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Preview: Jeju United vs Daegu FC

K League 1 Preview: Jeju United vs Daegu FC

Jeju United host Daegu FC at home on Wednesday night in K League 1 action, coming off of yet another uninspiring performance on the weekend against Pohang in a match that ended in a scoreless draw.  Daegu, meanwhile, got an important victory at home against Incheon United and are now four points clear of the relegation zone, and it seems their season could take a turn in a positive direction.  KLU's Branko Belan and Muyeol Jung sat down to discuss what's ahead for Wednesday night's encounter.

Match: Jeju United vs Daegu FC
Venue: Jeju World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: Wednesday August 15th, 2018; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Jeju United 0-0 Pohang Steelers

Jeju once again had difficulty both creating and finishing their chances in front of goal.  It wasn't until midway through the first half that they had their first sight of goal through Lee Chang-min, but his mid-range effort was kept out by Kang Hyun-moo.  Pohang's best chance came shortly after, as Kim Ji-min had space to shoot on the left side of the box, but his effort went horribly wide.  Things did not change much for the remainder of the half, with the teams goalless after the first forty-five minutes.

Jeju should have gone into the lead just a minute after the restart when Magno took a pass from Lee Dong-hee and made space to cut a ball back into the box for Tiago, but the ball flew hopelessly over the bar from point blank range.  Lee Chang-min's effort a few minutes later also did not test Kang as, it too missed the target.  

Magno jumped on a bad clearance by Kang in the 67th minute and played Ryu Seung-woo into a one-on-one with the 'keeper, but the Pohang man was able to recover and keep the ball out of the net.  Three minutes later, it was Kwon Soon-hyung's turn to join the party, as he fired wide from the top of the box after some good buid-up play initiated by Magno on the left.  

The result would have been jeopardized inside the final ten minutes had Lee Chang-keun not made a pair of saves to preserve zeroes, and Jeju got away with a nasty foul when Kang Sang-woo went down in front of goal in injury time, but the referee did not point to the spot.  With Ulsan winning against Suwon on Sunday night, the top four are now even further in the distance.  On this sort of form, it will be difficult for Jeju to make up ground.

Highlights: here

Daegu FC 2-1 Incheon United

Daegu started brightly, and were ahead after only twelve minutes, when Ryu Jae-moon took a pass from Jung Seung-won and fired a dipping shot past the outstretched hands of Lee Jin-hyung.  Go Seul-ki could have leveled proceedings for Incheon only two minutes later, but his effort from outside the box fizzed over the bar.  The rest of the first half saw both teams press forward in search of goals, but the respective defenses kept things in check and the hosts went to the break up a goal.

Daegu came out aggressively to start the second half, creating a pair of chances inside the first ten minutes.  Cesinha could have doubled his side's advantage, but Lee got down well to make the save.  Incheon would draw level just after the hour mark, when Elias Aguilar sent a ball into the box from a free kick for Gordan Bunoza to head home.  There was some contention as to whether the Bosnian defender was in an offside position, but the goal was eventually allowed to stand after a VAR review.

The setback did not dent Daegu's hopes of getting all three points, and, they were back in front only ten minutes later, when Ze Roberto was played into space.  His shot at goal struck the hand of Lee but ended up in the back of the net.  Daegu looked the more dangerous side the rest of the way, although Stefan Mugosa did have one final chance to equalize in injury time, but his shot was directly at Choi Young-eun.  The win marks the second time after the break that Daegu have won back-to-back matches following a three match losing streak.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The clubs have met twice so far this season, with each side coming away with a victory apiece.  The last time out, it was Daegu who walked away with all three points thanks to a Hong Jeong-woon header from a corner two minutes from time.

Jeju, however, have the overall advantage in meetings between the two clubs, winning eleven to Daegu's four, with three draws between them, all while averaging close to two goals a game.  With both teams on different fortunes, however, this one could be very close to call.

Team News

Jeju are now winless in seven, and things are quickly starting to get out of hand, as the top four have created even more distance between them and the rest of the table.  Goals continue to be lacking, and questions are starting to surface as to when the crisis will come to an end.  Not even the strike partnership of Magno and Tiago was able to solve Pohang's defense on Saturday night.  

For the second time this season, Cho Sung-hwan's job security is being called into question.  Jeju started very slowly in the beginning of the season, but now in a similar rut, it may already be too late to save the season.  It is possible that the players are no longer buying into his philosophy.  If the current string continues, Jeju may have to make a change on the sideline.  In terms of suspensions, Kim Won-il will be out as he serves the rest of his suspension for his sending off in the match against FC Seoul, while Jeong Tae-wook will return to the squad in September after the Asian Games.

For Daegu, one of their weaknesses has been on the right wing.  Andre tested out a few players at the position, and seems to have found the answer by deploying Jung Woo-jae from the left side while Kang Yun-koo took his place.  Kang started to feature a few games ago, and he has clearly proved to be solid on the left. 

Ahead of this game, Daegu have no players ruled out through suspension.  However, Jo Hyun-woo will not return to the team until after the Asian Games, and Edgar and Cho Suk-jae are also likely to miss out again with unspecified injuries.

The Adversary

Andre’s lads have sailed smoothly having won three in a row, including their 8-0 FA Cup win in midweek against Yangpyeong FC, since being defeated 3-1 by Jeonbuk on July 29th..  The winning goal from Zé Roberto jumped Daegu to 10th place, four points ahead of Incheon and Jeonnam. 

For Daegu, what does sound like music to the ears is the fact that Zé Roberto has now scored three games in a row.  In circumstances where Edgar is side-lined and Cho Suk-jae is out for unknown reasons, Zé Roberto is the only possible option at centre-forward.  Actually, he is certainly better on the wing, but it's inspiring to note that he seems to have adapted to the position and has grown in confidence.  Besides, Kim Dae-won and Jung Seung-won tend to link up well with Zé Roberto on the counter attack.  Just behind them, Daegu’s hero Cesinha backs them up.


Daegu come into the match with momentum on their side, while Jeju have completely fallen away in the past five weeks.  Currently, the difference between them is obvious - Daegu are winning; Jeju are not.  Daegu are scoring; Jeju are not.

A lack of goals, and what looks like a lack of motivation of late will not translate into better results at any time in the near future for the islanders.  They are a far cry from the side that tore through the middle portion of the season last year to mount a title charge, only to fall short with a few matches to go after being disposed of by Jeonbuk on their home ground by a count of 3-0.

Daegu on the other hand will do everything possible to stay up, and based on their recent results, they have the personnel to do it.  With both teams going in different directions at the moment, it would be no surprise to see them come away from the island with all three points.

Prediction: Jeju United 1-2 Daegu FC  

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