Daejeon, Gangwon to face off in promotion-relegation playoff
Daejeon Hana Citizen will face Gangwon FC in a promotion-relegation playoff at Daejeon Hanbat Sports Complex in Daejeon on Wednesday.
In the K League, the second-to-last team from the K League 1 compete in a playoff each year with a runner-up from the K League 2. If the K League 2 club win, they are promoted and the K League 1 club relegated. The K League 2 club that compete in that match are determined through a series of earlier playoffs.
The second-to-last K League 1 club are Gangwon FC, who finished five points ahead of last-place Gwangju FC. Daejeon Hana Citizen are the second division club to win a spot in the relegation-promotion playoff, taking a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Anyang FC on Nov. 6.
The match between Daejeon and Anyang was the final playoff before the relegation-promotion decider, and, as Anyang finished higher in the regular season standing, only a win would do for Daejeon. That's exactly what Daejeon did, earning a shot at the promotion playoff.
Daejeon have been on good form throughout the season. They have the second-most goals this season in the K League 2, behind winner Gimcheon Sangmu.
Daejeon also haven't been relying on one high-scorer to do the bulk of the work. Instead, the goals are spread out across different players, which is a good sign for the club. There are more than 10 players who have scored at least two goals this season. Park Jin-sub now has five goals, Won Ki-jong has four, and the best scorer is Masatoshi Ishida, who has nine.
Gangwon and Daejeon will face each other twice, at home and away. Daejeon will be looking for a chance to return to the top tier after seven seasons in the K League 2, while Gangwon will do everything in their power to stay at the top level.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]