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Preview: Sangju Sangmu vs Seongnam FC

Its an FA Cup re-match this week as Seongnam FC head down to Sangju to take on the K League's military side. Both teams are looking to end their offensive struggles but two strong defenses will make that tough. With only 1 point separating them in the table both teams are looking to grab a crucial mid-season victory. 

Last Time Out

Last time out the Magpies took on juggernauts Jeonbuk at home in Seongnam. Offensive woes this season have forced Seongnam to rely on their defense to keep them in matches and that is exactly what happened. With just 36.8 % possession, Seongnam seemed content to play a defensive game and hope for a counter attacking opportunity. Though that opportunity never came their defense was able to keep Jeonbuk at bay and the Magpies were able to walk away proudly with 1 point.

Full match highlights can be found here. 

Sangju's round 10 showing was not quite as successful as they lost 1-0 to Daegu in a match where they dominated possession but couldn't score. Daegu FC was able to net their game winning goal in the 84th minute, off a long pass from midfield that was headed forward right to the foot of Jung Seung-won for an easy goal.

Full match highlights can be found here. 

Previous Meetings

2019 FA Cup - Sangju Sangmu 0 - 0 Seongnam FC (Sangju advanced 10-9 on penalties)

Seongnam and Sangju met for the first time in 3 years during the 4th round of this year's Korean FA cup where the game ended with a unsurprising 0-0 draw. Both of these teams have had offensive struggles all season and this FA cup match was no exception. After extra time the match went into a penalty shootout, or really, a penalty marathon as the shootout went into the 12th round where finally Seongnam missed first and Sangju knocked it in to win 10-9 and advance to the 5th round of the FA Cup.

Prior to that match their previous meetings took place in 2016 where they split the season series both winning a match and ending the third one in a draw.

Team News

Seongnam still has two players in yellow card jeopardy. Midfielders Kim Min-hyeok and Kim Jeong-hyun have both accumulated two cards each while attacker Kong Min-hyun has also accumulated two cards throughout the season. Once again Nam Ki-il's strategy for handling these players will be interesting. Last week against Jeonbuk, Nam started Min-hyeon and brought in Jeong-hyun late in the first half.

The Adversary

Once again Sangmu Sangju is a fragmented team that has players coming and going at different points in the season. The team has struggled offensively averaging 1 goal per match with 6 of those coming in the first 3 matches. That makes it quite surprising that they are as high as fifth in the league right now, although many expect them to drop once as we move into the second third of the season.

Sangmu's players to look out for would include Yoon Bit-garam and current leading goal-scorer Park Yong-ji who is on military service loan from Incheon.

Prediction

Both of these teams have struggled to create a strong attack and rely on their defenses heavily. It's a question of which team's back line will crack first. Ultimately though Seongnam have more potential up-front and should be able to break through Sangmu at least once.

Sangju Sangmu 0-1 Seongnam FC



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