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Preview: Daegu FC vs Gangwon FC

Preview: Daegu FC vs Gangwon FC K League 1 Round 27
With only two points separating sixth placed Daegu FC and fourth placed Gangwon FC in the table, the two teams will go head to head for top four place this Saturday at DGB Daegu Bank Park. Can the hosts restore their place in the table, or will the visitors widen the gap? K League United Daegu FC Correspondent Muyeol Jung previews this clash.

Last Time Out

Daegu FC 1-0 Gyeongnam FC

Daegu FC were finally able to provide that winning feelings to their eager home fans for the first time in 90 days after beating Gyeongnam 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Jeong Taewook from a corner kick.

As key players for each team returned from injury, both teams were at full strength as possible in the hunt for three points. Daegu had a fantastic start to the game when towering centre back Jeong Taewook made his first K League goal with a header. Afterwards, the hosts continued to go for more goals with many chances effectively created by the three frontmen Edgar, Kim Daewon and Cesinha while the visitors had few chances with only one shot on target from Uroš Đerić. The second half started in a similar fashion to the first half; while Daegu’s dominance was in effect, the visitors rarely had any meaningful chances despite early substitutions. That was until the last ten minutes when Serbian striker and Japanese midfielder Kunimoto had shots on target, both saved by Daegu shot stopper Jo Hyeonwoo. In the end, Daegu held onto a nervy 1-0 lead to record their ninth win of the season.


Gangwon FC 1-3 Suwon Samsung Bluewings

It was entertaining game for Gangwon fans, but a very nervy ending for Suwon until the last minute when Suwon Bluewings striker Adam Taggart killed off the game by completing his hat trick in stoppage time.

With the visitors' dominance in the first half, a goal came 12 minutes after the kick off when Suwon Bluewings striker Adam Taggart opened the scoring with a header from a corner kick. Just over ten minutes into the second half, the Australian doubled the lead with a lovely volley with ease at the edge of the box after he turned around to face goal. However, four minutes later, an own goal from Suwon's Min Sanggi, which was very unfortunate for him, immediately gave the hosts a lifeline for the rest of minutes when Gangwon's Han Kookyoung’s effort ricocheted off and into the net after being deflected by defender in a congested goal mouth area. Afterwards, Gangwon kept on pushing for an equaliser until the last minute just before Socceroos striker Taggart completed his hattrick by putting the ball away into the empty net in stoppage time.


Previous Meetings

It will be the third meeting of the season between Daegu FC and Gangwon FC and Andre’s side is still unbeaten against that of his counterpart Kim Byungsoo thanks to a 2-0 away win in April and a dramatic 2-2 draw in June. The first meeting saw Daegu quite comfortably edge past Gangwon FC with two goals from Edgar and Jung Seungwon, while the latest game finished with a dramatic equaliser from Ryu Jaemoon in stoppage time of second half in a downpour.

Head to head, Daegu FC have claimed 16 victories from 36 meetings with ten wins to Gangwon FC. The 10 most recent see much more lopsided results with Daegu winning six and Gangwon winning two.

Team News

Not only the result from last weekend, of course, amazed home fans who were desperate for that winning once again, but a strong performance from Andre’s men thanks in part to some recently discharged players from their military service from Asan in creative midfielder Kim Seonmin and left wingback Kim Dongjin.

The Sky Blues finally gifted home fans a long awaited victory
Wingbacks on each side and in central midfielder were the positions that had been worrying the gaffer the most following Japanese midfielder Tsubasa’s injury at the end of May and existing wingbacks out of form. Because of these, Daegu fans were quite chuffed and excited about a return of the two players to the squad. On the other side, however, there were strong doubts over the pair due to the lack of involvement in Asan Mugunghwa’s first team. Particularly, 27 year old midfielder Kim Seonmin who had rarely been given a chance to play until the last three games of his military spell in Asan.

The former Anyang and Daejeon man only earned six appearances in two seasons in Asan and was behind Korean internationals Ju Sejong and Lee Myoungjoo. Nevertheless, what he showed on the pitch last weekend was strong enough for the fans to be able to no longer miss the Japanese for the rest of season. Unfortunately, he was not officially voted for man of the match, but he has been hailed as a hidden hero for the win. His presence in the middle, both offensively and defensively, significantly reduced the burden on Cesinha who had been dropping deep to receive the ball. Meanwhile, left wingback Kim Dongjin put in decent performance by moving back and forth down the line with nice overlapping on the counterattack.

For the fixture against Gangwon, the gaffer will make the strongest selection with no suspensions in the squad. Jang Sungwon will be back for selection after one game suspension, while loanee Park Gidong will be available for selection too, after sitting out the game against his parent club Gyeongnam.

The Adversary

Currently, fourth placed Gangwon FC have gone three games without a win since a 2-1 home win over Pohang on the last day of July, but the winless streak isn’t that grim given the opponents they played were Jeonbuk, Seoul, and Suwon who are generally thought to be stronger. But now it is high time for Gangwon to add some much needed points to their tally.

The absence of regular centreback Kim Ohkyu will give Gangwon gaffer much to think about ahead of  the Daegu game.
Strategically, Gangwon manager Kim Byungsoo usually sets the team up in a 4-3-3 formation with some selections. The gaffer, widely-known for his attacking football philosophy with short passes, prefers players who are generally regarded wingers or wingbacks at the back except one classical centre back. As a result, during the last four games, three wing backs Nakazato, Yun Seokyoung, Shin Kwanghoon formed a back four line with centre back Kim Ohkyu heavily involved in attacking situations. A lot of defensive duties rests on Han Kookyoung in the middle who covers as much area as possible on the pitch as a box to box midfielder.

The defence has looked okay when it comes to backing up offence, but the back four are extremely vulnerable in aerial duels and on the counterattack due to being outnumbered in their own half. Also, Kim Ohkyu’s partner, former Korea international Yun doesn’t look comfortable at centre back, particularly out of possession.

Ahead of the trip to Daegu, Gangwon will not be able to play their regular centre back Kim Ohkyu for accumulated yellow cards. Cyprus international Valentinos will likely take his place, but there’s also possibility that he might be injured considering he hasn’t been spotted in action since the 3-3 draw against Jeonbuk at home in early August when he was an unused sub. If so, the defence will be the area they are seriously concerned about and which Daegu can possibly exploit.


It is going to be an intense game between Daegu FC and Gangwon FC. The hosts certainly appear to have restored their fine form and will have had their confidence boosted while the visitors look a bit lacklustre due to the absence of centre back Kim Ohkyu. If the Sky Blues can stick to their usual game plan, the citizen club will be able to pick Gangwon off on the counter attack.

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