With their sights set on promotion to professional soccer’s K League 1 next year, K League 2 (second division) teams are engaged in a heated standings battle down the stretch of the regular season. With just two games remaining in the regular season, the teams will soon know who will earn automatic promotion and a spot in the league playoffs (PO). At the same time, there is a brutal survival battle in the lower reaches of the K League 1 to determine who will be relegated.
The closest team to promotion is Busan I-Park. With 20 wins, 9 draws, and 5 losses this season (69 points), Busan is at the top of the table with 9 days to go. They will host the Jeonnam Dragons on Wednesday in Round 38, looking to secure their first return to the top flight in four years after the 2020 season. Busan has been on an upswing, winning eight of its last nine matches and drawing one.
The key will be to hold off second-place Gimcheon Commerce (67 points), which has won five straight. If Busan wins against Jeonnam and Gimcheon draws or loses against Gyeongnam FC on Nov. 11, the gap between the two teams will widen to more than four points. Regardless of the outcome of the remaining games, Busan will clinch the title and earn automatic promotion to the top division.
On the other hand, if Gimcheon catches Gyeongnam and Busan draws or loses, the standings will be reversed. In this case, the promoted team will depend on the results of the final 39 rounds. The second-place K League 2 team must play a promotion PO against the 11th-place K League 1 team to be promoted. It is a more reliable way to get promoted.토토사이트
The fight for fifth place, the threshold to the K League 2 PO, is also fierce. Sixth-ranked Jeonnam (50 points) is closing in on fifth-ranked Gyeongnam (53 points). The third through fifth place finishers in K League 2 will compete in the semifinals and PO. The winner of the final PO will have a chance to move up through the 10th place in K League 1 and the promotion PO.
The desperate fight to avoid relegation at the bottom of the K League 1 is also coming to an end. Dubbed the “Suwon Derby,” the match between 10th-ranked Suwon FC (32 points) and 12th-ranked Suwon Samsung (26 points) on Wednesday in Round 36 is considered a cliffhanger. Suwon FC has won all three meetings this season.
With one win, one draw, and four losses in their last six games, Suwon Samsung has no room to maneuver. If they lose the Suwon derby, they will face automatic relegation for the first time since their inception in 1995. This is especially true if 11th-placed Gangwon FC (27 points), who are also in the relegation battle, win their Round 36 match against Daejeon Hana Citizens. This puts them in a desperate situation where they must win all of their remaining matches in rounds 37-38 to avoid the bottom of the table.