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Preview: Daegu FC vs Gyeongnam FC

Preview: Daegu FC vs Gyeongnam FC K League 1 Round 19
Daegu FC will welcome Gyeongnam FC to DGB Daegu Bank Park on Saturday night for Round 19 in K League 1. The hosts are hoping to chase the top three teams which are in the hunt for an ACL spot, while the visitors are looking to bounce back from their winless streak with a victory. K League United Daegu FC Columnist Muyeol Jung previews this clash.

Last Time Out

K League: Jeju United 1-1 Daegu FC

Daegu FC could have fallen to two consecutive defeats, but fortunately, they avoided it thanks to Andre’s key weapon Cesinha’s last minute strike in stoppage time. From the beginning, the game was very open; the hosts created a lot of chances through quick transitions while playing Lim Chanwool and Yoon Ilrok wide with Lee Changmin and Magno in the middle. The islanders had several shots on target, but didn’t pass through Korean international goalkeeper Jo Hyeonwoo. The visitors also had a couple of meaningful chances including a diving header from Han Heehoon, and a gilt-edged chance from Jung Seungwon, however, the first half ended in a goalless draw.

Just eight minutes after the break loanee forward Yun Ilrok hit the ball home to put the host 1-0 up. After going 1-0 down to Daegu, the visitors tried to find an equaliser by making two changes with U20 squad member Ko Jaehyun and Park Hanbin on, but  looked unable to break down the islanders’ defence until the halfway into the second half.

On 71 minutes, the visitors switched from 3-4-1-2 to 4-5-1 as youth product Oh Hoosung came on to replace Captain Han Heehoon, which eventually paid off. In very last minute of four minutes of added time, substitute Oh assisted the equaliser with a good delivery into Cesinha, who clinically fired the ball into the bottom right of the goal after chesting it away from a defender inside the box.

Highlights: here

FA Cup Quarter final: Gyeongnam FC 1–2 Hwaseong City FC

K League 1 side Gyeongnam FC became another victim of a giant killing after the Reds shockingly crashed out of FA Cup in the quarter-final on Wednesday night in what was dubbed the “Kim Jongboo Derby” due to current the reds boss’s former post with Hwaseong City FC.

From the beginning, K3 Advanced League side Hwaseong were all over the K League side. Less than five minutes into the first half and the visitors nearly took the lead through Park Taewoong whose effort hit the woodwork from outside of the box. Next, former Incheon United forward Yoo Byungsoo put the visitors 1-0 up through a strike from inside box after he feinted away from four defenders.

The second half started in a similar fashion to the first half. Just five minutes after the break, Moon Joonho made it 2-0 via a beautifully curling effort to the right of Gyeongnam FC goalkeeper after Moon missed a sitter just a minute previous. As soon as Kim Jongboo’s side were trailing 2-0, they made a change to find a goal. On 60 minutes, Gyeongnam got one back through Kim Seungjoon’s spot kick before Gyeongnam striker Kim Hyoki had a shot saved by the visitors shot stopper.

Afterwards, the hosts had a chance to level the game, but Kim Seungjoon’s second spot kick was saved. Then, the referee blew the final whistle just after the hosts hit the foot of the post in stoppage time.

Highlights: here

Previous Meetings

Head to head, the two citizen clubs have met 32 times and surprisingly, the Sky Blues have been always pushovers for the Reds with only eight wins and five draws to Gyeongnam’s 19 wins. However, the results from the last ten games look less lopsided with three wins and three draws to Gyeongnam’s four wins.

From the first meeting this season, Daegu FC made the trip to Changwon in late March for K League Round 4, looking to ease past a struggling Gyeongnam with confidence. However, Andre’s side had to kneel down 2-1 to Kim Jongbu’s side thanks to a vital winner from substitute Bae Kijong in stoppage time, even though Cesinha scored what could be the best goal of the season from a direct free kick from 35 metres.

Just seven weeks later in mid May, both teams encountered each other again in Gyeongnam for the Korean FA Cup Round 5 for a quarter final berth. Unlike expectations, Daegu played their regulars and forced some chances, but Daegu’s pride as the current title holders was diminished after they lost 2-0.

Team News

Daegu FC now appear to be as less powerful as they had been before. They are still able to provide good, dynamic football with an emphasis on counterattacking, but their lack of diversity in tactics following a series of injuries to key players such as Edgar, Tsubasa, and Hong Jungwoon have been clearly exposed in recent games. Particularly, the spine of the citizen club, consisting of the three injured is certainly huge blow for the club. Daegu manager Andre desperately needs to find adequate replacements from the rest of the squad or the summer transfer market as they did last summer in 2018.

In spite of the injured, Daegu’s main formation remains a defensive 3-4-1-2 or 3-4-3 on counterattacking with some forced changes. In the previous game Cesinha spearheaded the attack to replace his countryman Edgar, backed up by two youngsters Kim Daewon and Jung Seungwon. In the defensive line, Han Heehoon and Park Byunghyun took their places along with Kim Wooseok for the injured Hong Jungwoon and Jeong Taewook who is believed to have had nose surgery. In the middle, Kang Yoonku, Hwang Soonmin, Ryu Jaemoon, and Jang Sungwon were positioned. However, when their game plan didn’t work, Daegu gaffer made strategical changes by switching to a back four with two youngsters Ko Jaehyun and Oh Hoosung in the middle. Even though the Sky Blues managed to find an equaliser through the changes, it looks like they still need to improve plan B.

To make things worse, Daegu FC will have two players suspended against Gyeongnam FC; captain Han Heehoon and central midfielder Ryu Jaemoon both picked up a third yellow last time out. As a result it is likely that young defenders such as Kim Taehan or Ko Taekyu will come in for for Han Heehoon if Jeong Taewook remains unfit. For the absence of Ryu, either Park Hanbin or Ko Jaehyun are likely to deputise. Meanwhile, it is unlikely, but there would be a slim chance that Daegu’s first summer signing Brazilian Rildo could make the bench. According to local media, the Brazilian is set to arrive in Daegu and have a medical this week.

The Adversary

After a disappointing, shocking Wednesday night in the quarter-final of FA Cup, 10th placed Gyeongnam FC’s winless run continues. It is now seven games in all competitions, and 14 games in K League. Their latest win in the league goes back to 30th March when they played Daegu FC at Changwon Football Centre.

However, thanks to two sluggish sides Jeju and Incheon, the Reds are still not directly involved in a relegation group. But with just two points separating them from the bottom two,  the Reds could be dragged into the bottom two depending on results elsewhere this weekend.

There are many reasons for their extremely poor performances, but Kim Jongboo’s side have been massively interrupted by injuries to foreign imports; Japanese midfielder Kunimoto, Brazilian winger Negueba, English midfielder Jordan Mutch and Dutch striker Luc Castaignos. With Kunimoto and Negueba sidelined at the moment, Jordon Much reportedly didn’t make squad due to a minor knock in the previous match. Also, Luc was forced to leave the pitch after just 30 minutes of the midweek cup game because of a suspected injury. According to the news, the Kim Jongboo admitted that the club are making money through the sale of young defender Song Juhoon who is being linked with Chinese Super League side Tianjin Tianhai, and will be investing the money to replace Negueba, who will be out of the squad for the rest of the season due to an ACL injury.

Gyeongnam FC will come to Daegu without any suspensions, but will have to make some forced changes if Luc and Mutch remain unavailable. The line-up will be similar to the team played in the league in a 4-4-2 formation.

Who To Watch

Daegu FC versatile midfielder Hwang Soonmin has been a regular for Andre’s side since last summer after he started playing as wingback. He occasionally scores a few critical goals for the team, but he isn’t known for his attacking contributions. The reason why he is so important is because of his versatility. He has been a Daegu man since 2012 except for when he was away for his military duties with Sangju.

Hwang's primary position was as an attacking midfielder and left winger, but under Andre’s guidance in 2018, he adapted himself to playing as a left back. Thanks to the effort he put in, Daegu are able to change the formation by deploying him either as a midfielder, or wing back. Also, with Cesinha upfront following the absence of Edgar, he can line up as central midfielder or attacking midfielder.  This season he has featured in 17 K League games and has scored two goals.


This will be a competitive tie between the two sides who are struggling for form at the moment. The situation looks slightly brighter for the hosts, but will be a real test as Gyeongnam FC have become a bogey team for Daegu regardless of form. For the visitors, who are in desperate need of win, they will try to stay positive, hoping to bounce back with victory against a team they are accustomed to playing. However, at the moment, considering forms and their injury worries, it looks unlikely that they will be able to overcome Daegu.

Predicted Score: Daegu FC 1-0 Gyeongnam FC

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