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#DHFCvGAN Preview: Will Daejeon exact ultimate revenge on Gangwon?

An already-safe Daejeon Hana Citizen host second-bottom Gangwon FC this Saturday in Round 36 of the 2023 Hana 1Q K League 1 season with the opportunity to further pile the misery on Yoon Jong-hwan's men. There's history between these two teams and a Daejeon win could leave Gangwon on the brink of relegation.

Overview & Match Information

Fixture: Daejeon Hana Citizen vs. Gangwon FC
Competition: 2023 Hana 1Q K League 1 Round 36
Venue: Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Date: Saturday 11th November 2023, 14:00 KST

Sunday 12th December 2021, 14:17, Gangneung Civic Stadium. Daejeon Hana Citizen had just taken a 1-0 lead on the day, 2-0 on aggregate, in the 2021 promotion-relegation playoffs; Lee Jong-hyeon's thunderbolt allowed Daejeon to dream. But a complete collapse with Gangwon goals on 26, 28, and 31 minutes left Citizen shellshocked and rendered their rise to the top flight in ruins. Hwang Mun-ki making it 4-1 deep into time added on dealt the final blow. 

But, throughout the match, insult was added to injury with alleged antics from Gangwon's ballboys reacting slowly or not giving the ball to Daejeon's players. Kim Dong-jun, Daejeon's goalkeeper that afternoon, alleged in an interview a couple of months later that there had been ghost cancellations of Daejeon's practice pitch bookings in the lead-up to the game. Only when they had reserved one under a different name did they have a pitch to train on. A detailed account of what else was alleged can be found here.

There might only be a handful of players left from that Daejeon side but the fans haven't forgotten. Daejeon have beaten Gangwon twice this season and drawn once but another win this Saturday could deal Gangwon a damaging blow in their own bid to avoid the drop via the playoffs. The Purples, in a much better place than they were two years ago, would take great satisfaction in doing so.

Recent Form

Daejeon Hana Citizen head into the clash with Gangwon seeking their first win of Final B following two straight draws but having gone six unbeaten all told. Last time out, Daejeon's draw with the Bluewings will have felt like a win, though, having fought back from 2-0 down to earn a draw in the dying embers. Golden Boot race leader Tiago pulled one back from close range with a fine, composed effort before scorer turned provider with the Brazilian nodding the ball into the path of Masatoshi Ishida who slid in to find the equaliser.

Gangwon were on the receiving end of a late equaliser last weekend with Jeju's Chung Woon scoring in the 96th minute to cancel out Vito Gabriel's 51st-minute opener. The draw did at least end a run of back-to-back defeats but the Bears have managed just one win in six and two in 25. Gangwon have won just twice on the road this season and, incredibly, both wins came against Jeonbuk.

Team News

If the squad picked to face Suwon Bluewings last time out is anything to go by then there shouldn't be too much rotation from Daejeon boss Lee Min-sung. Lee Dong-won and Lee Seon-yu are likely to be involved as two of the B team's standout performers; Lee Seon-yu has eight goals and nine assists this season in K4 while Lee Dong-won has seven goals and three assists. What formation Daejeon are set up in will be something to keep tabs on as the back four against Suwon didn't seem to work. Daejeon don't have any players ruled out through suspension although Tiago and Cho Yu-min are both on four bookings and so would miss the next game if they pick up another.

Gangwon don't have any players ruled out through suspension either but Kim Young-bin and Galego are both one yellow away from a one-match ban. Former Daejeon midfielder Ikromjon Alibaev will be hoping he's done enough to keep his place in the side. The Uzbekistan international was left out of the matchday squad for the playoff game against his current employers back in 2021 and may feel like he has a point to prove. Lee Ji-sol could face Daejeon for the first time since joining Gangwon although the young centre back was absent from the matchday squad last time out after taking a ball to the face against FC Seoul the previous week.


Including the two playoff games in 2021, Daejeon and Gangwon have faced each other 28 times in K League competition. Daejeon have won 15 of those, Gangwon eight, and five have been draws. Daejeon have managed 46 goals to Gangwon's 39. Over the last 10 meetings, it's Daejeon six wins, Gangwon three, and just one draw. 

Daejeon began the new season with a 2-0 win over Gangwon FC. Tiago and Leandro were both on target on that particularly chilly February afternoon. The two trips to Gangwon yielded four points with a 2-1 win in Chuncheon in June (R17) - Tiago and Ju Se-jong on the score sheet - and 1-1 in early October (R32) with Masa on target for Daejeon, Kim Dae-won for Gangwon.

Who to Watch

Tiago Orobo, Daejeon Hana Citizen

So far the only player in the league to reach 20 combined goals and assists is Tiago. The Brazilian got one each last time out to take him to 16 goals and four assists. His 16 goals is enough to put him in the lead for the golden boot. Pressure, then, will be on to keep scoring but Tiago has scored against Gangwon twice already this season and got the assist for Masa in the 1-1 draw away to the Bears when the teams last met. Most of Tiago's goals have been finished with his right foot (11), and the way he appears on the edge of the six-yard box to sweep home is something that Gangwon are going to have to be wary of. He may have only scored three headers he is second in the division for headed shots on goal with 24, only Edgar has managed more. The 30-year-old comes alive in the box and ranks fifth for touches in the 18-yard area.

Vitor Gabriel, Gangwon FC

Summer transfer window arrival Vitor Gabriel has three goals for Gangwon so far and two have come in the last two matches. His most recent looked to be enough to earn three vital points but a late equaliser for Jeju meant the spoils were shared. The 23-year-old has scored in a Gangwon win, though, as his first goal for the club came in that 3-1 victory of Jeonbuk in September. Despite only appearing 11 times for the club, Gabriel is third for total shots dispatched and third for shots on target for Gangwon with 13. If Gangwon are to avoid the drop then they'll need the likes of Vitor Gabriel to fire them to safety.

Where to Watch

Follow the match LIVE, for FREE, and in HD on TV.KLeague.com.

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