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Will Gangwon Avoid a Cup Upset Away to K3 Opposition?

Gangwon will look to continue their fine unbeaten form in the FA Cup on Wednesday, vying for a place in the next round away to K3 League strugglers Cheongju FC. The Bears come into the game without losing in six, whilst the home side are yet to win this campaign outside of the cup. It’s a first time meeting between these two teams, but is an upset possible?

Recent Form

Gangwon have been in fine shape recently, recovering from a shaky start to the season with a tweaked approach which saw defensive solidarity and results favoured over expansive, free-flowing football. However, fans of “Byung-soo Ball” got a reminder of just how good the Bears can be thanks to a dominating 3-0 win over Daegu at the weekend which made it six without defeat, something which is bound to get their cup opposition worried.

Cheongju, though, will be looking to cause an unlikely upset, and hoping to build on three recent high-scoring draws in the league with a cup triumph. Although, with the side boasting the K3 League’s leakiest defence, any signs of an unexpected victory may be stunted by their lack of organisation.

Team News

It’s probable that Gangwon will ring the changes for the midweek cup tie, undoubtedly assured that they will get past their lower rung opposition without too much fuss. Kim Jeong-ho might be given a chance to prove himself again in goal, whilst the likes of Kim Dae-woo, who have struggled for regular game time, may feature more prominently.


The home side, if they wish to progress, need to go full-strength. Kang Yeon-jong, who boasts an impressive goal return this season, should play a part in defence, and Sin Jae-un, who has kept things ticking over for Cheongju, should keep his place too.


What to Watch

The Return of Byung-soo ball



Saturday’s 3-0 home win over Daegu was an impressive return to the quick-passing, attacking Gangwon of the last couple of seasons. That style is unlikely to waver in this cup tie, and fans and admirers can look forward to a high-tempo treat in this third round tie. Even if a large amount of the lineup may be second-string names, there’s nothing to suggest that this can’t be a high-scoring affair if Kim Byung-soo sticks to his tactical guns.

Can Cheongju do the improbable?

Plausibly, no, but that’s the magic of the cup. Their opponents have never been defeated at the third round stage, and have reached two consecutive quarter finals, but they’re not immune to upsets either. They were knocked out by K3 League opponents Daejeon Korail in 2019, a statistic that Cheongju will no doubt cling to as they hope to progress past their in-form adversaries.


Who to Watch

Kim Dae-woo



After scoring his first goal of the season against Daegu, confidence will be high for the frequently substituted Kim Dae-woo. Should he be given the chance to play a more featured role on Wednesday, the youngster will be hoping to continue his upturn in form, and cause manager Kim Byung-soo something of a selection headache when the league restarts at the weekend.

Match Prediction

Gangwon should have enough quality to brush past the challenge of Cheongju, particularly with their defensive woes this season. Yet, an upset cannot be entirely ruled out, and the Bears may just have to watch their backs if they get complacent.

Score Prediction: Cheongju FC 1-3 Gangwon FC

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