rivals come into Wednesday afternoon's affair having both lost on opening day, but undoubtedly in different spirits. Hosts Chuncheon narrowly lost out 2-1 to defending K3 Champs Pocheon at home while Jeonju was pummeled 5-0 at Gimpo Citizen. Obviously one game can be ignored, but the timing is right for Chuncheon as they look to get one over on the team that finished a spot above them in 9th during league play last season. To make matters worse for Jeonju, they haven't beaten Chuncheon since their 2013 meeting in league play. The odds are certainly stacked against the away side, but it's the Cup, so there's always a chance for magic.

Asan Mugunghwa vs Yeoju Sejong (15:00)

With the entrance of K League 2 teams into the FA Cup come the lopsided matchups like this one where promotion hopefuls Asan host K3 Basic side Yeoju Sejong. Yeoju have eked their way through the first two rounds of the Cup with just two goals from open play. Both of which came in their opening round fixture against Ajou University that required extra time to find the winner. They then went on to draw SMC Engineering FC 0-0 and win on penalties. Yeoju's reward is to square off against a police team that admittedly hasn't found their footing yet with just four goals in as many games in K2, but a team that also looks poised to challenge for the title. This match should prove a great opportunity for some of manager Park Donghyuk's reserves to stake their claim at more regular minutes in league play.

FC Anyang vs Changwon City (19:00)

Aside from 2017, Changwon almost always find themselves near the top of the National League table and will be looking at this match as a golden opportunity. 2012 was the last time Changwon was able to square off against someone higher than them in the Korean football pyramid, and back then they took K League 1 side Jeonnam Dragons into extra time before eventually losing. This Wednesday they'll look to invoke that spirit when they travel North to face an Anyang side that hasn't won a game since September of last year. Anyang have proven they can remain stout defensively in K League 2 and keep games close, but it will interesting to see how they approach a match where they're the clear favorites and should be taking the game to the opposition. If an early goal or two goes in, this could be a fun one.

Daejeon Korail vs Gwangju FC (19:00)

Daejeon Korail have started the National League season with one win and a loss, seeing them reside in fourth after only two games played. Their first match in this competition sees them welcome K League 2's Gwangju FC to the Hanbat stadium, a side who look to be finding their new surroundings outside of the top flight a lot more difficult than first anticipated. Gwangju are yet to record a win this year, having drawn three and lost one of their opening four games, scoring only one goal in the process. While they have been resolute in their defending, Gwangju's inability to find the net is concerning. An early goal for the hosts could very well set up a tense affair that could potentially wrong foot the visitors and wind up being one of the giant killings of the round.

Mokpo City vs Jungnang Chorus Mustang FC (19:00)

National League side Mokpo City return to this year's competition after being one of last year's headline stories. Their run to the FA Cup semi final saw them upset the odds in impressive style, and were only defeated by a single goal away to eventual winners Ulsan Hyundai to deny them a place in the final. Mokpo will start their cup campaign with a visit from Seoul-based Jungnang Chorus Mustang FC, a K3 Advanced side who reached this round after defeating league rivals Ichon Citizen on penalties. Despite some key talent being poached by the likes of Gwangju in the winter, Mokpo City should still feel as though they are favourites for this, especially given the division gulf between the two teams.

Cheonan City vs Jeonju University (19:00)

National League outfit Cheonan City welcome university side Jeonju University in their third round tie. The hosts have four points from two matches this season and will be hoping to maintain their positive start to the campaign as they look to retain their division title. Jeonju University enter this match off the back of a second round victory against Donggook University. The Jeonju-based team required penalties to see off their opposition and will be hesitant to face a Cheonan side who should be considered favourites.

Busan Transportation vs Chungju Citizen (19:00)

Busan Transportation enter this year's FA Cup with a home tie against recently established K3 outfit Chungju Citizen. There is an element of the unknown about the visitors, but with two divisions between the sides, it would seem likely that Busan Transportation should be feeling confident entering this clash. Chungju defeated Woosuk University and Kongkuk University to reach this stage and are yet to concede a goal. Busan however have lost their two opening matches in the National League and will be wanting to get their season into gear with a victory.

Gangneung City vs Pukyeong National University (19:00)

Gangneung City come into this match having lost their opening two games in this year's National League and will be hoping they can prevent Pukyeong National University from delivering what would be a further demoralising blow. The student side reached the third round after knocking both FC Uijeongbu and Seoul United out with two convincing 3-1 scorelines. Whilst they will remain underdogs going into this clash, the university outfit will feel quietly confident about their chances, making for a potential underdog victory.

Ansan Greeners vs Suwon University (19:00)

The Green Wolves of Ansan have began their K League 2 campaign having only tasted defeat once, a 1-0 loss to Asan Mugunghwa on the opening day. Wins over Daejeon and Anyang as well as a 0-0 draw with promotion hopefuls Seongnam will mean that Lee Heungsil's side will be full of confidence heading into Wednesday's tie with Suwon University. The students have made it to the third round by beating Dongui University on penalties following a 0-0 draw in the previous round. Ansan Greeners will be heavy favourites but should Coach Lee look to rest a few players then Suwon University may see it as an opportunity for an upset.

Gimhae City vs Cheongju City (19:30)

National League side Gimhae City enter the competition in round three and host K3 Advanced side Cheongju City. Cheongju City make it to the third round on the back of a 2-1 home win over Icheon Citizen last Saturday. Last year Cheongju were knocked out by Seongnam in the 2nd round after beating Paju Citizen on penalties following a 2-2 draw. Cheongju have never made it beyond the third round and have only reached this stage of the competition once before - in 2016 when K League 1 side Incheon United eased past them on their way into the fourth round with a 1-0 win. Gimhae, meanwhile, made it to round four in 2017 before being knocked out by Jeju United. With Gimhae in the third tier and Cheongju City already off to winning ways in the K3 Advanced (fourth tier), this could be quite an even contest and certainly one to keep an eye on.

Suwon FC vs Jungwon University (19:30)

Suwon FC may find themselves slightly relieved at the prospect of facing a university side in the FA Cup. The K League 2 club were widely tipped as favourites for promotion but, after three deserved losses and plenty of rotation, look as if they could fall far behind the chasing pack whilst they establish themselves. Jungwon University enter the tie on the back of victories over fellow students at Inju and Gwangju universities, and will be hoping to capitalise on Suwon's poor form and potentially cause one of the upsets of the round. Given the talent at their disposal though, the home side should have enough on paper to see them through

Seoul E-Land vs Korea University (20:00)

K League 2 side Seoul E-Land will play a Seoul derby of sorts, welcoming Seoul-based Korea University to Jamsil on Wednesday evening. The university side knocked out fellow Seoul-based students Soongsil University in round 2, notching up a 3-1 win. With the game being switched to Jamsil, E-Land will be seen as the favourites but the Leopards are yet to win in the league thus far this season, picking up just two points form the four games played. E-Land's record in the FA Cup doesn't make for pleasant reading either. Last year the capital club were knocked out by K3 side FC Pocheon, the year previous E-Land lost on penalties to Sungkyunkwan University following a 2-2 draw in the fourth round. E-Land faced another university side in 2015, Sunmoon University, and were the victors following a 2-0 win. But, given In Changsoo side's recent form, the K League 2 side may be in danger of suffering the humiliation of being knocked out of the competition for the third year running against non-K League opposition.

Seongnam FC vs Daejeon Citizen (20:00)

In one of only two all K League clashes in round four of the Hana Bank FA Cup, Daejeon Citizen travel to Tancheon Sports Complex to take on three time FA Cup winners Seongnam FC. Whilst Seongnam are unbeaten this term, the Magpies are yet to pick up a win in front of their own supporters. Daejeon meanwhile, have just one win in four and will be seen as rank outsiders for this clash.

Full Preview: here

Results from Rounds One & Two: here

Saturday 31st March 2018

Gimpo Citizen Vs Pyeongtaek Citizen 14:00

Whilst the majority of the third round was scheduled for Wednesday 28th March, four more ties are due to take place this Saturday. One of the two 2PM kick-offs sees Gimpo Citizen host Pyeongtaek Citizen in an all K3 Advanced clash. Gimpo got off to a lightening start to their K3 Advanced campaign, putting five past Jeonju at home on the opening day of the campaign. Pyeongtaek, however lost 2-1 away to Gyeongju Citizen in their season opener. To make it into round three Pyeongtaek eased past Yeungnam University on penalties following a 1-1 draw. Gimpo enter the competition in round three and have failed to make it any further in each of the last three seasons. Last season Gimpo were put to the sword by K League 2 side Busan IPark in a 4-0 drubbing. For this clash, Gimpo may be seen as the slight favourites but Pyeongtaek may be looking to make amends for their opening day league defeat.

Hwaseong FC Vs Yongin University 14:00

K3 Advanced outfit Hwaseong FC host Yongin University on Saturday afternoon and could have former FC Seoul forward Sim Wooyeon in their attack, after it was reported that the controversial signing was completed last week. Whilst Hwaseong enter the competition in round three, Yongin Uni entered in round one and have been in free-flowing goal scoring form. In round one, Yongin put seven past Pyeongchang before showing no mercy to thrash Jesus Hospital 8-2 in the previous round. Hwaseong kicked off their K3 season with a 1-0 win over Jungang Chorus Mustang so, despite being the favourites, the south west Gyeonggi outfit may be looking to their new signing Sim  Wooyeon to outgun a Yongin Uni side that are have amassed 15 goals in two games. Last year Hwaseong were knocked out by then K League 2 side Gyeongnam in round three but have never lost to a university side in the FA Cup. In 2017 Yongin were knocked out by Yonsei University in round two and have never made it any further than the third round. Yongin aren't shot-shy but if Hwaseong can turn their home pitch into somewhat of a fortress then the K3 side will be seen as the heavy favourites.

Paju Citizen Vs Gyeongju Citizen 15:00

Paju Citizen against Gyeongju Citizen is a K3 Basic vs K3 Advanced clash. Paju were relegated from K3 Advanced last season, finishing second bottom of the league and haven't recorded a win over Gyeongju since 2015. These sides are no strangers to each other having already met 11 times. But, despite Paju's  recent record against Gyeongju, they have picked up seven wins, with only three from Gyeongju and one draw. Their last meeting was in October last year where the game finished 0-0 in Paju. Gyeongju did get off to a winning start in K3, beating Pyeongtaek 2-1 at home but this clash may need penalties to separate the two teams.

FC Pocheon Vs Incheon University 15:00

Last year FC Pocheon put out K League 2 side Seoul E-Land with now Daejeon Citizen forward Kim Chanhee getting the only goal of the game in a 1-0 home win. In 2017 Pocheon had a good run in the FA Cup, reaching the 5th round before being knocked out by semi-finalists Mokpo City. With a home tie against a university team, the north Gyeonggi outfit will be looking to get off to another good start in this year's competition. Saturday's visitors to Pocheon Stadium, Incheon University, eased past Daegu University in round two with a 1-0 win to make it this far. Last year Incheon Uni made it to the third round but were knocked out by Bucheon 1995. Pocheon will be heavy favourites for this one and could be a side to keep an eye on as the competition progresses.

Wednesday 4th April 2018

Busan IPark Vs Bucheon 1995

The last of the third round ties is an all K League 2 clash between promotion hopefuls Busan IPark and Bucheon 1995. Both teams have started the league campaign brightly; Busan are unbeaten and sit in second place whilst Bucheon top the table with four wins from four rounds. Busan IPark made it all the way to the final last year, beating Gimpo Citizen, FC Seoul, Jeonnam Dragons and Suwon Bluewings along the way before eventually losing 2-1 on aggregate in a two-legged final to Ulsan Hyundai. Bucheon are no strangers to cup runs either; two years ago 1995 made it to the semi-finals before being narrowly knocked out by FC Seoul in a 1-0 defeat. Last year Bucheon beat Jeonbuk Hyundai for the second year running but were eventually knocked out by Sangju Sangmu in the fifth round. This one will be a tough one to call given how both sides have fared in the league thus far.

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