The race for the title become that little bit closer following Busan IPark's win over Gwangju FC on Monday night This weekend IPark head to Bucheon on Sunday before Gwangju host the league's basement side, Seoul E-Land, both needing victories. Elsewhere, Suwon FC host Asan Mugunghwa in what could be seen as a last chance for Kim Daeui's side to have a late tilt at the top four. For that and more, K League United Editor Paul Neat previews all five K League 2 Round 30 clashes.
Saturday 28th September
#DCFCvANS: Daejeon Citizen (9th) vs Ansan Greeners (4th) 19:00
A 2-2 draw with Suwon FC, coupled with Seoul E-Land's heavy loss to FC Anyang meant that Daejeon Citizen host playoff-chasing Ansan Greeners no longer as the team's basement side. Citizen looked as though they were going to claim all three points but a Chisom Egbuchulam volley restored parity for Suwon and ensured that the points were shared. At this stage of the campaign, Daejeon have little else to play for other than pride, avoiding the K League 2 wooden spoon for the second time in three seasons. Saturday's opponents Ansan Greeners, meanwhile, are in the hunt for the playoffs. Despite a 2-1 defeat to Bucheon last time out, in a game which saw VAR have an affect on proceedings, the Greeners sit in fourth. Asan Mugunghwa's 1-0 win over Jeonnam on Monday night means that the Green Wolves' lead is now just one point and so Lim Wanseop and his team will be desperate to bounce back as soon as possible.
The Purples may be unbeaten in five heading into the weekend's action but Lee Heungsil and his men have picked up just one win in that time, a 1-0 victory over Seoul E-Land with Kim Seungseop scoring a VAR-assisted penalty. Ansan, on the other hand, are on a run of three games without a win with two defeats and a draw. Prior to which, the Greeners had won three on the bounce. Daejeon emerged as the victors when these two sides last faced each other in August, but it was Ansan who came out on top in the most recent Purple Arena meeting with a 3-1 win. On the opening day of the season, Daejeon picked up a 2-1 win over Ansan for what was only their second ever win over Ansan Greeners. In 11 previous meetings Ansan have four wins, Daejeon have three and three draws. Team news wise, Lee Jisol is back in contention for Daejeon; the 19 year-old centre half was ruled out of the 2-2 draw with Suwon through suspension but Saturday's visitors should have a relatively full squad available.
#GWAvSEFC: Gwangju FC (1st) vs Seoul E-Land (10th)
League leaders Gwangju FC could have all but sealed the K League 2 title on Monday night, had the South Jeolla side beaten second place Busan IPark. But, despite fighting back from two goals down to draw level with two goals nine second half minutes, Lee Dongjun bagged his second to restore Busan's lead and win a match which had been described as "life or death" for Busan in some circles of the media. The gap is now down to five points again meaning that Gwangju will have to put a little bit of the bubbly away for another date. In the meantime Gwangju will take on the league's basement side, Seoul E-Land, who suffered a heavy defeat at the weekend, losing 5-2 to FC Anyang. After four draws throughout the whole of August, Gwangju are on a run of two wins and two defeats heading into the visit of E-Land. The Leopards, after winning four games in a row from the end of July and into August, are now without a victory in their last five with three defeats and two draws.
Seoul E-Land have never beaten Gwangju in seven previous attempts, losing the last four but the Leopards managed to pick up two draws against the Yellows last term. The odds will be stacked firmly against E-Land heading into Saturday's match but Gwangju will be without Brazilian forward Willyan who picked up a sixth yellow of the season in the defeat to Busan. Seoul E-Land will be without Lee Byungwook following the midfielder's red card against Anyang. Lee had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes having been brought on in the second half to replace Won Kijong.
#SUWvASA: Suwon FC (6th) vs Asan Mugunghwa (5th) 17:00
Suwon FC in sixth, five points behind the playoff places, at home to Asan Mugunghwa in fifth, just a point behind the top four, is a playoff six-pointer if every there was one. A win for Suwon and Kim Daeui's men are in with a chance of making a last gasp dash for the K League 2 playoffs. On the other hand, a defeat may just all-but condemn Suwon to another season in the second tier. For Asan, the win over Jeonnam on Monday, coupled with Ansan Greeners' defeat to Bucheon at the weekend, means that Asan, despite the uncertainty surrounding their future, and with a depleted squad, are well placed to have a second crack at promotion in as many seasons.
Said win over Jeonnam Dragons was Asan's first in six, Choi Joseph, formerly known as Choi Jinho, the ex-Gangwon striker, gave Asan the win when an error from Dragons custodian Park Junhyuk gifted the experienced striker the chance to put away a first goal of the season, and first since 2017. In 2017, when Asan Mugunghwa were formed, the former police team picked up four wins over Suwon, as was also the case in 2018. seasons. However, thus far this term, from the three previous meetings in 2019, Suwon have two wins and a draw. Suwon will have forward Kim Byungoh missing through suspension whilst Park Yohan, Javlon Ibrokhimov, Chisom Egbuchulam, Jang Seongjae, and Kim Jimin are all just one booking away from a one-match ban. For Asan, Nam Heecheol is back in contention after sitting out the win over Jeonnam. Nam was named in the K League 2 Best 11 for Round 28 after firing in a 91st minute leveller against Ansan Greeners.
Sunday 29th September
#BUCvBUS: Bucheon FC 1995 (7th) vs Busan IPark (2nd) 17:00
Both Bucheon and Busan picked up wins last time out and so will be feeling confident when the two sides meet at Bucheon Civic Stadium this Sunday. Bucheon came from behind to beat Ansan Greeners thanks to a Nilson Junior penalty deep into stoppage time following VAR intervention, whilst Busan kept their K League 2 title dreams alive with a 3-2 win over league leaders Gwangju. IPark did, however, make things difficult for themselves at a rain-soaked Gudeok Stadium by allowing a two goal lead to slip. But, just four minutes after Willyan had levelled for the league leaders, Lee Dongjun converted for Cho Dukje's side to see their lead restored and go on to seal the three points. The lead at the top of the second tier is now down to five points again, and with Gwangju hosting the league's basement side Seoul E-Land, a win in Gyeonggi Province will be an absolute must for the South Coast side.
Bucheon's win last time out has given them an outside chance of sneaking into the top four, despite sitting in seventh heading into the weekend's action. The gap between the Reds and Ansan Greeners in fourth is seven points, but the last gasp winner of the Green Wolves last week will no doubt have given Song Sunho's side a boost. However, if Bucheon are to topple Busan then they will have to do so without leading scorer Marlon de Jesús through suspension. Busan have a clean disciplinary record but striker Lee Jeonghyeop, defender Park Junkang, and influential midfielder Rômulo are all one yellow away from missing Busan's next game. The last meeting between these two sides ended in a draw, but when Busan made the trip north to Bucheon in May, a Lee Jeonghyeop brace and an 85th minute strike from Kim Jingyu helped IPark pick up a 3-1 win. Prior to that, a thrilling 3-3 draw was played out at the end of March, Rômulo with hat-trick for IPark, Ahn Taehyun, Song Hongmin, and a 90th minute equaliser from Nilson Junior for Bucheon.
#JNDvANY: Jeonnam Dragons (8th) vs FC Anyang (3rd) (19:00)
Following the 3-3 draw with Busan IPark in Round 27 Jeonnam Dragons caretaker manager Jeon Kyungjoon had earmarked the Dragons' next six games as being crucial to any possible playoff push. Since then, the Gwangyang-based side have drawn with Seoul E-Land and lost to Asan Mugunghwa, leaving the Dragons with a real uphill task to make it in to the top four. With seven games remaining, and with 11 points to make up, the Jeonnam faithful may have to accept that second division football is what's facing them in 2020. FC Anyang, on the other hand, are riding high in third place with a five point cushion over Asan in fifth, and look certain to be involved in this season's K League playoffs. The Violets bounced back from the Line 4 Derby to Ansan Greeners with an emphatic 5-2 win over Seoul E-Land last time out. Kim Hyungryul's free-scoring side have the second best attack in the division with 52 goals scored, only Busan have scored more.
The same cannot be said about the Dragons, however, as with 32 goals scored, Jeonnam have the second worst attack. Basement side Seoul E-Land have scored more but only Daejeon, with a paltry 20 goals, have the worst goals scored record in the division. Jeonnam host Anyang having failed to pick up a single win in their last four after back to back wins over Asan and Bucheon looked to give the Honam side a glimmer of hope. Midfielder Kim Geongwoong is back from suspension but goalkeeper Park Junhyuk, veteran full back Choi Hyojin, fellow defenders Lee Seulchan, Choi Ikjin, Kwak Kwangseon, and Choi Jaehyeon, winger Jung Heewoong, and striker Bruno are all one booking away from a one-match ban. Defender Choi Hojung is suspended for Anyang who also have an extensive list of players who are walking a suspension tightrope, namely Ryu Eonjae, Lee Seongeol, Alex, Lee Jeongbin, Cho Kyuseong, and Ahn Sungbin. There have been just three previous meetings between Jeonnam Dragons and FC Anyang, all of which took place earlier this season. Anyang have won the last two encounters, winning 4-2 in August and 2-1 in June, after Jeonnam had picked up a 1-0 home win in March.