The 33rd round of the ‘Hana OneQ K League 1 2023’ took place on August 8, dividing the K League 1 into two worlds. Jeonbuk Hyundai and Incheon United are on the last train to Final A.
This season, K League 1 will play 33 regular rounds and five more games after the split. First through sixth place will play in Final A, while seventh through 12th place will play in Final B. Final A decides the championship and a spot in the Asian Champions League, while Final B decides relegation.
In Round 33, all eyes were on the future of Final A. Ulsan Hyundai, Pohang Steelers, Gwangju FC, and Daegu FC had already clinched a spot in Final A, while FC Seoul, Incheon, and Jeonbuk were battling for the two remaining tickets.
Jeonbuk was the underdog. They had no choice but to win. On top of that, Jeonbuk had just traveled to Bangkok. Jeonbuk had just sent five players to the Asian Games, and their squad was thinned by a series of injuries. With a heavy physical burden and a poor recent performance, the team’s mood was low. Seoul and Incheon, on the other hand, would have qualified for Final A on their own with a draw.
Kickoff. After the first half, the score was 0-0 for Seoul-North Korea and 0-0 for Ulsan-Incheon. Seoul and Incheon would advance to Final A at this point. Jeonbuk survived a major scare. In first-half stoppage time, Na Sang-ho received a pass from Ilyuchenko and hit a powerful right-footed shot. If Seoul took the lead, the chances of an upset were slim. But luck was on their side. According to VAR, the goal was ruled offside.
Jeonbuk took a breather, and in the 14th minute of the second half, Han Gyo-won scored on a single chance. With 49 points, Jeonbuk jumped to fourth place in the standings. Incheon remained in sixth place with 48 points.
The standings could have swung again if Seoul had scored an equalizer. But the momentum had already shifted to Jeonbuk. Jeonbuk added another goal in the 29th minute of the second half when Gustavo scored on a header. Seoul’s momentum was lost. The only thing Seoul could count on was for Incheon to lose. However, Incheon remained focused until the very end and held Ulsan to a 0-0 draw.
In the end, Jeonbuk is in fourth place and Incheon is in sixth place with 48 points. Jeonbuk saved their last bit of pride. Incheon made it to Final A for the second year in a row.
While Ulsan, Jeonbuk, Pohang, and Incheon were the pre-season favorites to advance to Final A, Gwangju’s surge stood out. Led by Lee Jeong-hyo Magic, Gwangju played aggressive soccer and achieved a surprising victory over the first team in its history, reaching the Final A that no one expected. It was their second victory. Daegu also had a rough start, but despite the injury to Sejingya in the last minute, the team showed incredible concentration and managed to reach the Final A. 메이저사이트
In Final B, Seoul faced the most unfortunate result. With just 47 points, they finished in seventh place. Seoul cried over the Jeonbuk jinx and suffered the ignominy of falling in Final B for the fourth consecutive year. Seoul hasn’t won in 22 consecutive games against Jeonbuk since July 2017 (D6, L16). Daejeon also gave it their all until the end, but settled for eighth place. Daejeon only needs one more point to stay up, so yeah.