‘FA rebound’ Gangwon-Suwon to continue momentum in the league
Gangwon FC and Suwon Samsung, two of the worst performers in professional soccer’s K League 1, have rebounded through the Korean Football Association (FA) Cup.
Gangwon advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2023 FA Cup with a 3-2 away win over Gimpo FC in the round of 16 at Gimpo Solter Soccer Stadium in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, on April 24.
Kangwon, which is ranked 11th in the K League 1 this season, signaled its return to form by defeating Gimpo, which is undefeated in the K League 2 and sits atop the table. Gimpo is a team that reached the round of 16 in the FA Cup after defeating FC Seoul, the second-ranked team in the K League 1, in the round of 32.
In particular, Kangwon, who has scored just seven goals in 14 league games this season and is the lowest scoring team in the 12-team K League 1, exploded for three goals against Gimpo. Foreign striker Gallego led the way with a multi-goal performance.
Last-place Suwon also roared to a quarterfinal victory over Daegu FC.
Suwon advanced to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup after defeating Daegu 1-0 at home in the fourth round at Suwon World Cup Stadium on Thursday. This is the eighth consecutive year Suwon has reached the quarterfinals of the FA Cup since 2016.
Suwon has been mired in one of the worst slumps in the league this season, but the defending FA Cup champions showed another strong performance. In particular, the team has shown a different side with three wins and two draws in its last five matches, including four in the K League 1, raising hopes of escaping the bottom of the table.
After bouncing back in the FA Cup, attention will turn to whether Gangwon and Suwon can carry their momentum into this weekend’s K League games.
Gangwon will host FC Seoul in the 15th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on April 28. Head coach Choi Yong-soo, who played and coached with FC Seoul, will be looking for a win against his hometown team 안전놀이터.
Suwon will travel to Jeju United on the 27th. While Suwon have shown signs of life recently, Jeju have been on the rise. Jeju’s recent run of six wins and one draw in seven league games has seen them climb to third place in the league.
Currently in the direct relegation zone, Suwon will need to get over the hump of traveling to Jeju to turn things around.