The FA Cup is in full swing. Only eight teams remain in the 2023 Hana OneQ FA Cup, which will crown the king of Korean soccer, both professional and amateur, this season. All of them are K League 1 teams. They only need to win three games to qualify for the next Asian Champions League (ACL). The battle for the top spot is fierce, but that’s why all eight teams have their eyes on the FA Cup. The FA Cup quarterfinals kick off simultaneously at 7 p.m. on Aug. 28.
The quarterfinals have a lot of keywords. The most eye-catching matchup is between Jeonbuk Hyundai and Gwangju FC at Jeonju World Cup Stadium. It’s a “return match. The two teams faced off four days ago at Gwangju Stadium. Gwangju won that match 2-0. The match was highlighted by the debut of new Jeonbuk coach Dan Petrescu (a Romanian), but it was Gwangju head coach Lee Jung-hyo who was the star of the show. Lee analyzed the game of Petrescu’s former club, Cluj, and came up with a customized strategy to lead Gwangju to victory.
For Petrescu, who suffered a debut defeat, this FA Cup was a crucial match. It could be a bridgehead for a late comeback. With a seventh-place finish in the league, a win in the FA Cup is crucial if they want to qualify for the ACL next season. The situation is not favorable. Key players Kim Jin-soo, Baek Seung-ho, Kim Moon-hwan, and Hong Jeong-ho are unavailable. There isn’t enough physical time to play Petrescu’s style of soccer. Once Gwangju announces their rotation, Jeonbuk will have the advantage in terms of weight, but the pressure will be on for a result. For Jeonbuk, the 2022 champions and most decorated FA Cup winners (five times), the stakes are high.
The key to the matchup between Incheon United and Suwon Samsung at Incheon Stadium will be rebounding. Incheon lost 0-1 in a league match to the Pohang Steelers last weekend, ending their recent six-match unbeaten streak. After being touted as a dark horse before the season, Incheon has fallen to ninth place. They hope to turn things around in the FA Cup. Suwon is even more in need of a rebound. Suwon is at the bottom of the league. They lost 0-1 in a “supermatch” against FC Seoul last weekend. They have one draw and five losses in their last six games. Suwon, 토토사이트 who are tied with Jeonbuk for the most FA Cup wins, are determined to put their league struggles behind them. Suwon picked up their first win of the season against Incheon. Suwon is looking to reach the FA Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 2019.
The keyword for Ulsan is “double. Ulsan is currently leading the K League 1 table. They just rounded the halfway point and have a 13-point lead over second place. With the league title on the line, Ulsan is also eyeing the FA Cup. Ulsan will face Jeju United at home. Ulsan has been dominant against Jeju this season, winning both meetings, especially in terms of content, scoring eight goals in the two games. Ulsan is coming off a 3-1 win over Daegu FC last weekend, despite the team’s tumultuous history with racial discrimination and injuries.
Gangwon FC, under new coach Yoon Jeong-hwan, will be looking for their first win. Gangwon will face Pohang at the Pohang Steel Yard. Yoon is a