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Preview: Jeju United vs Incheon United

Jeju United play the first of their two home matches against Incheon United this coming weekend in Final Round B following their 2-2 away draw against Gyeongnam FC last weekend.  Incheon played out a 1-1 draw with Suwon Bluewings, and still find themselves in tenth and in a position of safety, also with the knowledge that Jeju have not beaten them this season.  The sands in the hourglass have almost run out for the islanders, and it is another win at all costs type of match, otherwise relegation will most certainly be the result.  KLU's Branko Belan has a look ahead to the match.

Match: Jeju United vs Incheon United
Venue: Jeju World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday November 2nd, 2019; 16:00 KST

Last Time Out

Gyeongnam FC 2-2 Jeju United

Jeju had a great opportunity to get a win last time out against Gyeongnam as they led twice, but ultimately had to settle for a draw, leaving them at the foot of the table with only three matches to play.

The sides traded goals in the first half as it was Jeju who took the lead just before the half hour mark thanks to Yoon Bit-garam's free kick from just outside the area, but Uroš Đerić leveled the match with ten minutes left in the first half.  Jeju would once again take the lead through Elias Aguilar after 66 minutes, and it looked like the islanders might actually be able to hold on for the win.  It was not to be, however, as Kim Won-il was charged with an own goal with twelve minutes to play, and Jeju were forced to settle for only a draw after what was one of their more encouraging performances in some time.

Highlights: here

Incheon United 1-1 Suwon Bluewings

Incheon failed to create any distance between themselves and their opponents below them as they had to come from behind to get a point against Suwon Bluewings at home.

The visitors took the lead through the K League's leading goal-getter this season, Socceroo Adam Taggart, who was in a perfect position to smash home Jeon Se-jin's ball in from the right and it would be the difference going into the break, although Incheon did have a goal called back for offside.

It looked as though Incheon would surrender all three points, but they managed to claw back for a point as Myung Joon-jae's late heroics got them a point in injury time.  Suwon were adjudged to have handled the ball and the home side earned a free kick as a result.  The resulting effort pinged around in the box before falling into the path of the second half substitute, and he made no mistake from close range to get a share of the spoils for his club.  It could prove to be a valuable point if things go down to the wire.

Highlights: here  

Previous Meetings

Jeju and Incheon opened the 2019 season against each other, and the first match between the two ended in a 1-1 draw.  Lee Chang-min put Jeju into the lead with just under ten minutes to go in the first half with one of his several wonder strikes on the season, but Stefan Mugosa leveled the match with a penalty on 61 minutes and neither side was able to find a way through for the win on opening weekend.

The second match on the island went to the visitors, as Incheon came away 2-1 winners.  The sides traded goals early in the second half before a Lee Woo-hyuk penalty with seven minutes left on the clock was the deciding factor, while the third match ended in a scoreless draw.

The overall edge in the head to head still belongs to Jeju with ten wins to Incheon's seven.  Thirteen matches have ended in a draw, but Jeju will have to hope to produce the form which saw them beat Incheon 4-2 at home early last season when they were still in control of their own destiny.  They need a convincing performance, and they certainly need all three points from this one.

Team News

Elias Aguilar vs Gyeongnam FC 10.27.19
Elias Aguilar scored Jeju's second goal against Gyeongnam, but it wasn't enough for the win.

Baek Dong-gyu picked up his third yellow card since coming back to Jeju and will not be available for selection this weekend.  Kim Won-il cost his team three points on the day with an own goal on 78 minutes, and the hope is that he will not be selected for the Incheon match.  He has been too much of a liability when given the opportunity to play, and the hope is that his gaffe will not be the one to decide Jeju's fate with things coming down to the wire.

Hwang Sung-min got the start last time out, but the expectation is that Oh Seung-hoon will be back between the sticks with everything on the line once again this weekend.  Hwang has performed admirably when called upon this season, and can't be faulted for the result against Gyeongnam.  It may be his last appearance of the season, but he could still get a look if Jeju's chances of staying up go out the window.

Nam Jun-jae should be on the list for selection to face his old team, as should Elias Aguilar who once again came up big with a goal to put Jeju back in the lead in the second half before things fell apart at the back again.  Both players have been key to Jeju's very limited success this season and should not be overlooked for what is definitely their most important match of the season.

Ahn Hyun-beom also picked up a yellow card last week, but will still be in the fold for consideration.  Kang Yun-sung started for the first time since returning from international duty with the U-22 side, and should be another option in midfield, although he would be better suited to take up a position on the outside in midfield as opposed to playing in the middle as he did against the Reds.  Choi Yun-kyum should look to field his strongest eleven and go for all three points right from the off as there may not be any more chances to get things right if they can't get a result on Saturday afternoon.

For Incheon, there are no suspensions, and most all players are healthy and available with the exception of goalkeeper Jeong San who is still out due to an injury he picked up some weeks ago and has not yet fully recovered.  It is unlikely that there will be any changes in the starting eleven compared to the team which played last weekend.

The Adversary

Myung Joon-jae vs Suwon 10.27.19
Myung Joon-jae scored a late equalizer to salvage a point for Incheon against Suwon.

Incheon have secured four out of a possible six points in the relegation playoff thus far with a 1-0 victory over Seongnam FC and a 1-1 draw against Suwon Bluewings.  Stefan Mugosa was the hero two weeks ago scoring the winner with just over a quarter of an hour left, while Myung Joon-jae salvaged a late injury time equalizer to take a share of the spoils last week after Adam Taggart had given the hosts a goal advantage with the match just over twenty minutes old.

Incheon finished the season unbeaten in four, with a win over Sangju Sangmu on the road and draws against Daegu FC, Gangwon FC, and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.  They have hit a good patch of form lately and will not be an easy opponent for Jeju to contend with.  

If they are going to take all three points from the match, Stefan Mugosa will be key for them up front.  He has been involved in more than half of the team's goals this season, and has scored eight goals and added one assist in the latter half of the season after missing a chunk of time due to injury, to bring his overall season totals to thirteen goals and three assists.

The match will also mark the return of Kim Ho-nam to the island to face the team he played for since 2015 (along with his military spell with Sangju Sangmu) before making the move to the black and blue stripes earlier this season in a swap deal which saw Nam Jun-jae come the other way.  He has scored all four of his goals in 2019 for the Durumi after being held goalless for the islanders in the first half of the season.


It's once again a case of all or nothing for Jeju, as they must win at home to keep themselves within shouting distance of the teams above them.  Incheon currently have a six point edge on them, so the islanders know that anything but a victory will not be enough to keep them in the fight.

They should have the added motivation of not having beaten Incheon yet this season.  With only one notable omission from the squad list, there are no excuses to not play the best possible lineup in search of three points they so desperately need.  If they come out with urgency and can hold at the back, they may just be able to nip it in the end, but the back line must stay compact.  It's do or die, and they have no choice but to get the job done.

Predicted Score: Jeju United 2-1 Incheon United

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