This week sees attention turn towards the FA Cup as the 3rd round gets underway with the K-League Two teams entering the competition and as a result we have two all K2 draws namely Busan vs Bucheon on April 3rd and tonight’s ‘all Citizen’ clash between Seongnam vs Daejeon.
Seongnam come into the match unbeaten in four league matches so far this year although they have drawn both their home games 0-0 as they once again suffer home ‘performance anxiety’. They drew with Ansan last weekend in a match that they controlled for most of the 2nd half but without really creating much, which has been their issue for a few years now to be honest. In Daejeon they face a team that lost for the third time on Sunday past, a 1-0 home defeat to Busan. They have looked like a team short on confidence again this campaign epitomized by them twice throwing away the lead to Ansan a couple of weeks ago. They have also shipped 6 goals in their four games so far compared to Seongnam’s 2.
Players to watch
Eder has had an almost Tiago-esque start to his Seongnam career as he has scored four goals so far for the Magpies albeit two from the spot. He possesses a first touch that is kind of out of place in the K2 and has the ability to bring his team mates into the game even when it looks like all is lost (see his assist for Park Tae-joon’s equalizer against Suwon FC). His year on the fringes at Jeonbuk doesn’t seem to have dented his confidence any and and even at this early stage he looks like he is going to be pivotal in any promotion challenge they make. He has definitely been an upgrade for Seongnam this season and is swiftly becoming a ‘fan favourite’.
Former players have a habit of haunting their clubs at times and although there are several x-Magpies (Ahn Jaejun, Oh Jangeun) to choose from tonight it is undoubtedly the Slovakian winger who has the skill to torment his former employers in the cup. He arrived at Seongnam midway through the season last year and was one of the main forces behind their challenge for the play-offs. He has the guile to turn defenders inside out and the deadball skill to punish mistakes. He arrived in the K-League as Slovakia’s top goalscorer and you imagine he’ll be looking at 2018 as the year to get himself back among the top players in the league.
Head to Head
The teams have met in the FA Cup on two previous occasions , both of which saw Seongnam make the journey back from Daejeon with victories in the bag. They last met back in 2010 in a rather comprehensive 3-0 victory for the visitors, Molina grabbing a brace that night. Their other cup encounter was in 2009 when they met in the semis and again it was Molina who would emerge as the ‘Don of Daejeon’ as he bagged the only goal to send Seongnam into the final, which they lost on penalties to the Bluewings.
In the league Seongnam also have the upper hand as they have won the lions share of the fixtures overall and most recently they drew two and won two last year. Daejeon have only won a total of five times against Seongnam and you have have to go back to 2012 for the last time Daejeon won at Tancheon a 2-1 win with Kevin Oris grabbing the winner. I think it’s safe to say that both teams would give anything for a Molina or an Oris in their colours right about now.
It will be a hard fought game for both teams and might very well take extra time to separate them. Seongnam are generally tough opposition at home in the cup, well unless your name is Mokpo, and it’s that experience that might just give them the edge. Both team will also have one eye on improving their league form and as such we might see several changes from the squads which started last weekend.
Prediction: Home advantage to be enough: Seongnam 2 Daejeon 1