One of the main talking points from last weekend’s fixtures was the crowds, or lack of, as attendance figures plummeted which was a shame as there were some fantastic matches not being watched! Match Day 7 gave us six home wins as Jeonbuk made it five league wins on the bounce as they sent Jeonnam packing in the Jeolla Derby. There were 2-1 victories for Pohang and Bluewings as they sent Gyongnam and Sangju home to think again. The match of the day was in Jeju as the hosts ran out 4-2 victors over Incheon with a Tiago Marques double sealing the points for the Islanders. Perhaps rather surprisingly there was a first win for the season for Daegu as they defeated Gangwon 2-1 to consign them to their fourth consecutive defeat.
This week we head to Incheon and the first ‘Gyeongin Derby’ of the season as Bluewings come to town in what is this week’s ‘match of the day’
2018 K-League One ~ Match Day 3 – ‘Match of the Day’
Incheon United vs Suwon Bluewings
Incheon have been having yet another Jekyll & Hyde season which really does seem to be becoming something of a pattern of late, scintillating to watch at times against Jeonbuk they then found themselves on the end of a late ‘smash and grab’ by the Army a couple of week ago. Last week they traveled to Jeju and came home empty-handed on the end of a 4-2 defeat. They managed to twice claw themselves back into the match after being first 2-1 then 3-1 down and when Stefan Mugosa (pictured left) made it 3-2 you wouldn’t have been faulted for thinking they would go on a grab a point. Alas there was to be no dramatic last-minute equalizer from ‘Super-sub’ Song Si Woo and it was instead Incheon who conceded again in injury time. Mugosa has made quite the impact since arriving in the winter window and the man with the mustache that could inspire a 70s revolution has now scored five goals in five games. His goal on Saturday past was yet again clear indication of a player who “knows where the goals are” as he easily, and coolly, swept a cross that was a little behind him into the net. He is looking like a really decent piece of business and could be the key between them finishing the season safely and their all too familiar nervy season finishes. The Incheon defence, however, has not been overly impressive this year and again against Jeju they were rather easily sliced apart at times. They have shipped 12 goals in 7 games and even with their goal threats upfront they’ll need to plug the gaps at the back this week.
Bluewings have had a topsy turvy season of their own and come into the game after resurrecting an Asian Champions League campaign that looked dead and buried all of two weeks ago. They went to Japan and got the victory they needed courtesy of a Dejan goal. The experienced striker (pictured right) may have struggled a little in his new K-League surroundings this year but he has managed to find the net a simply incredible five times in six games taking his overall tally to 32 goals in the ACL. It has been a different story in the league though and despite starting in five games has just the solitary goal for his efforts. That being said while his name might not be gracing a K-League scoresheet all too often he is an integral part of everything attack-minded in a blue shirt, whether it be holding up the ball or creating chances such as the one he set up for Kim Jong Woo on Saturday. The Bluewings are currently sitting in 2nd spot in the table having won three of their last four games and are unbeaten since the opening weekend. They looked good in the fist half last week against Sangju and could probably have scored a third before the half-time whistle sounded, they huffed and puffed a little more in the 2nd half once Sangju pressed them and that seems to be one of the biggest issues with them this year as they struggle to really impose themselves on teams and kill them off, indeed it was Sangju who looked more likely to score and snatch a draw than Bluewings putting the game out of sight. You feel though that if they can finally start turning the screw on teams more that they might be the league’s only hope to halt Jeonbuk….but it is a slim hope.
The teams have met 40 times during the years and it’s probably one of the most one-sided clashes in the K-League One as Incheon have managed only a total of five wins against their rivals. They met four times last season including a 4th Round clash in the FA Cup which Bluewings won 1-0. In the league both the games in Incheon ended in draws with the first of which being an epic 3-3 draw which saw Incheon come back from 3-1 down. There have, incredibly, been seven draws in the last ten league outings between the two and it’s fair to say that Incheon have been a thorn in their neighbours side of late. You do have to go back to 2013 for the last time they won, a 2-1 home victory on a freezing December 1st with Seongnam’s Nam Jun Jae on the scoresheet that day. On paper this could be another tough one to call, but Bluewings must surely have their tail feathers in the air after qualifying for the ACL knockouts and that might just be enough.
Prediction : Away Win : Incheon 1 Bluewings 2
Also in K-League One this week we have…..