Saturday 9th November will bring an end to the regular 2019 K League 2 season and, despite Gwangju FC already sealing the title and promotion back to the top tier, there is still a lot to be decided on the final day. Most important of all is the last place in the playoffs which will be between Ansan Greeners, who travel to Jeonnam Dragons, or Bucheon FC 1995 who head to Castle Park to take on Suwon FC. Furthermore, there is also the matter of the golden boot with Gwangju's Felipe on 19 and Chisom of Suwon FC on 18 for the season. K League United preview all five K League 2 Round 36 matches.
Saturday 9th November 2019
#SUWvBUC: Suwon FC (8th) vs Bucheon FC 1995 (5th) - 15:00
Bucheon FC 1995 and Suwon FC both seem to be doing their best to spoil Ansan Greeners' first every foray into the K League 2 playoffs. Bucheon are on a run of four straight wins, a run which began with a 2-1 away win over third placed FC Anyang. The run has rocket the Reds up to fifth and just two points behind Ansan Greeners leaving Song Sunho and his men an outside chance of making the playoffs. Suwon's contribution was beating the Green Wolves with a last gasp strike to send Lim Wanseop and his team into the final match of the season needing a result.
For Bucheon it is simple, the Reds absolutely must beat Suwon FC to stand any chance of leapfrogging Ansan and into the playoffs. Suwon, though, were keen to throw a spanner in the works last time out and with Chisom Egbuchunam gunning for the golden boot, sitting just a goal behind Gwangju's Felipe in the score chart with 18, Suwon and indeed the Nigerian will be keen to end the season on a positive note. Furthermore, following the departure of manager Kim Daeui, Suwon FC players could be playing for their futures should a new manager be watching on. A win for Suwon would end Bucheon's playoff dreams and could be enough to ensure of a sixth place finish should results elsewhere go their way. From the three previous encounters this term, Bucheon have two wins and a draw and so will be the favourites for this crucial clash. Bucheon will be without the services of Cho Soocheol through suspension.
#ASAvANY: Asan Mugunghwa (7th) vs FC Anyang (3rd) - 15:00
Asan Mugunghwa's four match losing streak, and run of six games without a win and just one win in nine has meant that the former police team's hopes of finishing in the top four have been over for quite some time. However, the visitors to Yi Sun Sin Stadium this Saturday is third placed FC Anyang who are guaranteed a place in the playoffs. What isn't guaranteed, however, is whether the Violets will finish third or fourth as a draw and an Ansan win would be enough for Kim Hyungryul's men to secure third and home advantage for the playoff semifinals.
Last time out Coach Kim opted to rest Alex and Palacios, instead fielding on-loan Suwon FC forward Mo Jaehyun and Lee Jeongbin in the wide areas with Jo Kyuseong through the middle. The decision to do so seemed to backfire as the Violets were held by ninth place Daejeon in a 1-1 draw, a win would have secured third. From the three previous meeting Anyang have two wins, Asan one. One of the Violets' victories came at Yi Sun Sin Stadium in April, Jo Kyuseong and Alex on target in the 87th and 90th minutes respectively in a 2-0 victory. Should Asan pick up a home win over Anyang then it may be enough for Park Donghyuk's side to move up to sixth should Jeonnam fail to pick up a result against Ansan Greeners. FC Anyang were supposed to have key defender Choi Hojung out following a red card against Daejeon Citizen last time out but the dismissal has since been rescinded and Choi is available for the visit to Asan.
#JNDvANS: Jeonnam Dragons (6th) vs Ansan Greeners (4th) - 15:00
Despite Jeonnam Dragons being amongst the early favourites to earn promotion and an instant return to K League 1 after relegation last season, all attention will be on Ansan Greeners. The Green Wolves sit in fourth place but only two points above Bucheon FC 1995 meaning that a defeat, coupled with a Bucheon win, would see the 2017-founded club drop out of the playoffs on the final day. A 2-0 win over Busan IPark three rounds ago seemed to all-but confirm the Greeners' place in the 2019 K League 2 Promotion Playoffs but, after two straight defeats with later winners for both Line 4 Derby rivals FC Anyang, and Suwon FC last time out, Lim Wanseop's side's playoff hopes are dangling by a thread.
What the Green Wolves need to do is very simple: beat Jeonnam Dragons. A draw might be enough but it would depend on the Suwon versus Suwon result. Ansan have beaten Jeonnam in Gwangyang already this season, a 3-1 victory in June. In fact, Ansan have had Jeonnam's number this term having come out on top in all three meetings - the most recent being a 1-0 victory at the Wa~ Stadium in July. Dragons first choice goalkeeper Park Junhyuk is suspended after picking a third caution of the season, Choi Jungi us also out. For Ansan, towering striker Vinteccinco is ruled out after being sent off in the defeat to Suwon last week.
#DCFCvGWA: Daejeon Citizen (9th) vs Gwangju FC (1st) - 15:00
With talk of a takeover being completed this week, Daejeon Citizen hosting Champions Gwangju has become all that more intriguing. The news broke on November 5th that Daejeon were subject to a takeover from Hana Finance Group and that a new manager is set to take over with Hwang Sunhong being mooted as the Purples' new gaffer. Current manager Lee Heungsil only took over at the end of June and under the former Ansan manager's tutelage, Daejeon have shown signs of recovery having lost just once in their last 10 matches. The Purples can't finish any higher or lower than ninth but with players futures potentially on the line, there will be plenty donning the Daejeon shirt keen to impress.
The visitors to Daejeon World Cup Stadium this Saturday is K League 2 Champions Gwangju FC. Under Park Jinseop, the South Jeolla side have been comfortable league leaders for the vast majority of the campaign. As has Brazilian striker Felipe at the top of the K League 2 goal scoring charts. Felipe has 19 for the season, one more than Chisom of Suwon FC, and so will be keen to round of a fantastic season with both the golden boot and the K League crown. However, the three previous meetings between the Purples and the Yellows have been low-scoring affairs with just one goal scored in three meetings this term. Gwangju's 1-0 victory at Purple Arena in June, with a goal from Felipe, remains the only goal to be scored between the two teams with the remaining fixtures ending as 0-0 draws. Daejeon will have striker Park Inhyeok and defender Kim Taehyeon ruled out through suspension. For Gwangju, defender Jeong Junyeon will be available again having served a suspension of his own.
#SEFCvBUS: Seoul E-Land (10th) vs Busan IPark (2nd) - 15:00
Seoul E-Land's last place finish was confirmed last weekend on account of a 3-2 defeat to Bucheon FC 1995. The Leopards had to win, and for Daejeon to lost to Anyang, to have any hope of avoiding the K League 2 wooden spoon for a second year in succession. Saturday's home fixture with Busan IPark, then, will be about little else other than pride. However, as Seoul return to Jamsil having played the vast majority of the campaign in Cheonan, the Leopards can take solace in knowing that a result against Busan is not beyond them. At the tail end of August, Seoul came from 3-0 down to earn a point against Busan following a 3-3 draw.
For Busan IPark beckons yet another playoff campaign having made it to the Promotion/Relegation Final in 2018 and 2017, losing to FC Seoul and Sangju Sangmu respectively and a semifinal defeat to Gangwon in 2016. As per 2018, Busan have a bye into the Promotion Final, awaiting the winners of third versus fourth, a game which is due to take place on Saturday 30th November meaning that after Saturday's regular season closer, Cho Dukje and his men have plenty of time to rest and prepare. There perhaps won't be the need to rest players for fitness reasons, but if the former Suwon FC manager fears his stars could pick up an injury, it could be a second strike Busan that makes the trip to the capital. One of those key players is star man Romulo who ruled out through suspension anyway. Seoul E-Land will be without Seo Kyungju through suspension whilst Busan will have
K League United Associate Editor