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Preview: Gyeongnam FC vs Jeju United

Gyeongnam FC welcome promotion candidates Jeju United to the Changwon Football Center on Saturday afternoon.  The Islanders travel to the mainland knowing only a win would keep the pressure on league leaders Suwon FC with just four matches remaining in K League 2.  The hosts also have high aspirations of their own, to further cement themselves in a playoff berth.  Both these fixtures earlier in the season have been extremely tight contests.  Will this clash be any different?  KLU's James Edrupt previews this one.

Fixture: Gyeongnam FC vs Jeju United.

Venue: Changwon Football Center.  Changwon.

Kick off: Saturday, October 17th; 2020, 16:00 (KST) 

Last Time Out

Man of the moment Ko Kyung-min proved to be the match-winner yet again for the Reds' with a second-half winner in Changwon.

FC Anyang proved extremely stern opposition for large parts of this game.  Former Gyeongnam winger Kwon Young-hyun started the game very brightly for the visitors making some intelligent runs in and around the Gyeongnam backline.  In a scrappy first half, the hosts should have been a goal to the good if it wasn't from Baek Sung-dong screwing a shot wide when it was easier to score than miss, just past the half hour mark. 

The second half got off to a flyer with the home side breaking the deadlock on 56 minutes through Ko Kyung-min.  A deep cross from the attacking full-back Choi Jun was expertly taken down by Ko, who in turn beat the defender with a great turn.  He then with his weaker left foot lashed the ball into the top corner past Yang Dong-won in the Anyang goal.

FC Anyang laid siege to the Gyeongnam goal and they came a post's width away from drawing level when towering center-back Ahn Se-hee thumped a header against the post on 65 minutes.  The Reds' saw the game out well to gain a valuable three points in their attempt to stay in that play-off bracket position.

Full time: Gyeongnam FC 1-0 FC Anyang

Jeju United welcomed lowly Ansan Greeners to the island in quite magnificent form, unbeaten in ten matches.  They were held to a draw in Seogwipo by a battling Ansan outfit.

The Greeners were playing like the team near the top of the table in the first half.  They were knocking the ball around very well and were posing a real threat in the final third through the impressive duo of Saad and Canhoto.  The attacking midfielders were finding pockets in the final third and were really asking questions of the hosts defense.  The Green Wolves were to deservedly go ahead just two minutes before the break through defender Kim Dae-yeol.  A whipped in corner was headed in by Kim, nipping in front of goalkeeper Oh Seung-hoon to put them up one goal to the good.

Ansan looked very comfortable throughout the second half and they were constantly making inroads into the hosts half.  Only to be denied by some wayward finishing and a lack of composure in the final third to add to their slender lead.

Not taking their chances was to come back to haunt The Green Wolves as Jeju United deep into stoppage time were awarded a very dubious spot-kick.  Defender Chung Woon stepped up and made no mistake meaning the points were shared on the island.

Full Time: Jeju United 1-1 Ansan Greeners

Previous Meetings

These two fierce rivals have been involved in some great matches over the years, with a high percentage of them just a goal separates the two sides.

They have already clashed twice this campaign, both ending in draws.  The first game in Seogwipo ended in a 1-1 draw.  The game in Changwon was a classic ending in a 3-3 thriller.  Brazilian winger Negueba rescued a point for the Reds' scoring in the 90th minute as he followed up his missed penalty and calmly slotted home.  

In total they have met 38 times, with Gyeongnam winning 12 and Jeju United winning 10, meaning 16 have ended in draws.  When these two teams lock horns it really is a tight contest as history clearly shows. 

Team News 

Flair player Negueba makes a welcome return to the squad after missing the last two games through suspension

Manager Seol Ki-hyeon was extremely happy with the narrow victory over FC Anyang last week.  He said after the game, "Today was a very important victory.  I knew the game wouldn't be easy, but it would have been made a lot easier if we had taken our chances in the first half.  I must say thank you to the players who worked hard for ninety minutes".

Seol was boosted by the return of key center back Bae Seung-jin last time out and the Reds' as a result looked more assured defensively keeping a clean sheet.  Jang Hyuk was given the nod in the middle of the park replacing Ha Sung-min and experienced striker Park Ki-dong made a quicker than expected recovery from injury to start on the bench.

The Gyeongsangnam-do based team can welcome back winger Negueba after he completed his two-game suspension.  Australian defender Nick Ansell has officially left the club after he became frustrated at not cementing down a regular starting place in the team.  He has left Korea this week and returned to Australia.  The rest of the squad is fit and raring to go with no further suspensions affecting the team.

[READ:Korean Football Round-up 13th October]

The Adversary  

Manager Nam Ki-II will be looking for a reaction from his team after a substandard performance last time out.

Manager Nam Ki-Il will be hoping that last weekend's disappointing performance was just a "one-off" and they will be back to firing on all cylinders come the weekend.  It was a rather disjointed showing from Jeju and one no one could see coming as they have been in imperious form of late.  

Striker Joo Min-kyu has been absent from the Islanders last three fixtures with a knock he picked up during the away victory against Bucheon FC 1995.  Nam will be hoping he recovers in time to make the squad.  Joo loves playing against Gyeongnam FC.  He has a real knack for scoring against Saturday's opposition.

Jin Seong-uk timely return from the military has meant the loss of Joo has not been so severe.  The powerhouse center forward has found the net three times since coming back.  The pacey pairing of Kong Min-hyun and youngster Lee Dong-ryul will be chomping at the bit to get at the Gyeongnam defense this weekend.  The rest of the squad are fit with no suspensions to worry about.

What to Watch

Manager Seol Ki-hyeon use of the bench has been a key factor in the fact Gyeongnam currently sits fourth in the league.  With Negeuba returning to the bench on Saturday the players at Seol's disposal to try and change the game will be at its strongest.  

Influential pacey winger Hwang Il-soo has been left on the bench in recent weeks.  The former Ulsan man has come off the bench every time and his directness running at tiring defenses has been a tactic Seol seems to like employing.  

If the game isn't going to plan the manager is not afraid to take off a player midway through the first half or at half time.  A prime example of this was the recent home victory over Chungnam Asan FC.  The Reds' were losing 1-0 at the break.  Seol used all his three subs at half time, bringing on Hwang Il-soo, Negueba, and Park Ki-dong.  Expect the same tactics to be employed on Saturday.  If the game isn't going to plan for Gyeongnam, Seol certainly won't be afraid to switch things up if he sees fit.


This is a tough one to predict as always when these two teams are involved.  Jeju turned in their worst performance of the campaign last time out and still managed to rescue a point.  Gyeongnam have been in stuttering form of late with just two wins in their last seven matches.  It's second versus fourth in K League 2.  It'll be about who can hold their nerve down the stretch.

Predicted score: Gyeongnam 2-2 Jeju United

[READ:K League 2 Round 24 Preview]


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