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Preview: Seongnam FC Vs. Pohang Steelers: The Magpies Face their first Top flight Opponents of the Cup




Seongnam is doing well in the FA Cup, starting the campaign with a difficult win against Pyeongchang from K4 in the second round. The third round saw the Magpies playing against Gimcheon Sangmu in a match where Seongnam had the lead for most of the game but right before the final whistle, Lee Jung-min, Seongnam´s loanee, scored the equalizer. The match went to the penalty shootout where Seongnam was more efficient. The moment has arrived to play a K League 1-level opponent, Pohang Steelers.


What To Expect From Seongnam:

The Magpies don’t have a loss in the month of May, a good feat looking at the opponents Seongnam played this month apart from the most recent match. It's safe to say that the team arrives at this match at the best moment possible, the sleeping giants seem to be able to play face-to-face against better opposition.
 



Seongnam started the month of May with an away match against top-of-the-league Gimpo FC, which ended in a scoreless draw. It was a good result for the away team who will be most definitely happy with the outcome looking at how dominant Gimpo were.

After beating them in the FA Cup, Seongnam faced Gimcheon Sangmu on in the league, with full-strength squads different from the cup match. It ended in another draw for Seongnam, this time out with four goals, two each. The Magpies had to make two comebacks in order to achieve that result because Gimcheon Sangmu also.

The third match of the month and Seongnam traveled to Changwon to face Gyeongnam. The last match between these two teams was in 2019 when the Magpies lost 2-1 at Tancheon. This time around, the match ended in another 2-2 draw, for the second time in a row for Seongnam. Gyeongnam scored first but the Magpies were able to make another comeback and scored twice in the last 30 minutes, but Gleyson made sure that the home team would leave the match with at least one point, scoring in the 90th minute.

As it was said before, the most recent match for Seongnam was against the opening-day opponent Ansan and Seongnam repeated the outcome, a 3-0 win over the Green Wolves.

 



Some say that the top-tier teams in K League 2 have the same level of quality as the bottom-tier teams in K League, but the opponent Seongnam will face in the FA Cup is in the top echelon of Korean football, the Steelers. Is expected from the Magpies a slight rotation in the starting 11 just because Seongnam is right there in the playoffs and the main objective of the team is promotion, as said by the owner right before the season started. Players like Denilson, Moon Chang-jin, Park Ji-won, and You Ju-an might see themselves on the starting 11 against the Steelers. Seongnam is expected to give the majority of the possession to Pohang, as they did against Gimpo and Gimcheon Sangmu with a Direct playing style being the preference.


What To Expect From Pohang:


The east coast team is having a great campaign in K League this season, after losing key players in the transfer window, such as Shin Jin-ho and Lim Sang-hyub. The Steelers find themselves in 4th place with the same number of points as 2nd place FC Seoul, they are well in the fight for AFC football next year.

Even though they lost key players, they managed to add quality to the squad with the signings of Kim In-sung former Seongnam, Oberdan, Zeca, and Baek Sung-dong.

Different from Seongnam, Pohang arrives at this match on a low especially compared with how well they started the season, a bunch of injuries might be the reason why for the drop in the Steelers’ performances as of late.

Kim Jong-woo, another winter signing, has returned to training but it´s unclear if he will be fit enough to feature in the cup match. Park Seung-wook has been battling an issue with his foot but returned to the bench in the match against Gangwon. The other Brazilian on the team, Wanderson is dealing with fitness problems, with the same problems are Ha Chang-rae and Kim In-sung. Jung Jae-hee is out until late summer with a hamstring injury.





KLU columnist Zeno Jo, responsible for the information above, has something to say about this match: “It should be a fun match. Pohang should be the favourites heading in, but if they aren’t creating chances and converting effectively, a Seongnam goal could spell disaster. I’m predicting 2-1 Pohang.”

Seongnam Vs. Pohang, A Lot Between Both Teams:


Two giants of Korean football will face each other in the FA Cup and there is a lot of silverware between the two:

- 12 K League Trophies

- 7 Korean FA Cups

- 2 Asian Champions Leagues

As of late, the games between these two teams have been very close with one-goal margin victories, apart from two blowout wins for Pohang in 2020 and 2022. It’s expected to see the same pattern in this upcoming match, with Seongnam uprising and Pohang far away from the Pohang seen at the start of the season but still the favourites to advance in the competition.


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