Professional soccer’s K League 1 relegation battle, 11th-ranked Gangwon FC and 12th-ranked Suwon Samsung suffered back-to-back defeats in the first match of the final round.
Suwon lost 0-2 away to Jeju United in the 34th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 at Jeju World Cup Stadium on Nov. 22.
Suwon, which had kept its residual spark alive with a 1-0 win over Pohang Steelers on Aug. 8, failed to win back-to-back games and fell to 12th place, the bottom of the Final B Group.
Jeju, which escaped a seven-match winless streak (1D, 6L), remained in ninth place (38 points).
The last place finisher in the K League 1 is relegated directly to the K League 2 (second division) next season. The 10th and 11th place finishers will play a relegation playoff with a K League 2 team for a chance to stay in the top division.
Jeju opened the scoring just three minutes into the match. From a corner kick, Choi Young-joon’s loose ball was collected by Kim Gun-woong, who slotted it home with a left-footed shot.
To make matters worse for Suwon, defender Boultuis had to be substituted due to injury in the eighth minute of the first half.
Spurred on, Jeju took the lead in the 25th minute when Yuri Jonatan finished off a cross from Lee Ki Hyuk with a header. It was his 10th goal of the season.
The urgent Suwon brought on Jeon Jin-woo, Acosti, and Ahn Byung-joon in the second half to try and find a way back into the game, but their finishing was lacking.
At the same time, Gangwon lost 1-2 against FC Seoul at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.
With their second straight loss, Gangwon remained in 11th place (26 points). They are still one point behind Suwon.
Seoul remained in seventh place (50 points), the highest in Final Group B.
After a 0-0 first half, Seoul took the lead in the seventh minute of the second half through Na Sang-ho. They conceded a late equalizer to Gangwon’s Gabriel in the 31st minute, but Ji Dong-won scored three minutes later to drive a wedge.
It was Ji’s first goal in the league this season. It was his first goal in a Seoul jersey in about two years and two months since he scored against Gwangju FC on August 8, 2021.
At the Daejeon World Cup Stadium, Daejeon Hana Citizen and Suwon FC drew 1-1 to confirm their stay in the K League One.
Eighth-place Daejeon, with 46 points, opened up a 14-point gap over 10th-place Suwon FC (32 points), who are in the relegation playoffs, and secured at least ninth place regardless of the outcome of their remaining four games. 스포츠토토
Suwon FC, on the other hand, is now six points behind ninth-place Jeju.
Suwon FC took the lead in the 32nd minute when Kim Hyun-i headed in a cross from Lee Young-jae. However, Daejeon equalized in the 16th minute of the second half through Thiago.
With his 15th goal of the season, Thiago moved into a tie for first place on the league’s scoring list with Lee In-gyu (Ulsan).