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FA Cup Preview: Sangju Sangmu vs Seongnam FC

Its the 4th round of the 2019 Korean FA cup and this means K League 1 teams are now joining the fray. While most teams have been paired up against a team from the lower divisions Seongnam and Sangju Sangmu were not so lucky and will be facing each other in their first FA cup contest of the year. The Magpies will be looking to build off the momentum gained after their convincing regular season 2-0 victory over Pohang and move onto the 5th round. Sangju, for their part are trying to return to the strong form they were displaying during their first matches. 

Last Time Out

Seongnam FC picked up a much needed 3 points last week with a 2-0 victory against the Pohang Steelers. The Magpies offense finally showed some life creating quite a few chances. Their first goal came in the first half and was an absolute bullet strike off the right foot of Kim Min-hyeok from about 5 yards outside the box. In the second half, the Magpies netted their second goal when Kim Jeong-hyun scored a penalty that was awarded because of a handball.

That doesn't mean Pohang didn't go down without a fight. The Steelers were relentless on the attack and dominated possession from the opening minute. They had quite a few opportunities but just couldn't make the final connection to put one in the back of the net.

Highlights can be found here. 

Sangju Sangmu played to a 1-1 draw against Gyeongnam in their previous outing. Their one goal came on a penalty after Gyeongnam's Jordan Mutch kicked a fallen Sangju player in the chest, after freeing his foot from the legs of the player. The review led to a red card and a penalty, which Sangju's Shin Chang-mu easily scored.

Highlights can be found here. 

Previous Meetings

As usual, the last match between these two teams was back when Seongnam was in the K League 1 in 2016. In 3 matches that year the teams split the season series with one draw and one victory each.

The Adversary

Currently sitting 4th in the table, the K League's military side Sangju Sangmu got off to a hot and surprising start this season winning their first 3 matches, but have since cooled down after a 2-0 defeat against FC Seoul. They've since also dropped a match against Ulsan and have drawn twice, though they can consider themselves a little lucky to have scored that penalty against Gyeongnam considering the circumstances.

Perhaps, their recent struggles are more indicative of what to expect going forward this season. Though manager Kim Tae-wan does a good job of putting together a decent side from what he is given, it is hard to maintain a quality team with players coming in and out and their availability being determined solely by their military status.

With that said there is some talent on this team. On loan from Jeju United, Sangju's Yoon Bit-garam is a player to watch and could be a thorn in Seongnam's side. Though he only has one goal to his name this season he leads the team in shots and shots on target and is one of the players they will count on to score goals this season.

Who To Watch

Seongnam midfieder Kim Min-hyeok has been playing very well and has made an appearance in all 7 of the Magpie's matches this season, netting 2 goals and only second behind Eder Lima in shooting. Its clear manager Nam Ki-il has placed a lot of confidence in Min-hyeok and with the combination of Eder at the front anchored by Min-hyeok, and possibly Mathias, this team could be on pace to finally score a lot of goals.

Prediction

Seongnam is coming off a decisive victory and have now better established their offense at a time when Sangju Sangmu seems to have run out of ideas. Though Sangju are known for their relentless attack Seongnam should be able to handle it and score a couple goals to advance to the next round.

Sangju Sangmu 0-2 Seongnam FC

FA Cup 4th Round Preview: here

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