Two teams looking to escape the relegation zone meet. Suwon FC and Gangwon FC are mired in back-to-back defeats, but who will have the last laugh?
Suwon FC and Gangwon FC will meet in the 19th round of the Hana WonQ K League 1 at Suwon Sports Complex at 7 p.m. on April 25. Currently, Suwon FC is in 10th place with 18 points (5 wins, 3 draws, and 10 losses), while Gangwon is in 11th place with 12 points (2 wins, 6 draws, and 10 losses).
The mood is not good for Suwon FC. They have just two wins, one draw, and seven losses in their last 10 games, including two straight defeats, and their shaky defense has been a particular problem. Suwon FC has conceded 36 goals in 18 matches, or two goals per game. This is the most goals conceded in the K League 1.
The offense is also not what it used to be. Last season, Suwon FC had plenty of firepower, scoring 56 goals in the league alone. This season, however, they’re in the bottom half of the table with just 20 goals in 18 games. The team needs to find its scoring touch if it wants to shake off the slump.
Suwon FC is counting on some new faces. Midfielder Lee Young-jae returned from military service, and Lopez replaced Murillo, who left the team. Born in 1990, Lopez is already a 32-year-old veteran, but given his past performances with Jeonbuk, he is expected to bring a lot of spark to the pitch.
Lee Seung-woo is also coming into his own. He scored his second goal of the season against Daegu in the previous match, showing off his revitalized scoring touch. He’s been on a goal drought this season, but now he’s finding the back of the net. If Lee can continue his goal streak, the team will be able to escape the relegation zone.
Gangwon 안전놀이터 is in one of the worst slumps of the season. It’s been eight league games without a win. Since their 1-0 win over Jeonbuk in late April, Gangwon has drawn two and lost six.
Kangwon has also talked about changing their manager. Gangwon sacked Choi Yong-soo and appointed Yoon Jeong-hwan during the A-Match break to turn things around. “We will play aggressive soccer, not backward soccer, but forward soccer,” Yoon vowed.
While he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations in Ulsan this season, he is a veteran of the national team and has played in France, so he will be a welcome addition to the Gangwon attack. Gangwon will look to Yoon to lead the flanking attack alongside Kim Dae-won and Yang Hyun-joon.
Meanwhile, the last time the teams met, in the 11th round, Suwon FC won 2-0. In the all-time series, Suwon leads with seven wins, three draws and five losses.