Gwangju FC showed their intentions to qualify for the Asian stage for the first time with a win away to Daegu FC.
Gwangju will host Daegu in the 36th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 at DGB Daegu Bank Park (Daepak). Currently in third place with 57 points, Gwangju will be looking to hold off the chase from fourth-placed Jeonbuk Hyundai (53 points) to stay in the top three.
After a four-game winning streak through Round 34, Gwangju lost 0-2 to Incheon United in Round 35. Gwangju came out at full strength, and Incheon rotated their lineup, but it was still a shocker for Gwangju.
Gwangju used the loss to Incheon as a bitter pill to swallow. Over the past two weeks, the team has reorganized and mentally refreshed itself. With a renewed mindset, the team is looking to make its first appearance in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) since its inception with three matches remaining.
Therefore, this match against Daegu is crucial. After Daegu, Gwangju will face Jeonbuk (away) and Pohang Steelers (home). Both teams are tricky opponents. Depending on how they perform in Daegu, the team will have a different mindset going into the two-game series against Jeonbuk and Pohang.
There are positives. Gwangju’s players who were sidelined by injuries are returning one by one. Kim Seung-woo, Lee Kang-hyun, and Lee Jun have done a good job filling in for them, and the squad has gotten stronger. The fierce internal competition is giving Gwangju head coach Lee Jung-hyo a lot to be happy about.
Gwangju was particularly strong against Daegu. Since Daegu moved to DGB Daegu Bank Park, Gwangju has won all of their matches there. This is why Gwangju calls Daegu the “promised land. Gwangju, who also won 4-3 at Daepak this season, will be looking to extend their winning streak to six games.
Daegu has struggled in their last three games (one draw and two losses) and have lost two in a row. Still, they have a squad that cannot be ignored. Lee Geun-ho, Ko Jae-hyun, Kim Jin-hyuk, Hwang Jae-won, and Hong Chul are all top-notch domestic players, along with foreign players such as Edgar, Beltola, and Vasellus. They threaten Gwangju with 먹튀검증 their ‘clicky football’, which is based on solid defense and finishing with counterattacks.
The match between Gwangju and Daegu is also known as the “Moonlight Derby”. This is because it is a derby between the civic clubs of Daegu and Gwangju. The previous three Moonlight Derbies this season have ended in one win, one draw, and one loss. The last one will decide the true winner.