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Preview: Seongnam FC vs Incheon United

K League 1 Preview: Seongnam FC vs Incheon United

The regular season has come to a close and the league has split into two groups. Seongnam FC enter this week 9th in the table in what has been an offensively weak but somewhat successful season where they were able to prove that they have what it takes to remain in the top flight. The same cannot be said for their opponent this week Incheon United who currently sit at 11th and are in imminent danger of having to compete in the relegation playoff or worse yet, direct relegation.

Last Time Out

Seongnam's last few outings have gone just about as expected for this season. The team has dropped four out of its last six (with one win and one draw) and have scored a measly 25 goals this season averaging far below a goal per match. Last week they faced a tough opponent in Daegu FC. A new fan favorite, largely because of their new stadium, Daegu FC sits at 4th in the table and are currently in the top six group fighting for a spot in next years Asia Champions League.

If one were to look at stats alone, they would see Seongnam's one shot in the first half and assume they had no offense or possession however Seongnam did start off somewhat strong moving the ball down the sidelines and at least attempting to cross it into the middle. Unfortunately as has been the case all season they simply could not connect on the final pass and therefore could not get any shots off.

The scoring began in the second half when Daegu's Park Byoun-hyun earned a yellow card with a rough tackle on Joo Hyun-woo in the box earning Seongnam a penalty which Seo Bo-min scored with ease. This goal, however, was somewhat of a turning point for Daegu as they immediately began to take control of possession and just two minutes later Jung Seung-won sent in a beautiful ball from the wing toward the top of the box where Brazilian standout player Edgar Bruno Da Silva was able to head it into the left corner of the net bringing the score to 1-1.

It would remain that way until the very end when Lim Chae-min of Seongnam carelessly fouled Daegu's Cesinha just outside the top of the box, setting up a free kick in the 92nd minute. Though initially saved by Seongnam keeper Kim Dong-jun the rebound was sent back into the back of the net by Shin Chang-mu while Seongnam's defense inexplicably just watched it happen. That would be the winner for Daegu as they stole three points with a crucial 2-1 victory leaving Seongnam to enter the split with a tough loss.


Previous Meetings

One word can describe the match-ups this season between Incheon and Seongnam this season and that is uneventful. Their first two matches ended as 0-0 draws which makes a lot of sense considering they are the lowest goal-scoring teams in the K-League at 25 goals for Seongnam and 29 goals for Incheon. Seongnam's strong defense was a big factor as well however when one considers the fact that Incheon's defense allowed the 3rd most amount of goals this season Seongnam fans definitely saw those draws as huge missed opportunities especially considering Seongnam was only 3 wins away from being placed in the top bracket at the split.

The third matchup between the two teams would see Seongnam scoring a goal in the second half off a laser shot sent across the face of goal and into the right corner from the foot of captain Seo Beo-min. This would be the only goal either team would score in their three matches all season and it gave Seongnam a valuable early August three points.

Team News

The good thing for the Magpies is that it is virtually impossible for Seongnam to fall down to last place and face direct relegation and one victory would guarantee that the Magpies would also not compete in the relegation playoff.

For both this week and next, Lee Eun-beom of Seongnam will be out on a disciplinary suspension. Additionally, Lim Chai-min and Chae Byeong-chan have both accumulated five yellow cards and are in danger of their second suspension of the should they accumulate on more.

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The Adversary

Incheon United have not had a great season to say the least. This team currently sits at 11th in the table (5th in the bottom split) and is in serious danger of both direct relegation and the relegation playoffs. The team this season has been plagued by a lack of goals having scored only 29 goals (averaging less then a goal per match). Unlike Seongnam however, Incheon has not been able to rely on its defense to keep them in matches. Their defense has given up 51 goals this season. Only Jeju has a higher number of goals allowed.

Additionally, defender Kim Dong-min will be out on yellow card accumulation while Myung Jung-Jae, Kim Jeung-ho, Jeong San and foreign imports Mahazi and star player Mugosa.

Speaking of Mugosa, the Montenegran is Incheon's top offensive star. While the team has struggled to score to this year lead scorer Mugosa is not someone to sleep on. With 13 goals this season they will be looking at him to help try to get Incheon as far away from the bottom as possible.

[LISTEN: K1 Final Round]

Who To Watch

This week's "who to watch" are Seongnam captain Seo Beo-min and Seongnam's Eder Lima. Eder is the team's leading goal scorer with five goals and Seo has a penchant for making big plays and passes when the team needs them. Seongnam will look to them to create chances in the box to try to take advantage of Incheon's weak defense.

Additionally, Seongnam's defense is something to look out for. They are a tough defensive unit that has played well all season and it will be tough for Incheon's already weak offense to break through and score their first goal against Seongnam.

Prediction

Seongnam and Incheon have played three very uninspiring matches this season however with Seongnam's defense I don't think Incheon will be able to score. Whether or not Seongnam can score though is the real question.

Seongnam FC 1-0 Incheon United



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