‘Song Min Kyu 1 goal, 1 assist’ K League 1 Jeonbuk defeats Gwangju to move into 4th place

Professional soccer’s K League One Jeonbuk Hyundai leapfrogged top-flight rival Gwangju FC into fourth place to keep the race for the Asian title alive.

Jeonbuk defeated Gwangju 2-0 at home in the 37th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 Final A at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Friday, led by a goal and an assist from Song Min-gyu.

Jeonbuk, unbeaten in its last five league matches (three wins and two draws), moved up to fourth place with 57 points, ahead of Incheon United (56).

Gwangju, winless in three games (one draw and two losses), remained in third place (58 points) but allowed Jeonbuk to catch up.

In the K League One Final A, the race for a spot in Asia next season continues to heat up.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has split its Champions League (ACL) into a top-tier competition, the ACLE, and a second tier, ACL2, beginning with the 2024-2025 season.

With K League 1 champions Ulsan Hyundai and Korean Football Association (FA) Cup winners Pohang Steelers directly into the ACLE, the ACLE playoffs and ACL2 spots are up for grabs.

Originally, the second-place team in the regular season after Ulsan would qualify for the ACLE playoffs, but if Pohang, currently in second place, stays put, the third-place team would qualify for the ACLE playoffs.

After the three teams in the ACLE and the playoffs, the top teams in the K League 1 will play in the ACL2.

Jeonbuk, which was in fifth place and in desperate need of three points before the match, opened the scoring with a header from Ahn Hyun-beom in the 17th minute.

After Kim Jin-soo’s left flank cross and Lee Dong-joon’s header hit the crossbar, Song Min-gyu headed the ball back to Ahn, who finished with a header.

Gwangju fought back hard afterward, but Jeonbuk added a goal in first-half stoppage time.

After a throw-in by Lee Dong-joon, the ball was cleared by the Gwangju defense, and Song Min-gyu struck it with his right foot from the left side of the goal area, but Gwangju goalkeeper Kim Kyung-min was judged to have already crossed the goal line, giving Jeonbuk a two-goal lead at halftime.

Gwangju recorded 10 shots, but only two were on target, and they were unable to find the back of the net until the end.

In the Final B match at Jeju World Cup Stadium, host Daejeon Hana Citizens defeated Jeju United 2-0 thanks to back-to-back goals from Shin Sang in the 38th minute and Kim In-gyun in stoppage time.

Eighth-ranked Daejeon, which snapped a three-match winless streak (two draws and one loss) entering the final round, moved to 50 points, while Jeju, which had already clinched ninth place, remained on 40 points.

Daejeon’s Thiago (16 goals), who is second in the league in scoring behind Ulsan’s Lee In-gyu (17), was unable to add to his tally on the day and had to settle for his sixth assist of the season by assisting Shin Sang-sang’s goal. 스포츠토토사이트

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