Suwon FC, Gangwon FC stay in top division in Korean football

Ricardo Lopes of Suwon FC celebrates after scoring against Busan IPark during the second leg of the K League promotion-relegation playoff at Suwon Stadium in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on Dec. 9. Yonhap

Suwon FC and Gangwon FC will both stay in the top division in Korean professional football next season, following their victories in key playoff matches Saturday.Suwon FC pounded Busan IPark 5-2 in the second leg of their K League promotion-relegation playoff at Suwon Stadium in Suwon, just south of Seoul, and claimed the series on a 6-4 aggregate. Suwon dropped the opening leg 2-1 on Wednesday and trailed 1-0 for most of the second leg before roaring back late in the second half to force extra time. Suwon then netted three goals to complete the thrilling comeback.Suwon last played in the K League 2 in 2015. Busan were trying to reach the K League 1 for the first time since 2020.Busan reached this playoff after finishing second in the K League 2 regular season. Suwon FC, on the other hand, ranked 11th, second from last, in the K League 1 regular season to fall into this playoff.

Back on Nov. 26, Busan came within minutes of earning direct promotion without having to compete in the playoff. In their K League 2 regular season finale, Busan conceded a late equalizer to settle for a 1-1 draw against Chungbuk Cheongju FC, when a victory would have given them the regular season crown and the ticket to the K League 1.Gangwon defeated 10-man Gimpo FC 2-1 in the second leg of their K League promotion-relegation playoff on Saturday. The teams were goalless in the first leg, and Gangwon prevailed 2-1 in the aggregate score to stay in the K League 1 for 2024.Gimpo, in just their second year of existence, will have to wait at least another season to join the big boys.At Suwon Stadium, Busan opened the scoring 15 minutes into the contest.After stealing the ball in his own half and charging toward the box, Kim Chan flicked a pass to his right to find Choi Jun, who made no mistake in finding the bottom left corner for a 1-0 lead for the match, and a 3-1 Busan advantage in the aggregate score.Suwon FC had a close call during added time in the first half, when Lachlan Jackson struck the right side of the net off a rebound following Yoon Bitgaram’s free kick.

After the restart, Suwon FC came out with all guns blazing, looking to eat into their two-goal aggregate deficit. Within six minutes of the second half, though, Suwon found the woodwork twice.First, it was substitute Ricardo Lopes striking the crossbar from just outside the six-yard box. Then Yoon Bitgaram found the right goal post from nearly the same spotSuwon then had a goal wiped off on an offside ruling on 60 minutes, when Lopes’ header went in off Yoon’s body when Yoon was caught in an offside position.Suwon FC finally got a bounce going their way on 78 minutes. After taking a pass from Kim Ju-yeop just inside the box, Kim Hyun fired a right-footed shot that hit the bottom of the crossbar and bounced into the net. The teams were now tied at 1-1 for the match, but Busan still held a 3-2 lead in the aggregate score.That lead disappeared seven minutes later, as Suwon FC captain Lee Yeong-jae scored off his left foot from inside the box. Lee was allowed to dribble into the area untouched on Busan’s momentary defensive lapse, and then rolled a shot through the wickets of defender Lee Han-do.

The teams went into the 30-minute extra period, and it took Suwon five minutes to take the aggregate lead. After securing the ball on the right wing, Lee Gwang-hyeok danced through multiple defenders and then fired a left-footed shot into the far corner for a 3-1 lead for the match, and a 4-3 aggregate edge.Suwon went up by two some six minutes later. Ricardo Lopes drew multiple defenders to himself on a counter break and then set up wide-open Jeong Jae-yong, who scored easily with his right foot.Busan tried to make things more interesting, as Kim Jeong-hwan headed home a Choi Jun cross on 114 minutes to cut the aggregate deficit to one at 5-4.But then Lopes delivered the dagger three minutes later, scoring off a rebound following Yoon Bitgaram’s shot to put Suwon up 5-2 for the match and 6-4 in the aggregate score.At Gangneung Stadium in the east coast town of Gangneung, Vitor Gabriel scored both goals for Gangwon, including the go-ahead marker on 75 minutes moments after Gimpo striker Luis Fabian Mina received a straight red card for 토토사이트 elbowing Gangwon defender Marko Tuci in the box.

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts