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Korea Cup 3rd Round Draw

FC Seoul will make the short trip south of the Han to face Osmar Ibanez and Seoul E-Land on April 17th in the stand-out fixture. There's an intriguing battle in Gimcheon after last season's K League 2 final. Meanwhile, Jinju Citizen are the only K4 team left having disposed of Chungnam Asan.

The matches are scheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 17th. 

Match 32: Ansan Greeners (2) vs. Suwon Samsung (2)

Suwon beat Ansan last weekend, and will now return to Wa~ Stadium without the enormous following that attended the narrow league win. Interestingly, they faced each other at the same stage last season, with Suwon prevailing 3-1. The air quality was so bad that night, we were getting messages from the local Ansan government not to attend the match. A theme of the 2nd round, Ansan needed a late goal to topple Gyeongju KHNP. Suwon also left it late to eliminate Chuncheon Citizen.

The winners of this clash will travel to the Pohang Steelyard in June.

Match 33: Seoul E-Land (2) vs. FC Seoul (1)

The fixture most (if not all) football fans were dreaming of when the draw was originally made. Seoul E-Land had to win in Daejeon in the 2nd Round for it to come to fruition. They kept up their end of the bargain - only just - by dumping out Daejeon Korail on penalties. Their reward is a home tie with FC Seoul; only the second meeting between the two clubs. The build-up will likely focus on Osmar Ibanez, who faces his former club so soon after joining Seoul E-land. Expect midweek fireworks.

The winners will host the Round 16 tie in June against Gangwon or Hwaseong.

Match 34: Gangwon FC (1) vs. Hwaseong FC (3)

K League 1's Gangwon FC enter the competition hoping to avoid a shock result against a club in the third tier. Gangwon advanced as far as the quarter-finals in 2023, losing to eventual winners Pohang Steelers. Hwaseong, for their part, lost narrowly to Ansan Greeners in the second round last year but advanced this time thanks to a 2-0 win over Yeoju. An upset is unlikely but Hwaseong are no mugs, having won K3 in 2023. As the tournament progresses, Gangwon's priority will be avoiding relegation.

The winners of this tie will face either Seoul E-Land or FC Seoul away in June.

Match 35: Gimpo FC (2) vs. FC Anyang (2)

Another all K League 2 but the location of this match is still undecided. Gimpo FC have the right to host the game but given they're not returning home to Solteo until May 4th due to renovations, this tie could be moved. Gimpo were handed a major scare in the last round, needing two late goals to advance past 5th tier Byeoksan Players. Anyang, meanwhile, had to wait until the 75th minute before eventually breaking down K3 outfit Siheung Citizen. 

A glamour home fixture awaits the winners; Jeonbuk Motors will be the opposition.

Match 36: Jinju Citizen (4) vs. Daejeon Hana Citizen (1)

The only upset of the 2nd round went to K4's Jinju Citizen who eliminated Chungnam Asan 1-0. Jinju, therefore, are the lowest-ranked side left in the competition. Their reward is significant; Daejeon Hana Citizen will travel south to Jinju for a midweek game they presumably don't fancy. Last season, Jinju went out in the second round whereas Daejeon lost a seven-goal thriller to Jeju United in the Last 16. Daejeon will be hoping to add to their solitary Cup success, back in 2001.

The victors will host the winners of Match 37, between Jeju United and Cheonan City.

Match 37: Jeju United (1) vs. Cheonan City FC (2)

After toppling Daejeon Hana, Jeju went out on penalties in the semi-finals to Pohang Steelers. Their one-off semi was scheduled in August, but then a typhoon hit. The game was eventually played in November, three days before the final. Jeju United will be pleased with this draw as a surprise looks highly unlikely. Cheonan beat fifth-tier Yangsan Eogok 4-0 in round 2, but the score was tied at 0-0 with 17 minutes remaining. 

A trip to, most likely, Daejeon awaits the winners.

Match 38: FC Mokpo (3) vs. Bucheon FC 1995 (2)

Mokpo got the better of fellow K3 team Changwon FC, scoring early and holding on for a good win. They will meet Bucheon FC 1995 in the next round, who needed a late winner to eliminate Busan Transportation on Sunday. Mokpo finished second in K3 last season, and have started this year with a win and a loss. A Bucheon victory is far from guaranteed but they've at least improved on their showing last year, when their Cup dreams ended in a 6-0 loss to Seoul E-Land.

Gwangju FC awaits the winners. A South Jeolla derby?

Match 39: Seongnam FC (2) vs. Suwon FC (1)

After parting ways with manager Lee Ki-hyung three days before their second-round clash, all eyes were on Pocheon to see if the K3 side could defeat a vulnerable Seongnam. The answer was an emphatic no, and Seongnam ended a troubled week in the best possible fashion. They return to Tancheon for the next round, against K League 1 high-fliers Suwon FC. Despite a difficult start to the season, this will be a good test of Seongnam's promotion aspirations. They are 3-time winners of the Cup.

The winner will host the Last 16 clash against the victor from match 40.

Match 40: Daegu FC (1) vs. Chungbuk Cheongju (2)

Cheongju advanced to the third round courtesy of late goals in each half to see off Geoje Citizen on Saturday. Choi Yoon-gyeom's side are unbeaten in K League 2, sitting alone at the top of the table, and will fancy their chances of causing an upset in the next round. Daegu enter this round but their league form has been poor. If there's no improvement by April 17th, attention might be shifted towards a potential relegation battle. Daegu won the Cup in 2018 and made the final three years ago.

Whoever prevails will be on the road in the next round.

Match 41: Gyeongnam FC (2) vs. Jeonnam Dragons (2)

On Saturday, Gyeongnam avoided a potential banana skin at K3's Paju to set up a third-round clash with 2021 champions, Jeonnam Dragons. Gyeongnam have been awful in K League 2, but Georgian striker Zurab Museliani's second-half strike ensured a safe passage. Jeonnam were equally unconvincing in their 1-0 win over Gangneung City but the club has serious Cup pedigree. They are going for an incredible, but unlikely, fifth title. This game is impossible to call.

A trip to Munsu to face back-to-back K League 1 champions Ulsan HD is their reward.

Match 42: Gimhae City (3) vs. Incheon United (1)

Gimhae were the biggest winners of the round, trashing K4 side Pyeongtaek 5-1 on the road. The teams were level at the break but three goals in four minutes midway through the second half ended the contest. Gimhae are rewarded with a glamour tie in the 3rd round as Cho Sung-hwan takes his Incheon United squad on the long trip south for a midweek game. Incheon made the semis in last season's typhoon-affected Korea Cup. Their best finish was as runners-up in 2015.

The winners will host the victors from the final game.

Match 43: Gimcheon Sangmu (1) vs. Busan IPark (2)

This is a fascinating tie because of recent history. Gimcheon were chasing Busan for automatic promotion last season and looked to have lost the battle in the penultimate round. Park Jin-sub's side, however, failed to win either of their final two games, gifting Gimcheon the title. Busan's indifferent home form continued on Sunday when Ulsan Citizen took them to penalties following a goalless draw in 90 minutes. Like Suwon, Busan selected a good team and should have been too strong for the K3 leaders.

The winners of this tie will travel to Gimhae or Incheon in June.

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