That Seongnam manager Kim Nam-il has played for three K1 teams, neither of which is Seongnam, should be enough to motivate the normal glum looking manager into something akin to an emotion in the dugout as he looks to get one over his previous employers….sadly it doesn’t, and instead it more often than not ends in defeat for The Magpies and this seems more common when the opponents are Incheon. Kim played with Incheon from 2012~2013 mustering just under sixty league appearances.
Seongnam fans, despite their club’s travails, are a proud group and so it was that for over 10yrs they had kept a 6-0 drubbing of semi-rivals Incheon close to hand for visits to and from the Incheon Football Stadium…trips that prior to September 27th of last year were looking like becoming less common. In 2016 Seongnam required just a solitary win from their last six matches to avoid relegation…..they were unable to achieve said feat. As the teams lined up on Sunday the 27th September of 2020 a blip in the space-time continuum had resulted in a similar scenario being presented to the once ‘Champions Of Asia’……they would once again fail to grab the proverbial bull by it’s horns. A victory that day would’ve all but guaranteed Seongnam survival, as it happens they not only lost but suffered one of the most humbling defeats in their history.
But even though defeat that day looked unlikely what actually transpired was utterly unpredictable as an early red card for Seongnam’s Yeon Je-woon would end up seeing them completely collapse and resulted in them getting absolutely trounced 6-0 by an Incheon team that had gone most of the year without a win. Unlike 2016 though Seongnam would battle to victory on the final day of the season to secure a win over Busan and maintain their status as a K1 team and as the winter snow settled on a quite unique K-League season that 6-0 memory would soon disappear to be replaced by more victories over those pesky Incheonites…..wouldn’t it? Well no! 2021 has seen Incheon win 3-1 at Tancheon courtesy of a ridiculous VAR penalty not only being awarded but then retaken when Glory saved it. United followed that victory with a first home win against Seongnam for the first time since April 2011 when they won 1-0 last month.
2021 could see a repeat of 2016 for Seongnam as they, along with FC Seoul, look destined to have to fight for their survival until the final day this year. Winning against Incheon for only the second time under Kim would go a long long way to easing the pressure of that battle. But will he forget his old Incheon acquaintances or will he succumb to yet another defeat?
Prediction : Heart says a Seongnam victory, head says an Incheon victory… so I’ll go with 1-1