Two clubs vying to keep K League promotion bid


Two clubs in South Korean football’s second division will battle this weekend for one remaining ticket to a promotion-relegation playoff that will determine their fate for next year.

Gimpo FC will host Gyeongnam FC in the second playoff in the K League 2, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Gimpo, west of Seoul.

Gimpo, playing in just their second season in the K League 2, reached this playoff by finishing the regular season in third place. Gyeongnam finished in fourth place and then eliminated fifth-seed Bucheon FC 1995 in the first playoff held Wednesday evening to set up a date with Gimpo.

The winner of the Gimpo-Gyeongnam matchup will reach one of two promotion-relegation playoffs and face the yet-to-be-determined 10th-ranked team from the K League 1. The winner of that two-legged playoff will play in the K League 1 in 2024. The other promotion-relegation playoff will pit Busan IPark, the No. 2 seed from the K League 2, against the 11th-ranked team from the K League 1.

Gimpo, who joined the K League 2 in 2022, are trying to make it to the K League 1 for the first time. Gyeongnam are eyeing a return to the top competition for the first time since 2019.

The two clubs met three times during the regular season but have combined for just one goal in those matches. They played to goalless draws on March 11 and again on July 29 before Gyeongnam came out on top 1-0 this past Sunday.

Many other teams had trouble scoring against Gimpo this year. Gimpo had the stingiest defense in the K League 2, conceding only 25 goals in 36 matches.

Gimpo had a below-average offense with only 40 goals for the season, but they did produce the K League 2’s top scorer in Luis Fabian Mina, who accounted for 16 of those 40 goals.






The Korea Times Co.