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Preview: Sangju Sangmu vs Jeju United

K League 1 Preview: Sangju Sangmu vs Jeju United

Jeju United travel away to Sangju Sangmu this weekend following yet another loss to Daegu FC in midweek.  With their season in free fall mode at the moment, it is difficult to see when or where things will take a turn for the better.  Sangju, meanwhile, earned a draw away to Incheon United, and will finally have a chance to play at home after spending much of the season on the road thus far.  KLU's Branko Belan previews the match ahead of kickoff on Saturday evening.

Match: Sangju Sangmu vs Jeju United
Venue: Sangju Civic Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday August 18th, 2018; 19:30 KST

Last Time Out

Incheon United 0-0 Sangju Sangmu

Sangju looked very good on the ball in the first half, as they controlled the run of play for most of the first forty-five minutes, but were unable to find a way to grab the lead.  They did well to minimize Incheon's presence in their defensive third.  Moon Seon-min did come close late in the half to putting the visitors in front, but his effort was kept out by Yoon Bo-sang, and then cleared to safety.  Shim Dong-woon had to leave the match before the end of the first half because of a foot injury which opened up a considerable gash, evidenced by the amount of blood, and he was replaced by Kim Ho-nam.

Both teams had a handful of chances in the second half, but neither goalkeeper was made to work particularly hard.  Possession in the second half was a bit more evenly split between the two sides, but both teams failed to find the back of the net.  The draw sees Incheon continue to stagger near the bottom of the table, while Sangju are now only three points behind their weekend opponents.

Highlights: here

Jeju United 2-3 Daegu FC

Jeju fell to defeat once again at the hands of Daegu FC thanks to an injury time winner from Kang Yung-gu.  The first half didn't offer much in terms of offense.  Jeju threatened two minutes before the half hour to go in front, but Park Jin-po's ball into the box could not be converted by Magno.  Both teams traded chances late in the half, but the goalkeepers were up to the task.  Jin Seong-wook drove a shot at Choi Young-eun, who kept it out with his fists, and Kim Dae-won's low shot produced a fingertip save from Lee Chang-keun, as the teams went to the half scoreless.

The match came to life in the second half, with Daegu going into the lead on 63 minutes through Jung Seung-won, who turned in a rebound from Kim's shot which hit the woodwork.  Jeju were level only two minutes later thanks to Tiago, who entered the match at the hour mark for Kwon Soon-hyung.  He ran into the path of a cross in from Park Jin-po on the right flank, and his glancing header left Choi rooted to the spot as the ball flew past him into the net.  

Jeju then took the lead through Lee Dong-su in the 80th minute, when his low shot found the corner to Choi's left, but the islanders quickly squandered their advantage when Park Byung-hyun headed home from a free kick only three minutes later.  The visitors would then steal all three points one minute into injury time when Jung completed his brace with an absolute stunner from outside the box that found the top corner, and United tasted defeat once again to the team who had beaten them one month ago.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

These two sides have met already twice this season, with both matches ending in identical fashion - goalless draws.  While Jeju have a distinct advantage in terms of head-to-head, their current form has been nothing short of disastrous, and Sangju, finally playing at home, can be confident of going for a result.  Jeju only have a three point edge on their opponents, and have virtually nothing to show for themselves since a 3-2 win over Suwon which is nothing more than a distant memory now.

Team News

It really is a wonder why Tiago did not start against Daegu, as he was a constant presence after entering the match for the final half hour.  Cho Sung-hwan's decision making has been poor lately, and with negative results piling up, it won't be long before the higher-ups consider bringing in someone else, something they should have done already after Jeju were disgraced in the Champions League this year.  Should he slip up again, the match against Sangju could be his last on the islanders' sideline.  Lee Chang-keun picked up a yellow card near the end of the match, but should be available for selection on the weekend.

Kim Young-bin and Yoon Bit-garam both picked up yellow cards in the second half against Incheon, but both should be available for the match against Jeju.  Shim Dong-woon most likely will not be able to suit up as the foot injury he sustained against Incheon looked quite serious, meaning that he could be out for awhile.  He tried to play on after the injury, but was not able to get to the end of the half.

The Adversary

Sangju are a bit better than Jeju at the moment, with a win, two draws, and two losses in their last five, but after starting the season with ten consecutive matches on the road, six of their last ten will be on home ground to finish out the season before clubs are split off into the championship and relegation brackets.

With an overall record of seven wins, six draws, and ten losses, Sangju are almost assured of staying up as they are currently ten points clear of danger.  They are, however, the third lowest scoring team in the league, with only Daegu and Jeonnam scoring less.  Defensively, they have been quite strong and have shown on several occasions that they can be a really good team when in possession of the ball.  They have been a competitive outfit this season, having never really been blown out in any match up to this point, and should be given the respect they have earned across the league.


In 180 minutes of football so far, neither team has been able to find the back of the net.  There is some indication that Saturday night could tell a different story, as Jeju have looked poor defensively during their current winless run.  If Sangju can manage to maintain tempo in possession, their endeavor will surely be rewarded once and for all.

Jeju have found every possible way to lose lately, and it would not be a surprise to see them in the bottom half come the end of October.  There is not a lot of time left to turn things around, and it is safe to say that the season has been lost.  There is simply too much ground for them to make up.  

On the stretch in mid-April to mid-May, things were going well, and the team had momentum, but things have gone by the wayside since.  At this point, playing for pride is all they have left.  They will be hard pressed to get a result on the road this weekend.

Prediction: Sangju Sangmu 1-0 Jeju United

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