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FA Cup Preview: Daegu FC vs Seongnam FC

Two K League 1 sides Daegu FC and Seongnam FC will square off in this midweek's FA Cup on the way to the quarter finals. With fixture congestion in scorching summer heat, can the ambitious Sky Blues make it to the last eight? Or will the Magpies take revenge? K League United's Daegu FC correspondent Muyeol Jung previews this clash in FA Cup Round 4.

Last Time Out

Daegu FC 1-3 Ulsan Hyundai

Daegu's unbeaten run was halted by title contenders Ulsan Hyundai who eased past the Sky Blues 3-1 through a first-half goal from Shin Jinho and a brace from Júnior Negrão. The game was played in heavy rain which turned out to be unfortunate for the hosts. Daegu defenders slipped down to the ground, which resulted in unmarked Lee Chungyong having enough time to send a low cross to Shin Jinho who had an empty net to score.

The hosts switched to a back four with an introduction of Jang Sungwon after the break and looked stable. But "Smiling assassin" Júnior Negrão increased Ulsan's lead through a decisive strike with a beautiful turn. Right after the restart, Daegu FC instantly responded with a tap in by Kim Dongjin on a corner. Despite the scoreline, Kim Dohoon's side looked calm and determined in restoring their two-goal lead. After several attempts denied by Gu Sungyun or the woodwork, Júnior met substitute Kim Insung's cross and found the back of the net once more before the final whistle. Thanks to the win, Ulsan moved to top of the table above Jeonbuk who drew to Seongnam the day before this game.


Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2-2 Seongnam FC

It looked like Jeonbuk Hyundai had been blown away in the first half, but they stayed in the game and came back from 2-0 down to share the points against Seongnam FC. Seongnam did a terrific job in the first half with two goals from Lee Jaewon and Park Taejoon. Lee gave the Magpies the lead within less than five minutes before Park Taejoon doubled the lead before the half time whistle.

Jeonbuk came back to the second half strong with the introduction of Lee Seungki and Kim Minhyuk replacing veteran midfielder Shin Hyungmin and Hong Jeongho. The changes immediately brought Jeonbuk to life. The Motors had one back when winger Han Kyowon found space for himself near the box and diagonally fired a low shot to the far post on 54 minutes. Afterwards, Jeonbuk found an equaliser when the substitute Lee Seungki's effort went off a defender and in. With still twenty to play, Jeonbuk continued to push hard for a third, but Seongnam managed to withstand Jeonbuk's onslaught. In the end, both sides had to share the points without any further goal scored.


Previous Meetings

In the Cup competition, Daegu FC and Seongnam FC have met only once in the 2014 FA Cup in which the Magpies later lifted the trophy after dramatically beating FC Seoul 4-2 on penalties in the finals. On their way to the summit, then Kim Hakbeom led Seongnam played host to then second division side Daegu FC and knocked them out after a header from current FC Bordeaux forward Hwang Euijo on 80 minutes, which proved to be the winner.

In the meantime, the recent league meetings went a bit differently. The Sky Blues have superior records with three wins and a draw, while Seongnam haven't claimed a victory against Daegu yet since their comeback to the top flight in the 2019 season. This season Lee Byunggeun's boys recorded their first win over Kim Namil's Seongnam and rode an unbeaten run in seven games until last time out.

Team News

Daegu FC

With Hong Jungwoon (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) out for the season, Daegu FC have injury issues with their key players. Edgar da Silva (Achilles), Hwang Soonmin (unspecified), and Kim Wooseok (unspecified) were out of the squad last weekend, and remain doubtful despite the fact that their injuries are reportedly far from serious.

Having said that, caretaker Lee Byunggeun will also have to take into account the next league game which is to take place this Saturday against Sangju.

As a result, some extent of squad rotation is expected, but the degree would be marginal like the previous cup clash because of limited resources and injuries. At the spearhead, Dejan will be paired with Shin Changmoo in place of Kim Daewon, while Kim Jaewoo might be given a place in the back three, accordingly Kim Dongjin is likely to play as wing back.

Seongnam FC

Following an unforgivable 4-0 home loss to Pohang, manager Kim Namil freshened up his starting eleven last time out against Jeonbuk and it worked out pretty well despite them losing Ahn Youngkyu and Choi Jimook to injuries.

Ahead of the cup tie, 11th-placed Seongnam have one more day to better recover than Daegu and conserved their regulars last time out, but that does not mean they will prioritise the midweek cup game considering their position in the table.

Like their approach to the previous round in the FA Cup, a majority of back-ups and unfit players who need game minutes will be likely to line up for the midweek cup games.

What To Watch

Can Daegu FC juggle with two competitions?

The midweek FA Cup tie will be the first Cup game to be hosted at DGB Daegu Bank Park since its opening last year

The Sky Blues' recent successes in the top flight set their bar high, and they kind of became a side that aims to challenge for AFC Champions League football. There would be no need to mention that their first short experience with the continental football in 2019 even stimulates their ambitions. As a result, the Cup competition isn't something they would give up easily.

What lessons have Kim Namil's Seongnam learnt from their first defeat to Daegu?

Rookie manager Kim Namil has experienced such a contrasting time with Seongnam in his first managerial post

The Magpies, led by Kim Namil who got his first managerial job, confounded many pundits, flying high with two wins and two draws from four games in May. However, their short honeymoon period with the rookie manager had to come to an end in June when the Sky Blues fiercely halted them with two strong headers from Edgar and Jeong Taewook on set pieces.

[READ: 2020 K League 1 Match Recap: Seongnam FC 1-2 Daegu FC ]

In that game, manager Kim Namil started Ma Sanghoon in a back four as a means of gaining control of aerial duels, but the defender absolutely looked out of his depth. Attacking wise, Seongnam were unable to move forward due to Daegu's collective high pressure and offered little. Since the defeat, the Magpies have gone seven league games without a win.

Interestingly, this cup tie will be the first game Seongnam FC will face a K League 1 side after the Magpies have played each other once in the league. Seongnam might take the game lightly with some degree of rotation, but for the gaffer, it will be the chance and the test to prove what lessons he has learnt from the first meeting and what he can offer better.

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Because of the fixture congestion and lack of squad rotation, I don't think Daegu FC would perform above any standard like the last meeting in the league, but their big ambitions for the Cup will ultimately get them through to the next round.

Daegu FC 2-1 Seongnam FC

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