Incheon advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2023 Hana OneQ FA Cup with a 3-0 victory over Gyeongnam FC in the fourth round (Round of 16) at the Incheon Football Stadium on Thursday. It was their first quarterfinal appearance in seven years since 2016.
Two birds with one stone. Incheon has a league match against Daegu FC on the 27th, so they rested their mainstays like Gerso, Hernandez, Lee Myung-joo, 스포츠토토 and Shin Shin-ho, and lined up a lineup with candidates who hadn’t gotten a chance to play before, so they could go into the trip to Daegu with a sense of urgency, knowing that they’d get both a result and some fitness.
Mpoku, who started, responded with a goal. It was his first start in about two months since the match against Daegu FC on March 1. “My condition has improved a lot since my injury. He will be in a position where he can play well, and I think he will contribute to the team by utilizing his strengths, especially his dribbling,” said coach Cho Sung-hwan.
The offense was on. Kim Do-hyuk, Kim Bo-seop, and Mpoku centered the attack. In the 17th minute, Kim Bo-seop dribbled and ran into the box, but a foul was called. Two minutes later, Kim received the ball in the box after a breakthrough by Kim Do-hyuk, but his shot sailed just over the goal.
Photo courtesy of Incheon United
Incheon became more aggressive, and it paid off. In the 23rd minute, Kim Do-hyuk’s surprise mid-range shot from near the penalty arc was saved by the goalkeeper, but the second ball was picked up by Mpoku, who ran onto a Kim Do-hyuk-Kim Bo-seop pass and finished with one touch. It was his second goal of the season and first in his FA Cup debut.
Four minutes later, from a free kick near the penalty box, Mpoku took a direct shot that went straight at the keeper.
The gap widened further in the final minutes of the first half. In the 38th minute, a low cross from Min Kyung-hyun on the left side of the penalty box was met by an onrushing Hong Si-hoo, who sensitively slid the ball home. Hong’s first goal of the season.
Another goal came three minutes later when Kim Bo-seop drove in from the center of the halfway line, crossed to Jung Dong-yoon on the right flank, who cut in near the arc and finished with a left-footed shot.
The second half started early. Two minutes into the second half, Kim Do-hyuk shot just wide of the left post.
The flow was similar to the first half. Gyeongnam was busy blocking Incheon’s attacks. In the 20th minute of the second half, Hong Si-hoo caught a long ball from the Incheon zone and drove into the box for a shot, but was blocked by the opposing defense.
With 10 minutes left in the game, Incheon made a rotation, taking off Hong Si-Hoo and Kim Dong-Heon and introducing Kim Dae-Jung and Kim Yoo-Sung.
Incheon kept the ball in Gyeongnam’s territory until the end of the match. In the 41st minute, on a free kick, Mpoku’s low cross hit a Gyeongnam defender and went into the goal, but was ruled offside.