The race for promotion is beginning to hot up in the K League 2 and there are some mouth watering matchups in round 25. Gwangju FC will host Daejeon Citizen in a top vs bottom clash, whilst Gwangju's challengers for the title, Busan IPark, will hope to keep pace with their rivals when they host 3rd placed FC Anyang. The K League United editors guide you through Round 25 of the K League 2.
Saturday 24th August
#BUCvJND: Bucheon 1995 (7th) vs Jeonnam Dragons (8th) 19:00
Bucheon 1995 got their first win in six attempts on Monday night when they came from behind to beat Daejeon Citizen. A second half masterclass by Marlon de Jesús saw the striker bag two goals to give his team a much needed win. The Ecuadorian is having a superb 2nd half of the season and has scored all of his six goals for the club in the last nine matches, scoring three in his last two games. Bucheon will need de Jesús to be at his best once more as they attempt to win back-to-back matches for the first time since early March. A poor run of form has seen Bucheon pick up only three wins in their last 11 games and they will be keen to arrest that slide as they look to force their way back into the play-off picture.
The Jeonnam Dragons will also be looking to join the race for the playoffs. A 2-0 win against Asan Mugunghwa on Monday night now see's the Dragons 11 points away from 4th place and a late season run might be enough to see them reach the play-offs. That victory against Asan was their first in five games and with only seven wins to their name all season it has been a disappointing year for Jeonnam. They will be without the services of Kim Min-jun and and Han Chan-hee this weekend with both players serving a one match ban.
#SEFCvANS: Seoul E-Land (9th) vs Asan Greeners (5th) 19:00
Seoul E-Land made it an impressive four victories in a row last time out as they put a halt to FC Anyang’s seven-match unbeaten run with a 2-0 victory in the Seoul Olympic Stadium. The Leopards have the best form in the division at present and a fifth consecutive victory would make it the first time since late 2016 that the club would have achieved such a feat. Seoul have no suspensions to worry about coming into this match, but with previous key players returning from injury such as captain Ahn Ji-ho, the biggest concern for manager Woo Sung-yong is whether to disrupt his new found winning formula to accommodate the talent at his disposal.
Ansan Greeners returned to winning ways after a hard fought victory against Suwon FC. Despite a strong opening half an hour which saw the Greeners go two goals up,they were pegged back by the home side and required a third goal from Park Jin-sub that narrowly crossed the line to claim all of the points. One man the Green Wolves will be hoping can make a difference is attacker Gustavo Vintecinco. The Brazilian has seven goals for the campaign so far, leading the club’s scoring charts. Ansan are also free of suspensions and should have close to a full strength squad to select from coming into this match. Sitting just two points off of third place, the Greeners will envisage this as a prime opportunity to move themselves further into playoff contention but will be well aware of their opponents’ winning run.
Sunday 25th August
#BUSvANY: Busan IPark (2nd) vs FC Anyang (3rd) 20:00
Busan IPark faced top of the table Gwangju FC in the last encounter with both teams eventually sharing the spoils after Busan conceded a late free-kick despite Romulo initially opening proceedings. The draw represented a missed opportunity for the home side to catch up on the league leaders and now they must ensure they continue to pick up points and try to close the gap if they are to claim the league title. Busan will be without centre-back Aleksandar Susnjar due to yellow card accumulation, as well as regular left-backs Kim Chi-woo and Koo Hyeon-joon through injury, potentially offering Anyang's attacking line hope.
However, having being stumped by a well-organised Seoul E-Land outfit, FC Anyang will face a difficult task in trying to bounce back against high-flying Busan IPark. The Violets struggled to get going in Jamsil and had to make do with ten men for most of the fixture after a badly timed challenge from Choi Ho-jung saw the player receive a red card and a suspension for this encounter. He will be joined on the bench by the club’s top scorer Cho Kyu-seong who is also suspended but at least the team can welcome back Kim Won-min and Yu Jong-hyun who were made to sit out in the last round due to yellow card accumulation.
Monday 26th August
#GWAvDCFC: Gwangju FC (1st) vs Daejeon Citizen (10th) 19:30
Three successive draws has somewhat hindered Gwangju's push for automatic promotion lately and the team who looked so imperious at the beginning of the season has began to show some weakness since their 7-1 mauling at the hands of Anyang in late July. Just one win in their last five outings has allowed Busan IPark to gain some ground on the leaders and the gap between 1st and 2nd place sits at just five points. Gwangju will have to do without both Yeo Bong-hun and Lee Han-do who both serve one match suspensions for this game.
Daejeon's plight continued on Monday night when they let a lead turn into defeat and there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel for a team who has only taken five points from their last 17 games. With only four wins to their name all season, they remain the lowest scorers in the league and only Seoul E-Land have conceded more than them. They will be up against it when they travel to face Gwangju but the recent signings of Ramazotti and Mattheus Pato has at least given them a lift as an attacking force. They will line-up without the experienced An Sang-hyun in this game as he picked up his 3rd yellow card of the season against Bucheon on Monday night.
#ASAvSUW: Asan Mugunghwa (4th) vs Suwon FC (6th) 20:00
Asan Mugunghwa continued their streaky form last round by losing to the Jeonnam Dragons. That loss means that they have now won three and lost three of their last six matches, with the team almost unable to draw a game. They only have four draws all season and only Suwon FC and Daejeon Citizen have that few. Asan have had their struggles at home this season and only four of their 10 wins this year have come at home. The first goal in this game will be of vital importance as Asan have lost four of the five games they have trailed in this year, and have failed to win a single one of those five.
Suwon FC extended their winless run to four games last weekend losing at home to the Ansan Greeners. However, they will be desperate to make a late season charge on the play-offs and will know that a victory away at Asan will put them just three points behind their rivals for 4th spot. The Gyeonggi based team will travel in confidence after having had some decent form on the road this year. Suwon FC have won five and drawn two of their 12 away trips this year.