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FA Cup Preview: Gyeongnam FC vs Daegu FC

KFA Cup Preview: Gyeongnam FC vs Daegu FC

Gyeongnam FC comes into this match having lost four consecutive matches. Whether the FA Cup can reverse the mood or worsen it depends on manager Kim Jongboo's judgment and the players' will. Their FA Cup opponents are Daegu FC, who they last faced in March. They may have lost on that occasion but, with Daegu defending their title here, it may well be different the second time around. 



Last Time Out

Gyeongnam FC 0-2 Gangwon FC
This match clearly showed that the players can not afford to miss solid scoring opportunities. Son Junghyun's brilliant saves couldn't save the team from the loss, and Kim Seungjun's two missed chances ended up costing the team dearly. The home side pressed hard against the visiting team from the beginning, but Woo Joosung was sent off when he was caught and knocked down Jung Jogook. Gyeongnam played a difficult game due to their numerical inferiority after the 20th minute.

The second half also went in a similar fashion as in the first half, but Gangwon's replacement caused a change in the game. Uroš Đerić scored his first goal of the season as soon as he replaced Jung Jogook. Then, Yoon Sukyoung's cross was again scored by the forward, making use of his height, and gave the visiting team a 0-2 lead. In the end, the match ended 0-2 with no more goals. The Reds could have changed the outcome of the match if Woo Joosung did not receive a red card.

Highlights: here

FC Seoul 2-1 Daegu FC
This match showed fierce competition for third and fourth place. When the FC Seoul defenders were distracted in the early part of the game, Kim Woosuk of the visiting team calmly scored and gave Daegu the lead. However, just three minutes later, Hwang Hyeonsoo scored from a Park Chuyoung free kick and levelled the game. Both teams continued to exchange attacks, but the first half ended in a 1-1 draw.

With the start of the second half, Cesinha returned from injury as a sub and replaced Kang Yunkoo. Seoul pushed hard to secure the third place and at the same time to solidify their home victory, but were denied by Jo Hyeonwoo’s saves and Daegu’s solid defenders. On the other hand, Daegu had many opportunities for Edgar, but goalkeeper Yu Sanghun blocked well. In the 83rd minute, Park Chuyoung's fantastic free-kick led to the goal, taking the home team a step closer to victory. Shortly before the end of the game, Jeong Taewook shed blood as he was caught by Osmar, but did not see a booking. The visiting team sought to score until the last minute but was blocked again by Yu Sanghun, and the game ended in a victory for Seoul.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The most recent game was a league game at Changwon. In that match, Gyeongnam secured the victory. Still, Cesinha’s incredible 35-yard free-kick was a memorable moment in the match, yet the Red’s captain Bae Kijong’s late multiple goals were perhaps the key highlights. With his two goals, Gyeongnam beat Daegu 2-1.

Although the atmosphere is ambivalent, the record cannot be ignored. What's interesting is that Gyeongnam has invited Daegu to their home and won 11 of its 15 matches, allowing only three losses to Daegu and showing a strong performance against Sky Blues at their home.

Team News

The home team’s situation is miserable. Bae Kijong, Kunimoto and Jordon Mutch are injured. While Luc Castaignos has recovered from injury, he still needs time to adjust to the league. The thin depth of the squad is making life difficult for Gyeongnam this season.

Realistically, the FA Cup is the most likely trophy that the Reds can lift this season. Gyeongnam has yet to be eliminated from the ACL, but cannot pass the group stage on their own. It depends on the Shandong and Kashima result, assuming Gyeongnam beats Johor. Also, manager Kim Jongboo will not give up the FA Cup because the Reds are currently ranked 10th in the league.

The Adversary

Current FA Cup title holders Daegu FC come down to the south to face off Gyeongnam FC in last 16 of the Korean FA Cup after a hard-fought loss to FC Seoul last weekend. As Daegu manager Andre previously stated the importance of the tie after the midweek ACL game against Melbourne, the Sky Blues will likely line up as similarly to the previous league game as possible with forced changes.

First of all, towering centre back Jeong Taewook is expected to be out indefinitely after he picked up an injury from winning a header against Spanish midfielder Osmar in the previous game. Reportedly, the defender has a broken nose after he got hit in his face with Osmar's elbow. So, solid defender Park Byunghyun will take his place and make a back three defence with Hong Jungwoon and Kim Wooseok. He was the regular choice until he was dropped to the bench due to squad rotation. Therefore, there will be no doubt about his ability. Other than that, the majority of squad should be available for selection including Andre’s key asset Cesinha, who made an appearance as substitute, earning 45 minutes after two full weeks of recovery. If he starts, either Kang Yunku or Hwang Soonmin will start on the bench, accordingly.

Meanwhile, Brazilian forward Dario isn’t likely to make an appearance for this tie as he has not been named on the bench in any competitions since the FA Cup fourth round in early April where he remained an unused sub. There are no words from the club or manager in regards to him, but it appears that he has had trouble in adapting to Korean football. Also, local boy Ko Jaehyun is unavailable for selection due to international duties for Korea’s participation to FIFA U20 World Cup Poland in late May.

-Daegu FC Correspondent Muyeol Jung

Prediction

Gyeongnam may be desperately wanting to win this match in order to change the atmosphere of the team, yet the position vacated by Marcão has yet to be filled. Also, several players including goalscorer Bae Kijong and Kunimoto won’t be able to play due to injury ahead of this match. Gyeongnam, however, showed a good performance against Daegu at home last time, so it is expected they will do their best to find a victory again as they did in March.

If Daegu score first and early on, the game will likely end within regular time. However, if Gyeongnam scores first or both teams fail to score, the winner may well be decided by a penalty shootout.

Predicted Score: Gyeongnam FC 1-2 Daegu FC

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