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FA Cup Quarter-Final Preview: Suwon Bluewings vs Jeju United

FA Cup Quarter-Final Preview: Suwon Bluewings vs Jeju United


Suwon Bluewings host Jeju United in the quarter-final stage of the FA Cup at the Big Bird on Wednesday night, their match having been re-scheduled due to Suwon's semi-final fixture away to Kashima Antlers on October 3rd.  With the K League title already decided, both clubs will look to continue on the path to getting their hands on a piece of silverware to diminish the disappointment both teams have endured this season.  KLU's Branko Belan previews the match.

Match: Suwon Samsung Bluewings vs Jeju United
Venue: Suwon World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: Wednesday October 17th, 2018; 19:30 KST

Last Time Out

Cheonan City 2-4 Suwon Bluewings (A.E.T.)

Suwon's form in the cup this season has been admirable to say the least, as their performance away to Cheonan City in the Round of 16 would attest to.  A Dejan Damjanovic hat trick was more than enough to secure passage to the final eight, even though their National League opponents put up a resolute fight.

It was the home side who nudged in front just before halftime as Cho Eee-rok netted on 45 minutes, but there was little doubt that the K League 1 side would stay down for long.  A trio of second-half substitutions with Yeom Ki-hun, Damjanovic, and Elvis Saric all entering the fray in the second forty-five turned the tide markedly as Saric equalized just past the hour mark, and Damjanovic putting the visitors in front with just ten minutes left on the clock.

Yoon Jung-min drew level for the home side with time just about to expire, but Damjanovic's extra-time brace proved to be the difference, as he put Suwon ahead on 94 minutes, then scored again at the end of extra time, with Cheonan already having been reduced to ten men thanks to a second yellow card issued to Oh Yun-suk with four minutes to play.

Previous Meetings

The head to head in league play has been fairly even thus far with each team winning once and the sides playing to a scoreless draw last time they faced each other last month.

Jeju will be looking to exact a measure of revenge, as Suwon got the better of them in the Round of 16 last year, winning 2-0 courtesy of Johnathan Aparecido da Silva and Natanael de Sousa Santos Junior, who found the back of the net, sending the Islanders to defeat.

The four-time champions and three times runners-up last won the competition in 2016, while Jeju have never won, their best finish being runners-up all the way back in 2004.

Team News

Things have not been rosy for the Bluewings of late, as they have won only two matches in the league since their Round of 16 victory over Cheonan.  They are still in contention for trophies this season, as they will use the match against Jeju as a warmup for the final league match of the season before the split against Pohang, and, of course, their return home leg against Kashima in the Champions League.

News that Seo Jung-won has just returned to the team is sure to stir things up a bit, as the team was struggling badly to find the back of the net for stretches under his stewardship after the World Cup break.  With him back at the helm, it will be interesting to see if Suwon reverts back to the 3-4-3 formation which wasn't paying dividends for them at all, or if he will opt for another attacking variation.

The Adversary

Jeju come into the match having defeated FC Seoul in the Round of 16, thanks to a late winner from Tiago with the clock just about to expire.  Lee Dong-soo gave Jeju an early lead after only three minutes, but Anderson Lopes leveled matters ten minutes into the second half, setting the stage for what turned out to be a fantastic finish for the islanders with the Brazilian finding the back of the net with virtually the last kick of the football.

They have looked a bit better of late, and know that a victory against the same FC Seoul team will ensure them a top six finish this season, but first they need to set their sights on progressing to the cup semi-finals, and a step closer to a trophy they have yet to claim.

There is a good chance that Cho Sung-hwan may go with a younger lineup against Suwon, but it would be a wise move to ensure that the most experienced players on the roster get onto the pitch as well, assuming that he is intent on trying to win something with the club this season. 

Prediction

This one is actually a bit difficult to predict, although one would think that Suwon have the edge here, having won the competition before.  They also have a frontman in Damjanovic who has been on fire in cup competitions this season, and he will surely be looking to get on the score sheet once again.

Jeju have had a penchant for leaving it late in several matches this season, so, if things are tight going down to the wire, there may yet be room for some more late match heroics.  

Prediction: Suwon Bluewings 1-1 Jeju United (A.E.T.); Suwon 5-3 PK 

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