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FA Cup Preview: Mokpo City FC vs Daegu FC

FA Cup Preview: Mokpo City vs Daegu FC Korean FA Cup Quarter Final
With the hope of getting into top six in K League 1 still mathematically alive, Daegu FC will make the long trip to the southwest coast for the FA Cup quarterfinal clash against Mokpo FC. Will Andre’s lads progress to the semi-finals, or could the National League side pull off another upset in the tournament? Daegu FC Correspondent Muyeol Jung previews this midweek cup clash.
(image via K League)

Last Time Out

Just a year after Mokpo City made it to semi-finals of the FA Cup, in which they were eliminated by Ulsan Hyundai, they have got to this stage in the tournament after beating K League 1 side Incheon United 2-1 away, following a 2-1 win over FC Anyang of K League 2. The team from the south western harbour city travelled up north to take on Incheon in the fifth round of the campaign where they were trailing 0-1 at half time, but from the second half, the National League side came out and attacked with a little more aggression. Substitute Kim Sang-wook equalised with a header and before adding his second with a lovely free-kick just before final whistle was blown. Now last year's semi-finalists will be hoping for a similar feat come Wednesday afternoon.

Highlights: here

Daegu made the short trip to the east coast of Korea to face off against a Championship Split contenders Pohang Steelers. From the beginning, it was Daegu who were dominating and threatening to open the scoring, while the hosts were sitting deep and trying to make the best use of Kim Seung-dae on the counter. Daegu’s back four was not working well, particularly centre back Hong Jung-woon who lost one or two individual battles to local boy Kim Seung-dae, resulting in Pohang's number 12 facing Jo Hyun-woo one on one on a couple of occasions. However, Jo incredibly made some crucial saves.

Just three minutes into the second half, Pohang legend Kim Kwang-seok stepped up to break the deadlock, finding a way to pass through Daegu’s guardian with a lovely header. Afterwards, the Sky Blues responded quickly with a substitution after going 0-1 down. On 61 minutes, towering Brazilian Edgar equalised with a brilliant header just a few minutes after a penalty decision was overruled by VAR due to handball. But, Pohang took the lead again with Lee Jin-hyun’s goal just after Jo Hyun-woo superbly denied Kim Seung-dae’s effort from the spot. Daegu kept on putting the ball into the box in the air, but failed to add more.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The two teams have never clashed ever before in any competition. However, Daegu have met National League teams seven times in FA Cup with four wins and three embarrassing defeats. Against lower league opposition, Daegu have lost to Gimpo Hallelujah 2004, who went onto become the now defunct Goyang HiFC, a 1-0 loss to Suwon City (now Suwon FC in 2010, and a 2011 loss to Ulsan Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Dolphins but have victories over Gyeongju KHNP and Gangneung amongst others.

Team News


In a post-match interview after Daegu beat Yangpyeong FC 8-0 in the previous stage of the tournament, Sky Blues manager, Andre, expressed his willingness to fight on all fronts with 100% commitment.

However, worryingly for the Brazilian, some first team players seem to be fatigued due to a lack of squad rotation. On Sunday, Daegu’s pressure was not as agile nor as tight as before and seemed the team seemed to lose the ball a bit too easily, letting themselves become outnumbered near the box at the drop of the hat. In the past three games Daegu have conceded two goals in each; to Sangju, Gyeongnam and Pohang. If Jo Hyun-woo hadn't have been in goal, it could have been more than two goals in previous game as the Korean international put on an impressive display.

Another problem is that bench offers quite little as Ze Roberto is out of the season and other attackers such Cho Seok-jae, Jeon Hyun-chul, and Jung Sun-ho have hardly featured. The most frequently used option from the bench is attacking midfielder Park Han-bin, who makes regular substitute appearances. Andre might give these fringe players a chance, whilst leaving some of his more key players on the bench. Therefore, a few changes in selection are to expected, especially given that  there is one very important match against Incheon United coming up ahead of the international break.

Meanwhile, Daegu players could face their former club; Hwang Soon-min from 2010 and Kang Yoon-ku from 2017. Particularly Kang was one of the honourable members who have gone through semi-finals of FA Cup in 2017. For him in particular this fixture will be something quite memorable.

The Adversary

The Harbour city team sit in fourth in the National League table out of eight teams. Given that there is 17 points gap between them and third, they do not look like one of the league's strongest teams. However, Mokpo look different in FA Cup competition in which they made it to semi-finals last year.

A 5-3-2 formation was used against Incheon in a game which was approached the with a number of bold mid-range shots: Mokpo were were willing to shoot on sight of goal without hesitation.
Key players in squad are towering striker Kim Young-wook, skilful attacker Kim Sang-wook, former Jeju United striker, Shim Young-sung, and Japanese midfielder, Tatsu. Kim Young-wook and Kim Sang-wook scored 14 goals together this season. Kim Sang-wook, tops on the scoring charts with 10 goals, and will be troublesome for Daegu as well as the Japanese midfielder, Tatsu, who showed good skill and shooting accuracy.

Prediction

This game is likely to be played at a high intensity and competitiveness from both sides, but given the quality foreign players who Daegu have at their disposal, the K League 1 side should knock Mokpo out of the competition with a narrow win.

Mokpo City FC 1-2 Daegu FC










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