ACL sparks excitement, but ‘3-day break’ Incheon vs. ‘rested’ Suwon FC

Two teams looking to keep the momentum going.

Incheon United and Suwon FC will meet in the 28th round of the Hana WonQ K League 1 2023 at Suwon Sports Complex on Friday. Incheon sits in sixth place (37 points) and in the Final A final, while Suwon FC (26 points) is 10th and in the relegation zone.

Incheon are juggling the league, the Football Association (FA) Cup, and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) this season. After a slow start to the season in the league, the club reached the quarterfinals of the FA Cup and the ACL with a 3-1 victory over Hai Phong in the playoffs (PO) to qualify for their first-ever ACL knockout stage.

Keeping the momentum going Incheon has won three, drawn one and lost one of its last five matches, including the last two against Hai Phong and ACL. Stefan Mugosa’s return in July gave the team a boost, as his goal-scoring prowess and link-up play has revitalized the offense. He has one goal and two assists in official matches since his return.

Injured players are also returning one after another. Midfielder Shin Shin-ho took the field as a substitute against Hai Phong, about three months after his injury against Daegu FC on May 27. Hernandez also made his comeback a month after his last match against FC Seoul on July 22.

However, stamina is as important as depth. After playing 120 minutes of extra time against Hai Phong, Incheon will face Suwon FC in three days. “We will have stamina problems against Suwon FC right away, but we will continue to utilize our strengths that they can’t stop even if they know,” said Incheon coach Cho Sung-hwan.

Suwon FC also has a busy road ahead of them, having just beaten Gangwon FC 2-1 to open up a four-point gap on 11th-place Suwon Samsung (22 points). However, they are still in the relegation zone.

It’s a pendulum swing. 온라인바카라 Wins and losses, ad infinitum. Their only back-to-back wins this season were against Daejeon Hana Citizen (5-3) on April 9 and against Jeonbuk Hyundai (1-0) following that. The team is in desperate need of points to escape the relegation zone.

Lee Seung-woo has emerged as the solution after Ras was suspended for a drunk driving offense. In the midfield, he has been orchestrating the play and creating chances. Add to that two goals in his last three games and he’s looking sharper on his toes than he did earlier in the season.

The two teams are winless in their last three games. In their last meeting in July, Suwon FC took a 2-0 lead before Incheon’s Chun Sung-hoon equalized and Ou Gomes scored an own goal to draw the match. At the time, Incheon and Suwon were ranked 9th and 10th respectively. After this game, Incheon gained momentum, while Suwon went downhill. Now, Suwon FC is aiming to stay up, while Incheon is aiming to reach the Final A. Both teams need to keep the momentum going in different ways.

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