The ‘postseason’ for professional soccer’s K League 2 clubs seeking promotion to the first division begins. The first stage is the semi-playoff (PO) stage on the 29th.
The regular season of the Hana OneQ K League 2 2023 ended with Gimcheon Commerce winning the title, completing the bracket of teams that will compete in the Semi-Po and PO.
While Gimcheon will be automatically promoted to next year’s K League 1 stage by winning the K League 2 title, second-placed Busan I-Park will challenge for promotion to the first division by playing home-and-away POs against the 11th-placed K League 1 team on December 6 and 9.
Fans’ attention now turns to the semi-PO and PO brackets, which will determine who will take on the 10th-ranked team in K-League 2.
The winner of the Semi-Po, which pits the fifth-ranked K League 2 team against the fourth-ranked team, will play a PO against the third-ranked team, and the survivor will play a relegation PO against the 10th-ranked K League 1 team.
This year’s K League 2 Semi-Po will be held at the Changwon Football Center on May 29 at 7 p.m. with a single-leg match between fourth-ranked Gyeongnam FC and fifth-ranked Bucheon FC.
Gyeongnam and Bucheon had the same 57 points in the regular season, but Gyeongnam finished fourth on goal difference and will play the semifinals at home.
In terms of firepower, Gyeongnam, which scored 54 goals in 36 games, is ahead of Bucheon (45), but Bucheon’s defense, which conceded only 35 goals, is better than Gyeongnam’s (42).
Gyeongnam’s offense is led by Gleason, who ranks fourth in scoring with 13 goals, as well as Won Ki-jong (10 goals) and Mo Jae-hyun (6 goals).
Bucheon’s counterparts were led by Ahn Jae-joon (11 goals) and “goal-scoring defender” Nilsson Jr. (5 goals).
Both Gyeongnam and Bucheon won their final regular season games side by side.
Gyeongnam defeated PO-bound third-place Gimpo FC (60 points) 1-0, while Bucheon defeated the seventh-place Jeonnam Dragons 4-1 in Jeonnam, led by Ahn Jae-joon’s hat trick.
With both teams having tasted victory, the Semi-Po showdown is expected to be an evenly matched affair.
However, if both the Semi-Po and PO end in a draw, the higher-ranked team will be crowned the winner without overtime.
The winner of the Semi-Po will play the winner of the PO against third-place Gimpo on December 2 at 4:30 p.m. at Gimpo Solter Soccer Stadium.
The winner of the PO will play the 10th-ranked team in the K League on December 6 and 9 in a home-and-home PO.
The 10th-12th place teams in K League 1 will be decided in the final match of the 38th round of the regular season Final B on December 2.
Through 37 rounds, Gangwon FC (33 points) is in 10th place, while Suwon FC and Suwon Samsung are tied for 11th and 12th with the same 32 points but different goal differentials.
Gangwon and Suwon will meet in the final match, while Suwon FC will face ninth-place Jeju United. 먹튀검증