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Preview: Daegu FC vs Incheon United

Preview: Daegu FC vs Incheon United K League 1 Round 12
After the first 11 rounds of the 2019 K League 1 season, Daegu FC invite Incheon United to DGB Daegu Bank Park for their second meeting of the campaign. Fourth placed Daegu FC are looking to get back to winning ways in the league, while bottom side Incheon United, with a new manager Yoo Sangchul at the helm, are hoping to bounce back from their poor form with a victory. K League United Daegu FC Correspondent Muyeol Jung previews this clash with help from Incheon United counterpart Tim Barnes.

Last Time Out

FA Cup 5th Round: Gyeongnam FC 2-0 Daegu FC

Changwon Football Center hasn’t been a pleasant hunting ground for Daegu FC. The current cup holders came into the fixture in the hope for a spot in the quarter-finals, but they had to kneel down to their bogey team Gyeongnam who also beat the Sky Blues in the league this season.

The first half was very scrappy with lots of physical contact the midfield. Early into the first half, both teams lost one player due to injury; Negueba from Gyeongnam and Hong Jungwoon from Daegu. Then on 37 minutes the hosts took the lead through substitute Ko Kyungmin’s fine finish inside the box from a cross by Lee Youngjae on the right handside. Just two minutes before the break, Daegu collapsed; Lee Youngjae easily took the ball away from Daegu left back Kang Yoonku and made it 2-0.

In the second half, another mistake on the right flank meant Daegu were down to 10 men, even though Daegu goalkeeper Choi Youngeun saved the penalty taken by Kim Hyoki. Afterwards, Daegu tried to find a way through, but they couldn’t find a consolation in the end.

Highlights: here

K League: Incheon United 0-1 Pohang Steelers

Nine games without a win and then manager-less Incheon United hosted a side yet to pick up a win on the road and without a single goal Pohang Steelers at Sungui Arena. The visitors recorded a dramatic first ever away win this season through former Incheon United full back Kim Yonghwan’s volley in stoppage time.

Both sides were desperate for win ahead of this match, and they were very active from the beginning. The hosts were sitting deep, trying to counterattack with Nguyễn Công Phượng, Nam Joonjae, and Moon Changjin, while the visitors were in control of the game with Choi Yongwoo, Kim Seungdae, and Wanderson.

However, neither of the sides were able to open the scoring despite Pohang local boy Kim Seungdae earning his side a penalty after Bosnian centre back Gordan Bunoza was shown a direct red card for an attempt to deny a goal scoring chance following a VAR check. However, penalty earner Kim Seungdae failed to score and went on to miss a sitter again five minutes before the time. In the end, Pohang were successful after former Incheon defender Kim Yonghwan sank his former team with a lovely, left-footed half volley after the ball had rebounded to him off the post.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

The overall head-to-head records for both these citizen clubs are pretty even with Daegu winning ten times to Incheon’s 13 from 39 times meetings. Over the last last ten meetings, their results are much closer with Daegu winning three times to Incheon’s two.

However, it was the Sky Blues who were smiling after the latest meeting with a perfect 3-0 win in Incheon at the beginning of April with goals from Cesinha and a brace from Kim Jinhyuk, two winners of Player of the Month for March and April.

Team News

Daegu FC Manager Andre Gaspar
Daegu FC suffered two consecutive defeats in all competitions including an FA Cup exit after the 2-1 loss to FC Seoul. Ahead of these two important matches, Daegu manager Andre stated that he would power through with his strongest side so that Daegu would be able to give some key players time off before the ACL game next week. However, two defeats inevitably will give the gaffer much to think about with a change of plan due to injuries inevitable on account of his players looking fatigued and out of sorts.

Coming into the fixture, there are no suspensions among the squad, but two regular defenders Jeong Taewook and Hong Jungwoon are expected to be out due to injuries. Jeong, sustained a broken nose from the previous league game, is recuperating from surgery on his nose for the time being, while Hong was stretchered off in the cup game with suspected shoulder injury. In addition, Korea international goalkeeper Jo Hyeonwoo caught the flu and was out of the squad for the midweek FA Cup game so his availability remains uncertain.

Meanwhile, Daegu’s attacking department is as not sharp as it once was. Without Cesinha, Daegu managed to keep on scoring, but after the Brazilian joined the team, he didn’t have as much of an impact as Andre will have wanted. Moreover, Daegu have very few options from the bench and appear to have more difficulty in creating chances against defensive teams, particularly after the citizen club lost towering centre back Jeong Taewook, who can be deployed as a striker and Kim Jinhyuk due to injury and his recent call up for military service.

The Adversary

Incheon United striker Stefan Mugoša (R) in action against Pohang Steelers
Incheon United come into this game against Daegu FC without a win in nine and without scoring a goal in seven. The Durumi badly need a good result but it’s going to be a tough ask against a Daegu side gunning for the top four. Incheon lost last weekend in a heated encounter against Pohang Steelers, once again failing to score and suffered a bit of bad luck. New manager Yoo Sangchul will be hoping that their luck will change against Daegu on Saturday.

Yoo Sang-Chul will be looking to make an immediate impact in his first game in charge. Vice-Captain Gordon Bunoza will be suspended following a red card last weekend. However the rest of the squad should be available for section. The formation should be a defensive 4-5-1, mainly due to a lack of attacking options.

Stefan Mugoša returned to the starting lineup last weekend for Incheon United following a lengthy absence due to a neck injury. He showed a slight lack of match fitness but he still had an obvious eye for goal. He’ll be the main attacking option for Incheon on Saturday, a side who really do need goals.

Also Vietnamese superstar Nguyễn Công Phượng played a full ninety on his return to the first team last weekend and his loyal fans will be hoping for another strong performance from him this coming weekend.

by Tim Barnes

Who To Watch

Daegu FC – Han Heehoon

Han Heehoon (L) in action for Daegu against Incheon in 2018

While K League is entering the middle stretch of the season, Daegu FC, fighting on three fronts, started to struggle due to fatigue and lack of squad rotation. With two defenders Jeong Taewook and Hong Jungwoon out due to injuries, Daegu FC captain Han Heehoon will likely take his place and revitalise the defence.

The 2019 season is Han's third with Daegu, but, unfortunately, this current campaign has seen him frustrated thanks to some watertight performances from the younger defenders in the squad. Nevertheless, his role on and off the pitch is very important for Andre’s side as he is a popular player among the fans and with his teammates squad. The 1990-born defender spoke to the travelling fans after the team's horrendous run of form in the earlier part of the 2018 season, promising that the team would come back much stronger after the World Cup break. Therefore, it will be interesting to see what he will bring to the team.


Ahead of the midweek ACL game against Guangzhou Evergrande, Daegu FC will likely play with somewhat experimental side. Also, the game has been moved to a 2:00 PM kick off at Daegu for live television coverage where the highest temperature will go up to 27 degrees Celsius, which could be significant factor. As a result, this match will likely end in a draw.

Predicted Score: Daegu FC 1-1 Incheon United

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