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Preview: Seongnam FC v Jeju United

An old rivalry, of sorts, will be renewed on Wednesday night, as Seongnam host Jeju United. This will be the first league meeting between the sides since the Magpies were last up in the top flight in 2016.  Both are coming into the match off of identical 2-1 losses; the hosts to Gangwon on Sunday afternoon and the visitors to Ulsan on Friday night. KLU's Branko Belan previews the K League 1 fixture.

Match: Seongnam FC vs Jeju United
Venue: Tancheon Sports Complex
Kickoff: Wednesday April 3rd, 2019; 19:30 KST

Last Time Out

Gangwon FC 2-1 Seongnam FC

Seongnam had at least a point torn from their clutches as Shin Kwang-hoon bagged a late winner, two minutes from time, to give Gangwon all three points. Neither goalkeeper was given much work in the first half, as chances were hard to come by, and those that did were either off target or relatively easy saves for both.

The match would spring to life in the second half as Gangwon could have gone in front just two minutes after the restart, but Uroš Đerić's header was not powerful enough to beat Kim Ho-jun. It would take just over an hour for the first goal to come, when Kim Hyeon-uk latched on to a cross from Jeong Seok-hwa to slot home from close range.

The last ten minutes would provide a photo finish, as Seongnam found an equalizer through Kim Hyun-sung on 83 minutes. Not to be outdone, Gangwon would hit the front again two minutes from time, as Shin Kwang-hoon's strike took a deflection off of Ahn Young-kyu, ending up in the back of the net. Four minutes of injury time would not change the outcome, and Gangwon walked off the pitch with their second victory of the season.

Highlights: here

Ulsan Hyundai 2-1 Jeju United

Jeju United had won twice at Munsu Stadium last season, but their Friday night encounter would present a different story. Ulsan could have taken the lead after only five minutes, but Junior's close range header was kept out by the fingertips of Lee Chang-keun. Lee Chang-min would have a chance to open the scoring for Jeju only minutes later, but his attempt was saved by Oh Seung-hoon.

Ulsan would take the lead midway through the first half, as Junior negotiated his way past a pair of defenders, slotting home a low drive to finish a good bit of service from Park Jeong-in, on his debut.  The lead would only last a few minutes, however, as Jeju would draw level through Lee Chang-min, whose bullet header from Kim Ho-nam's delivery from the right flank slammed in to the back of the net.

Mix Diskerud had a chance to put the hosts back in front just before the half hour mark, but his shot was kept out by Lee Chang-keun. The half ended on level terms.

Ulsan would retake the lead just minutes after the restart after some sloppy defending from the islanders, as Kim Bo-kyung smashed home from close range. Kwon Soon-hyung was a step late in closing him down, after a mixup in the back line.

Lee Chang-min would have drawn level for Jeju on 74 minutes, if not for his effort clipping the crossbar. It would be the last great chance for the visitors to even the score, as Ulsan walked off the pitch with all three points.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The last time these two sides met was back in 2016, and it has been a fairly even series overall, with Jeju just inching over the line in terms of results. They drew twice in that campaign, but Jeju would win the final encounter that season, a 1-0 success in August, thanks to a last gasp winner from Ahn Hyun-beom.

Team News

Both sides are having a bit of a rough introduction to the new season, with only one win between them heading into their midweek clash. Both also had good spells on the ball in their previous matches, and it will remain to be seen who will take the reigns when they meet on Wednesday night.

The Islanders are still looking for their first win of the season, and need it badly as they are currently rooted at the bottom of the table with Seongnam not far behind in tenth spot.

There are no suspensions in either side, so the expectation is that both managers will field their best eleven.

The Adversary


Jeju United come into their midweek fixture against Seongnam following a 2-1 loss to Ulsan Hyundai at Munsu Stadium in the first Friday Night Football match of the 2019 season. Goals from Junior and Kim Bo Kyung were enough to put the hosts over the top, while Lee Chang-min scored his second of the season for the islanders.

Jeju’s play still looks a bit disjointed, as there were too many misplaced passes and wasted possession against Ulsan, and they looked too predictable moving forward. The match did mark the debut of Yun Il-lok, who is finally healthy after picking up an injury just before the start of the season. It will take him a few more matches before he begins to gel with his new teammates, but he was involved in the offensive side of things, and it looks like he will be a valuable asset for Jeju this season. According to Cho Sung-hwan, he expects that Yun will rack up at least fifteen attack points in 2019, and that would be a welcome addition to an offense that not only sputtered last season, but has yet to find its feet in the new campaign.

Lee Chang-min was once again Jeju's best player last Friday. He scored a beautiful goal, and wasn't afraid to have a hit at goal. It seems his confidence is back, and hopefully others in attacking positions will follow suit and test opposing 'keepers a bit more.

Elias Aguilar did not play on Friday night and was not on the bench, after representing Costa Rica during the international break. The decision was made to rest him, but he should be back for Wednesday's match.

Park Jin-po was also out of the lineup, the second consecutive match he has missed this season, with an unknown injury. His availability for round five is unknown at this time. Jung Woo-jae is also still on the mend, and will not return until next month at the earliest. Kim Dong-woo picked up a yellow card in the last match, but will be available for selection. Cho Sung-hwan once again has some things to take into consideration when making his final lineup selection for the midweek clash at Tancheon.

Prediction

The first few weeks of the season have been somewhat unkind to Jeju, as they continue to find a winning formula. Seongnam do have a win under their belt, and will hope that home field advantage will serve them well, but there is little to split them apart at this point. A draw would be the most likely outcome based on past results between the two.

Prediction: Seongnam FC 1-1 Jeju United

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