Professional soccer’s K League 2 Gimcheon Commerce failed to protect its lead and drew with Gyeongnam FC, putting a red flag on its upset championship scenario.
Gimcheon drew 1-1 away to Gyeongnam in the 38th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2 2023 at the Changwon Football Center in Gyeongnam on the afternoon of the 11th.
With 21 points, second-place Gimcheon (68) closed the gap on leader Busan I-Park (6920 points, 9 draws and 5 losses), but failed to pick up the much-needed three points, putting them at a significant disadvantage in the title race.
Busan, which has played one less game, can clinch the title in this round if it wins against the Jeonnam Dragons on Dec. 12.
Even if Busan draws the match, Gimcheon will have to win the final match against Seoul Eland FC on the 26th.
Meanwhile, Gyeongnam (14 wins, 12 draws, 9 losses – 53 goals) earned a hard-fought draw to move into fourth place, ahead of Bucheon FC (same points, 54-41 goals).
They also gained an advantage in the race for the semi-playoffs (PO).
In K League 2, the fifth-place team plays the fourth-place team in the semifinals before facing the third-place team, and the winner plays the 10th-place team from K League 1 in the relegation PO.
Gimcheon took the lead in the ninth minute of the second half when Lee Young-joon, a long striker who stands over 190 centimeters, showed off his talent and scored the first goal.
After receiving a pass from Kim Jin-gyu in the penalty area, Young-joon used a trick move to get past two defenders and then cut low with his right foot to poke the ball into the corner of the opposite goal.
Gyeongnam coach Seol Ki-hyun then brought on Gleison-Castro in the 16th minute of the second half to bolster the attack, and after gradually regaining the initiative, Park Min-seo equalized in the 41st minute.
Park Min-seo connected with a non-stop left-footed shot from the corner of the penalty box to open the scoring for Gimcheon, which was saved by goalkeeper Shin Song-hoon.
Chungbuk Cheongju FC defeated Chungnam Asan FC 1-0 at home in the final ‘Chungcheongnam Derby’ of the season.
With the win, sixth-place Chungbuk Cheongju (13W, 12D, 10L, 36G) accumulated 51 points, but their chances of qualifying for the semi-final PO are fading.
Their goal difference with fifth-place Bucheon is three. As a result, the standings will only change if Bucheon loses the final match without scoring and Chungbuk Cheongju scores six or more goals.
Meanwhile, Chungbuk Cheongju’s victory was their first over their ‘Chungcheong rivals’, Chungnam Asan, whom they hadn’t beaten all season.
In the first leg between the two teams on April 18, Chungnam Asan won 4-0. Chungbuk Cheongju fell to their knees in the second leg on April 14, 2-3 in a hard-fought match.
The balance between the two teams, which was tied 0-0 until the 20th minute of the second half, tilted sharply in favor of Chungcheongbuk-do thanks to Yang Ji-hoon’s ‘one shot’.
In a corner kick situation, the ball cleared by the opposing defense flowed near the penalty area, and Yang Ji-hoon rushed forward and fired a mid-range shot into the corner of the opposite goal.
Chungnam Asan (W42-12, D6, L18), who lost for the first time to newcomers Chungbuk Cheongju, dropped to 10th place behind Seongnam FC (W44-11, D11, L13).
In their previous away match, Seongnam defeated Seoul Eland 2-0 to move up to ninth place.
Meanwhile, 11th-ranked Eland (35-10 W, 5 D, 20 L) suffered their fifth straight defeat and continued to struggle down the stretch.
After losing 3-4 at home to Ansan in September, Lee Land has lost all four matches since then. Their last win came more than two months ago, a 1-0 away victory over Chungbuk Cheongju on Sept. 19.
Seongnam took the lead in the 41st minute through Shin Jae-won.
After a cross from the left flank hit the post and rebounded off the post, Shin rattled the net with his right foot.
In the 42nd minute, Park Ji-won, who got into the back of the Eland defense on a counterattack, slid a left-footed cross from Jeon Sung-soo into the back of the net to drive a wedge into the game. 먹튀검증