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FA Cup Preview: Jeju United vs Seoul E-Land

Jeju United meet Seoul E-Land in the third round of the FA Cup with both teams having played each other on opening weekend this season.  Things have changed quite a bit since then as Jeju currently are riding a five match unbeaten streak, while E-Land bounced back from a defeat last weekend against Ansan Greeners with a comeback victory against Bucheon FC 1995 and have won two of their past three matches.  Which side will prevail on Wednesday evening?  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to the match.

Match: Jeju United vs Seoul E-Land
Venue: Jeju World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: Wednesday July 1st, 2020; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Jeju United 1-1 Gyeongnam FC

Jeju let a chance to go top of the table slip away as they had to settle for a draw against Gyeongnam FC on Sunday afternoon.  They took the lead just after just nine minutes through Gong Min-hyun, but the advantage was short lived as a mistake from Kwon Han-jin led to the Reds' equalizer seven minutes later.  Jeju could have gone in front before the end of the first half when Joo Min-kyu stepped up to the spot to take a penalty following a handball in the area, but his attempt was straight at Son Jeong-hyeon.

Both teams had their chances to win it in the second half, and Jeju should have on more than one occasion, but they were unable to make good on their chances in front of goal and both had to settle for a share of the spoils at the final whistle.


Bucheon FC 1995 2-3 Seoul E-Land

When Bucheon staked out to a two goal lead, things did not look good for the Leopards,  William Barbio converted from the penalty spot after half an hour and it was the difference between the teams when they went to the break.

The second half didn't start well for the visitors, either, as Bucheon was awarded another penalty albeit under questionable circumstances, but Cho Soo-chul stepped up and made it 2-0 for the hosts, and it seemed they would take an easy three points from the match.

The Leopards refused to fold, and signs of a comeback began to show when Leandro volleyed home from a cross in the 62nd minute to cut the deficit in half.  The same man would be responsible in large part for the equalizer as well, as he played captain Kim Min-kyun through with four minutes of regular time remaining, who made no mistake with a first-time hit.

Leandro would cap his night off with yet another goal, turning in Ko Jae-hyun's cross in the dying embers of the match and Seoul E-Land recorded a victory which will be talked about for quite some time, as they turned a two goal deficit into three valuable points.


Team News

Nam Ki-il lamented the final result against Gyeongnam, saying it was a pity that the team could not take better advantage of their scoring chances, but even with the draw, Jeju still remain only one point from the top of the table.  He did say that the overall performances of the team have improved and that more work will be put into improving the areas which seem to be lagging, although he did not go into great detail, according to a release from the team.  He also mentioned that the squad will be rotated for the midweek cup fixture, but did not go into specifics about his tactics or lineup considerations.

Seoul E-Land clawed for three points on the weekend and will be motivated to get a result on the back of it on Wednesday night, knowing they have already played once on the island this season and came away with a draw.  

There could also be rotation in the side for the Leopards in midweek, so it could be a chance for Lazar Arsić to get back into the good graces of manager Chung Jung-yong after a dip in his performances lately.  Won Ki-jong is still out, but there are no other injuries to report.  E-Land went with three in the back on the weekend, so it remains to be seen if they will come out with a similar formation for the cup fixture or if the expected rotation will bring a new look to the starting eleven.

The Adversary

The Leopards clawed back for a famous victory against Bucheon on the weekend, overturning a two goal deficit.

The win against Bucheon moved Seoul E-Land to twelve points in the standings and they are now only three points out of first place, so they will be approaching Wednesday night's cup tie with a great deal of confidence.  They came back from the dead against Bucheon and showed they are not a team to be taken lightly when they play at their best.

They showed the necessary determination to turn a match which had gotten away from them back in their favor by the final whistle, and will look to build on that by attempting to progress to the next round in the cup.  Leandro was superb with two goals and an assist on Sunday night and will be a player that Jeju will have to keep a close watch on regardless of if he is selected to start from the opening whistle or gets minutes as a substitute, while Ko Jae-hyun had a strong debut for his new club and could also feature.

What to Watch

Joo Min-kyu has gone cold of late, failing to score in each of the last three matches for the islanders.  His penalty attempt was denied against Gyeongnam, and he had another goal flagged for offside.  

Eder finally got some playing time as a substitute against the Reds, and it may suggest that Nam will turn to him for the match in midweek as Joo has logged a considerable amount of playing time since the beginning of the season.

Seo Jin-su has seen increased playing time lately, and could be in the starting lineup again against E-Land.  With rotation expected, it would be a good opportunity for Jeju to work on building depth within the squad.
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This is quite a tough match to call, with both teams currently playing well.  However, Jeju have been the more consistent of the two and will look to keep their run going.  In fact, their current run began with their second round cup victory against Songwol FC, who they dispatched with ease.

It will come down to nuances, but Jeju will want to go one better and notch another win, considering they have already played their opponents on Wednesday night at home this season and were not able to record a win.  To advance, that is exactly what they must do, and after a bit of a slip against Gyeongnam on the weekend, look for them to get back to their winning ways, especially with league matches against FC Anyang and rivals Bucheon FC 1995 in the very near future.

Predicted Score: Jeju United 2-1 Seoul E-Land

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