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FA Cup Preview: Gyeongnam FC vs Pocheon Citizen

Korean FA Cup Preview: Gyeongnam FC vs Pocheon Citizen
Gyeongnam FC showed lethargy in their last home match against Sangju Sangmu, ending the match with a draw. In the upcoming Korean FA Cup 4th Round, the Reds will play against K3 Advanced side Pocheon Citizen FC. In this upcoming match, will Gyeongnam show their overwhelming quality or could there be an upset on the cards?

Last Time Out

Gyeongnam FC 1-1 Sangju Sangmu It was a disappointing home game. Despite being able to win the match sufficiently, Gyeongnam missed many opportunities and ended the match in a draw and the home team's first red card of the season was handed out during the game.

The first half was dominated by the Changwon based team. Although the Reds twice shook the military’s goal net, the VAR result was confirmed offside and cancelled. Sangju Sangmu made the attack through the counter, but showed a lack of finish and ended the first half 0-0.

With the start of the second half, manager Kim Jong-boo showed his eagerness to win by putting in Negueba. However, in the 63rd minute, Jordon Mutch was sent off for some unnecessary action. Whether Mutch was not satisfied with the VAR result, which he scored, or felt unfairness about the referee’s decision, kicking his opponent player is not professional and he will likely regret it. The military side subsequently earned the PK, and Sin Changmoo scored with a strong shot. Even though the home team had a numerical disadvantage, they were busy trying to score the equaliser. With effort, Kim Seungjun equalised. Negueba and Kunimoto continued to try and find a winner but failed to overcome the numerical disadvantage. Rather, Sangju Sangmu hit Gyeongnam's goal post with a sharp counterattack. However, the match ended 1-1 without any additional goals.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

This is the first meeting between the two teams. Although Pocheon Citizen FC has won the most titles in the K3 League Advanced and is a strong offensive team, Gyeongnam FC is expected to win the match due to the differences between professional and semi-professional level.

However, Pocheon Citizen FC had won several matches in the previous Korean FA Cup tournament against Daejeon Citizen and even advanced to the round of 16 by beating Seoul E-Land. Therefore, this FA Cup game will be highly interesting because anything can happen at any time and there is nothing to lose from Underdog's perspective.

Team News

Again, Luc Castaignos is still out with an injury. Even though Gyeongnam FC desperately needs a win, Pocheon should be a relatively weak team in comparison. Therefore, rotation and backup players who need to improve their performance are expected to start. If the Reds score in the first half and the match goes smoothly, chances will be given to others to rotate in including backups and young players. However, if the match goes unexpectedly, Kunimoto and other key players are likely to be called upon in the second half.

For Pocheon Citizen FC, if they beat the Reds in the FA Cup, they will advance to the FA Cup Fifth Round and match the club's best record.

The Adversary

Pocheon Citizen are a well-known entity to those following sides below the Korean second division. The K3 League Advanced side are six times champions and could pose quite the threat to a number of teams in the K League 2 if promotion were possible. They finished runners-up in the division last season. Pocheon are also known for taking in a number of players who opt for civil service as their national service instead of military, or players with specific military service requirements that do not match the Sangju or Asan criteria, with Daejeon Citizen's Kim Chan-hee and Jeonbuk's Han Kyo-won (fresh after scoring the winner in the AFC Champions League final at the time it should be added) making brief loan appearances in recent seasons.

Last weekend saw the side draw against Siheung Citizen thanks to a late equaliser from defender Lee Sun-min. The 1-1 draw saw them concede their first goal of the season having won their opening two fixtures against Icheon Citizen and Chungju Citizen, by 3-0 and 2-0 respectively. All six of their league goals have been scored by different players. The side reached this round of the competition after defeating National League outfit Gimhae FC 2-1 on penalties after the initial score finished 2-2.

- Matthew Binns

Who To Watch

Gyeongnam FC – Jordon Mutch

In the last game, this Englishman was sent off for being unprofessional. Since he cannot play in league games, he has to now show good performances to his fans in the FA Cup and continental competition. In this upcoming match, the starting XI will be expected to composed of rotation or backup players. Therefore, Mutch needs to show a better performance to lead those players on the field. Mutch’s passing ability will put Pocheon FC in a difficult situation.


For Gyeongnam FC, there will be less motivation to play in the FA Cup matches than for Pocheon Citizen FC because to the Reds, AFC Champions League should be their top priority. However, manager Kim Jongboo's woes are expected to deepen as the ACL also seems difficult to get through the group stage. Considering that the Reds will face the Suwon Samsung Bluewings in the league after FA Cup 4th Round, they will likely give a break to their several key players. Yet, with Jordon Mutch is expected to play in this match, Pocheon Citizen FC will have a hard time dealing with this English footballer on the field.

Predicted Score: Gyeongnam FC 3-1 Pocheon Citizen FC

FA Cup 4th Round Preview: here

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