Gyeongnam FC and Bucheon FC will meet on a wooden bridge.
Gyeongnam and Bucheon will play the K League 2 Semi-Po at the Changwon Football Center on the 29th at 7pm. Gyeongnam and Bucheon took down Gimpo FC and Jeonnam Dragons side by side in the final round, respectively, to qualify for the PO. Both teams earned the same 57 points in the regular season, but Gyeongnam finished fourth on goal difference and will play the semifinals at home. 스포츠토토 Gyeongnam has the advantage. The K League Two promotion POs are played for 90 minutes with no extra time, so if the game ends in a draw, the team with the higher regular season ranking will be the winner. For Gyeongnam, a draw is enough to advance to the next round.
On paper, it’s a matchup of spears and shields. Gyeongnam, which has scored 54 goals in 36 games, is ahead of Bucheon (45 goals) in offense, but Bucheon, which has conceded only 35 goals, is better than Gyeongnam (42 goals) in defense. Gyeongnam has a number of top K League 2 strikers, including Won Ki-jong (10 goals) and Mo Jae-hyun (6 goals), in addition to Gleason, who ranks fourth in scoring with 13 goals. Against them, Bucheon will field a solidly organized three-back. The team was worried about a one-month hiatus after the last final, but they are determined to continue their upward trend.
Gyeongnam pulled out the 4-4-2 card. Cho and Gleason line up on the top two. In the back, Cho Sang-joon, Lee Min-hyuk, Song Heung-min, and Seol Hyun-jin. The back line is made up of Lee Min-ki, Lee Chan-wook, Lee Kang-hee, and Lee Jun-jae. Go Dong-min is in goal. Won Ki-jong of Woosung and Castro start on the bench. Bucheon will line up in a 3-4-3. Cho Soo-chul, Lupeta, and Han Ji-ho form the back three. The midfield is made up of Park Hyung-jin Choi Jae-young Kaz Jung Hee-woong. The three backs are Lee Yong-hyuk, Nilsson Jr. and Signature. Lee Beom-soo will wear the goalkeeping gloves. Ahn Jae-joon, who scored a hat trick against Jeonnam last time, will be the joker.
“I’m tired of meeting Bucheon,” said Gyeongnam coach Seol Ki-hyun. “They’re a team we always struggle with, and seeing them in the Junpo often seems like a joke of fate. “Last year, we played Gyeongnam five times, and this year, we played them four times,” said Bucheon coach Lee Young-min. “There’s a lot of talk, but we’re only focusing on Bucheon-Gyeongnam and the game itself. We are only thinking about whether we can go to the PO or not.” Gyeongnam and Bucheon have a bit of a history. It started in April of last year, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when three of Gyeongnam’s four goalkeepers contracted the virus. The other was out with a long-term injury. Gyeongnam requested a postponement of the game due to the special position of goalkeeper, but the KFA insisted on playing the game according to the rules. Eventually, field player Lee Woo-hyuk donned the goalkeeping gloves, and the game ended in a 3-2 victory for Bucheon. While Gyeongnam expressed their disappointment with the federation’s decision, they also criticized Bucheon for not agreeing to the postponement.
A month later, the teams met again, this time at home in Bucheon. It ended in a 1-0 win for Gyeongnam, but something happened after the game. The coaching staffs of both teams got into a fight. After the game, the head coach of Gyeongnam, Seol Ki-hyun, came to the Bucheon bench to say hello, and the Bucheon bench expressed their dissatisfaction, saying, “Is this a revenge for the last game?” The two benches clashed. Bucheon coach Lee Young-min was sent off, and Gyeongnam head coach Hong Jun-hyung was warned.
The tension between the two teams continued throughout the season, and coincidentally, last year’s semi-playoffs (PO) also featured a matchup between Gyeongnam and Bucheon. The two teams met on an unassailable wooden bridge, with Bucheon ranked fourth and Gyeongnam fifth at the time, and the match was played at Bucheon’s home and won by Gyeongnam. Gyeongnam, who needed a win to advance to the next round, won 3-2 in the 50th minute of the second leg when Thiago converted a pass from Mo Jae-hyun to win 3-2 and advance to the PO.
Coach Seol focused on not conceding a goal, while Lee focused on scoring a goal. “It’s important not to concede first,” said Seol. If we concede first, we have to change our strategy. Of course, not conceding a goal doesn’t mean we focus on defense. We’ll still attack. However, conceding a goal completely changes the mood of the game. You have to put everything on the line and try to score, which often creates difficult situations at the back. It’s important not to concede goals in order not to give them that kind of momentum.” “We need to score first. “We need to score first, so we can confuse them even more. We’re not going to rush because we have to win. There are a lot of goals in a game like this. We’ll put Ahn Jae-joon on in the second half to defend. When he scores in the second half, our chances of winning are very high. We’re going to try to win when we’re down.”