The ‘fateful day’ has dawned. Some smiles of relief, others tears of relegation.
At 2 p.m. on the 2nd, three stadiums across the country will host the Final B of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023. This year’s relegation battle is ‘epic’. Not one, not two, but three teams are fighting fiercely to escape the bottom of the table.
After 37 rounds, 10th-ranked Gangwon FC (33-30 points), 11th-ranked Suwon FC (32-43 points), and 12th-ranked Suwon Samsung (32-35 points) are in a tearful battle for position. The bottom 12 finishers in this season’s K League 1 will be automatically relegated to the K League 2 (2nd Division) next season. The 10th and 11th place finishers will decide their fate next season through a relegation playoff. The 10th place team will face the winner of the K League 2 3rd place Gimpo FC – 4th place Gyeongnam FC match. The 11th-place finisher will face Busan I-Park, which finished second in K League 2. The games will be played on June 6 and 9 in a home-and-away format.
No one can rest easy. Gangwon has only scored 30 goals this season. They could finish last on goal difference if they lose their final game. Suwon FC is struggling with three draws and five losses in eight games, including three straight defeats. Suwon has no other options. They will be relegated at this rate.
In a twist of fate, Gangwon and Suwon will face off in the final game. The two teams will play their final match at the Suwon World Cup Stadium with their fate on the line. The game is expected to attract 30,000 spectators. Earlier, a Suwon club official said, “If we take into account on-site sales, we expect around 30,000 spectators.” This season, Suwon has the advantage with 2 wins and 1 draw.
In the current situation, Suwon is the team with the most urgency. Suwon is a “house of tradition,” having reached the top of the K League on four occasions. The reality is relegation. Suwon can avoid automatic relegation by winning their last game. If they lose, they will finish last. If Suwon draws with Gangwon to get to 33 points, they will have to wait for the result of the Suwon FC-Jeju United match at the same time. If Suwon FC loses to Jeju, Suwon FC will be directly relegated. If Suwon FC wins or draws against Jeju, Suwon will drop to K League 2. 토토사이트
Suwon will be leaning heavily on the shoulders of Kim Joo-chan, who was born in 2004. Kim has scored five goals in 24 league games this season. In the matches he has scored in, Suwon has won four and drawn one. Kim also played a big role in the last Super Match, forcing his opponent to be sent off. He is well on his way to becoming the next “boy wonder” after Jung Sang-bin (Minnesota) and Oh Hyun-kyu (Celtic).
Gangwon will be hoping for a big performance from the ‘Man of Tears’ Lee Jung-gyeop. He broke down in tears after scoring against Suwon FC in the 37th round. It was a ceremony to honor his father-in-law, who passed away after battling cancer. The deceased was reportedly a big fan of Kangwon.