Incheon United has reached the FA Cup quarterfinals for the first time in eight years. But with the joy comes pressure.
Incheon needs to climb out of the bottom half of the league standings, and the higher you go in the FA Cup, the more games you have to play. Playing in the FA Cup can be a confidence booster for Incheon, or it can be a poison that eats away at their stamina.
Incheon won 3-2 at home against Suwon Samsung in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Hana OneQ FA Cup at the Incheon Football Stadium at 7 p.m. on Aug. 28. It was their first FA Cup quarterfinal appearance in eight years since the 2015 season.
Incheon took the early lead, but it was Suwon who struck first. In the 23rd minute, Suwon foreign midfielder Basani intercepted a pass from Incheon defender Kim Dong-min just outside the Incheon penalty box, and the ball trickled down the left flank touchline. However, Basani followed the ball to the end, saved it, and dribbled toward the Incheon box. As he reached the edge of the box, Bassani sent a low left-footed cross into the box, where Myung Jun-jae ran to the near post and finished with his right foot to give Suwon a 1-0 lead.
However, Incheon did not go down easily. In the 32nd minute, Incheon foreign forward Hernandez took a low left-footed mid-range shot from the right side of the Suwon box. The shot deflected off the foot of Suwon defender Min Sang-ki and into the bottom right corner of the goal. 1-1 tie.
Incheon concedes another goal after a costly defensive error. In the 43rd minute, Incheon Mpoku drove the ball forward in their own box and lost possession to Suwon’s Kim Tae-hwan. Kim Tae-hwan’s left-footed cutback pass from the left side of the box to the center was caught by Park Hee-joon, who finished with his right foot to put Suwon back in front 2-1. 메이저사이트
However, Chun Sung-hoon, who returned to the Incheon squad for the first time in about two months after suffering a calf injury on May 5, equalized again. In the second minute of first-half stoppage time, a cross from the left was met by Kim Dong-min with a diving header from the edge of the box that was saved by Suwon goalkeeper Ahn Chan-ki. However, the rebounded ball was finished by Chun Sung-hoon with his right foot to tie the game at 2-2. Chun scored the winner nine minutes into the second half to send Incheon into the FA Cup quarterfinals.
Reaching the FA Cup quarterfinals is certainly something to celebrate. It was even Incheon’s first quarterfinal appearance in eight years. However, Incheon is currently torn between the league and the FA Cup.
With the K League 1 reaching its halfway point after 19 rounds this season, the gap between 8th place Jeonbuk Hyundai (27 points) and 9th place Incheon (20 points) is seven points, while the gap between 2nd place Pohang Steelers (34 points) and 8th place Jeonbuk is also seven points. The point differential that Incheon needs to fill to move up one spot is a whopping six spots in the standings. Incheon’s current position of ninth is the minimum to avoid both automatic relegation and the relegation playoffs, with only one point separating them from 10th-place Suwon FC (19 points), who are also in the relegation playoffs.
With Incheon needing to give it their all in every league game to move up the standings, it’s important to note that the