Busan upsets Bucheon 2-1, one step closer to returning to K League 1 after four years

Professional soccer K League 2 Busan I-Park took a step closer to returning to the top flight after four years with a thrilling upset win over Bucheon FC.

Busan defeated Bucheon 2-1 at home in the 37th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2 2023 at Busan Asiadju Stadium on Sept. 29.

With the win, leader Busan (20 wins, 9 draws, 5 losses) increased its points to 69.

They remain level on points with second-place Gimcheon Commerce (67-21 W, 4 D, 9 L), who defeated Gimpo FC in the next match.

With two games remaining until the end of the season, Busan maintained its advantageous position in this round.

Busan, which finished last in the 2020 K League 1 and slipped to the second division, will return to the top division for the first time in four years if it wins the title.

The winner of this year’s K League 2 will be automatically promoted to K League 1, while the runner-up will play a promotion playoff (PO) against the 11th-ranked team in K League 1.

Bucheon (15 wins, 9 draws and 11 losses – 54 points), on the other hand, maintained its fourth-place position but failed to close the gap on fifth-place Gyeongnam FC (53 points) and sixth-place Jeonnam Dragons (50 points).

It was Bucheon who had the first laugh, with a lucky goal.

In the 29th minute, captain Kim Honam’s mid-range shot from the corner of the penalty area hit Lim Min-hyuk, deflected, and took a trajectory that the goalkeeper couldn’t handle and was sucked into the goal.

After regrouping at halftime, Busan attacked early in the second half and scored the next two goals.

In the 24th minute of the second half, Busan tied the game with Choi Joon’s consolation goal, but Jung Hee-woong was penalized for handball when he tried to block a cross. In the 40th minute, Ramas calmly converted the penalty kick to complete the comeback.

Gimcheon, looking for a last-minute upset win, secured second place with a 2-0 home win over Gimpo FC.

With eight points separating them from third-placed Gimpo (59-16 W, 11 D, 7 L), there is no way they can swap places with two games remaining.

At 0-0, the balance tipped in Gimpo’s favor in the third minute of the second half when Lee Jun-seok scored.

Kim Jin-gyu sent a cross into the box, and Lee Jun-seok dived in and slotted it home to make it 1-0.

Kim Jin-kyu drove a wedge into the game with a goal of his own in the 30th minute.

Jeonnam also kept their hopes of qualifying for the semifinals alive with a 3-0 win over Chungbuk Cheongju FC at home.

With 15 wins, five draws and 14 losses, Jeonnam moved above the 50-point mark and into sixth place. In K League 2, the fifth-place team will play the fourth-place team in the semi-finals, followed by the third-place team, and the winner will play the 10th-place team from K League 1 in another relegation playoff.

Currently in fifth place is Gyeongnam FC (14 wins, 11 draws, 9 losses – 53 points), with a goal difference of three points over Jeonnam. With two games remaining until the end of the season, Jeonnam could still pull off an upset depending on their remaining schedule results.

Meanwhile, Chungbuk Cheongju (8th-12th-12th), who stopped at 48 points, suffered their 10th loss of the season and saw their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals drop significantly.

Valdivia broke down the left flank in the 37th minute and sent in a cross with his right foot, which Plana finished with a left-footed volley to rattle the net.

Five minutes into the second half, Valdivia’s penetrating pass allowed Lee Yong-jae to flick the ball past the advancing goalkeeper as he tried to narrow the angle to make it 2-0.

Thirteen minutes later, Valdivia’s corner kick cross was headed by Hanam, who was in the box, and the ball hit the body of Noh Gun-woo and crossed the goal line to make the score 3-0. 스포츠토토

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