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‘Moon Seon-min and Baek Seung-ho goals’ Jeonbuk advances to FA C

Jeonbuk Hyundai has reached the final of the Korea Football Association (FA) Cup.

Jeonbuk beat Incheon United 3-1 in the 2023 Hana One Q FA Cup semifinals held at Jeonju World Cup Stadium at 7 p.m. on the 1st. Jeonbuk, the defending champion, succeeded in advancing to the FA Cup finals for the second year in a row.

Jeonbuk will play the final at home between Pohang Steelers and Jeju United on the 4th. Jeonbuk, which has won five FA Cup trophies (the most) so far, took the opportunity to surpass Suwon Samsung, which is tied for first place in this category. In addition, he took the opportunity to shake off the disappointment of his poor performance in the league this season.

Incheon, which finished second in the 2015 FA Cup, aimed to win its first championship this year, but ended its journey in the semifinals. Incheon is expected to focus on the remaining league games and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL).

Moon Seon-min stabbed his former team, Incheon. Moon Seon-min, who started as a left-wing striker, scored the first goal in this game, preventing Incheon from advancing to the FA Cup finals. Incheon, who had conceded one goal first, balanced the score with Gerso's goal, but conceded a goal to Baek Seung-ho in the second half.

The home team Jeonbuk used the 4-1-4-1 formation. Jaeyong Park stood at the forefront, supported by Seonmin Moon, Seungho Baek, Subin Lee, and Dongjun Lee. Park Jin-seop started as a defensive midfielder. The back four line was composed of Kim Jin-su, Hong Jeong-ho, Jeong Tae-wook, and Ahn Hyeon-beom, and the goal was guarded by Kim Jeong-hoon.

The away team, Incheon, faced off in a 3-5-2 formation. Gerso and Mugosa took the lead. The midfield consisted of Kim Do-hyuk, Moon Ji-hwan, and Hernández, and Jeong Dong-yoon and Kim Jun-yeop started as both fullbacks. The three-back line was formed by Oh Ban-seok, Kwon Jin-jin, and Kim Yeon-soo, and the goalkeeper gloves were worn by Kim Dong-heon.

Both teams actually featured elite members. Incheon coach Cho Sung-hwan, who does not change his starting lineup, also put his efforts into this game by sending out a large number of young players to the league match against Gwangju FC held on the 28th of last month.

That's how desperate both teams were to advance to the FA Cup final. Jeonbuk, which has been performing poorly in the league since the beginning of this season, is uncertain about advancing to the ACL for the 2024-25 season. Since they were in 4th place with 3 league games left, the best scenario was to reach the top of the FA Cup and win the trophy and advance to the ACL. It has not yet been decided which tickets will be distributed to the FA Cup winning team between ACL Elite and ACL 2 (the next highest competition), but Jeonbuk's goal was to stand at the top of the FA Cup first.

In Incheon, the situation was similar. Incheon has cruised in three competitions this season, including the league, FA Cup, and ACL, but is currently ranked 5th in K-League 1, so they were desperate to win the FA Cup. Above all, Incheon had the disappointment of only finishing as runners-up in the 2015 FA Cup, which made the fans' thirst even greater.

As the team aspired to win the FA Cup, the cheering competition was fierce. Even though the game was held on a weekday afternoon, Jeonbuk home fans filled the cheering stands. Incheon also recruited an emergency expedition team before the game, rented 10 buses and visited Jeonju Fortress (Jeonju World Cup Stadium) with fans.

A fierce midfield battle ensued at the beginning of the game. Neither team made any shots. Incheon took the opportunity first. In the 14th minute of the first half, Mugosa's header on Jeong Dong-yoon's cross from the right side missed the left side of the goal.

As the Jeonbuk attack was quiet, the Jeonbuk supporters shouted “Shut up and attack” in the 18th minute of the first half. As if by magic, Jeonbuk’s attack came to life. During a counterattack in the 21st minute of the first half, Lee Dong-jun's cross was deflected by a defender, and while catching the ball, Incheon goalkeeper Kim Dong-heon and Park Jae-yong, who were trying to shoot, collided. Jaeyong Park's foot went towards the sliding Dongheon Kim, and the referee immediately took out a yellow card to Jaeyong Park.

In the 23rd minute of the first half, when both teams were competing tightly, Jeonbuk was the first to break the 0 balance. Moon Seon-min, who received a pass from Lee Soo-bin, came in from the left side and hit a right-footed shot that went into the net.

Incheon, which gave up the lead, launched a wave of attacks. In the 26th minute of the first half, a cross from the right side reached the feet of Gerso, who was rushing towards the goal, but was blocked by goalkeeper Kim Jeong-hoon. Gerso and Kim Jeong-hoon, who collided during this process, woke up complaining of pain.

Incheon continued to push. In the 34th minute of the first half, after a momentary rush, Gerso hit Mugosa's head with a cross from the right side, but it was hit by Jeonbuk center back Jeong Tae-wook. Two minutes later, Mugosa caught a high cross from the right side inside the penalty box and fired a shot, but it ended in vain.

Incheon's repeated efforts paid off in the 39th minute of the first half. Gerso received Moon Ji-hwan's penetration pass, dug deep into the left side of the penalty box, and hit a left-footed shot that hit the goal net.

Jeonbuk’s offensive began again. In the 42nd minute of the first half, Baek Seung-ho's mid-distance shot floated over the goal, causing disappointment. In the extra time of the first half, Moon Seon-min headed a cross from the left flank, and Lee Dong-jun, who was in front of the goal, put his foot in, but could not get past Kim Dong-heon.

A fierce battle continued in the second half. In the 10th minute of the second half, Jeonbuk fullback Ahn Hyun-beom's shot went high. In the 15th minute of the second half, Incheon released Jeonbuk's pressure and launched a sharp counterattack. Hernández headed a cross from Kim Jun-yeop from the right flank, but it missed slightly by the side of the goal.

Jeonbuk’s attack was sharper. In the 17th minute of the second half, Baek Seung-ho scored again to take the lead. Baek Seung-ho shot the ball that Jaeyong Park pushed out of the Incheon penalty box, and the ball floated into the left corner of the net. After Jeonbuk scored, Oorele (cheering song) rang out in Jeonju Castle.

Incheon's wave offensive began again. Incheon swallowed their disappointment in the 26th minute of the second half when Mugosa's bicycle kick missed the side of the goal. Jeonbuk made a change in the 33rd minute of the second half by replacing Moon Seon-min and inserting Han Kyo-won. Rather, Jeonbuk took a good opportunity. In the 41st minute of the second half, in a counterattack situation, Jaeyong Park's shot following Dongjun Lee's pass went straight ahead and was blocked by the goalkeeper. Incheon spent the remaining time in Jeonbuk's camp, but failed to score. On the contrary, Jeonbuk was awarded a penalty kick just before the end of the game, and Jaeyong Park succeeded as the kicker, winning by two points.

Jeonbuk, last year's FA Cup winner, is attempting to win its second consecutive title. Only by overcoming the variables of a single-game away game can you achieve great results.

Originally, the FA Cup semi-final two games were scheduled to be held on August 9th. However, the game between Jeonbuk and Incheon was postponed due to the aftermath of the jamboree. At the time, the government decided to hold a K-pop concert at Jeonju World Cup Stadium, so the two teams' semifinal schedule was postponed to November.

The semifinal match between Jeju and Pohang was postponed due to Typhoon Kanun. At the time, controversy arose as KFA decided to postpone the game with less than an hour left before the game started.

The FA Cup final, which had a lot of controversy and trouble, was originally played as a home and away game, but it was decided to play it as a single match this year. The final will be held at the home of the winners of Jeju and Pohang. At the time, while club officials were watching the drawing process via ZOOM, KFA Vice President Choi Young-il conducted the drawing and decided to hold the final at the home of the winning team in Jeju and Pohang.

Jeonbuk, which is away, will have to fight at a disadvantage in the finals where the championship is at stake. Moreover, the fact that the game was scheduled three days after the Incheon game amidst a tight schedule was also a burden.
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Thursday, November 2, 2023

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