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K-League Challenge Final Day

It's Sunday. It's 2 o'clock. It's Round 44. And it's all to play for on the final day of the K-League Challenge. Thanks to some weird and wonderful decision at K-League HQ there are now 5 prizes to be handed out between 6 teams. When the music stops someone is going to be disappointed so lets take a look at what's up for grabs and the teams in the mix at the business end of the table.

 1. The Title

Amazingly the top dog award could still, at least in theory, go to anyone of the top five. Remember though that this year it's goals scored rather than goal difference that separates teams joint on points which means, barring a landslide victory at Goyang, Bucheon are probably out of the running. Goyang might be terrible but not losing 10-0 to Bucheon terrible without some serious level of brown envelope passing going on.

This puts Ansan in pole position. If they win their match at Anyang then the only team that could catch them would be Daegu who would need to score 2 more than Ansan do against Daejeon. Gangwon would really need both teams above them to lose which looks unlikely while Busan would really need snookers to take the title.

2. Automatic Promotion

If Ansan do top the table then the automatic promotion place, would remain up for grabs since Mugunghwa are barred from going up this season. Again Bucheon look out of it but any of the other three teams behind Ansan could easily take the automatic Classic slot.

If Daegu manage to beat Daejeon (who have nothing to play for on the last day) then they can't be caught and even a draw would probably be enough as Gangwon take on Gyeongnam at home and would need to score 3 more goals than Daegu to jump them. Busan have an outside chance but would need both Daegu and Gangwon to slip up while beating E-Land at Jamsil.

3. Play-off Places

Daegu and Gangwon are assured of play-off places at worst while Busan are all but over the line. Only a 7-0 or worse defeat by E-Land would now see them finish behind the Seoul club. Stranger things may have happened but I think I have more chance of going home from a match with all of Sistar than of E-Land pulling off that result.

To get to the final play-off spot for E-Land then is going to require two result to swing their way. They need to take all 3 points at home against Busan to make it six straight wins to end the season while Goyang pull off an upset by beating Bucheon. Goyang have managed 2 wins all season and are on a run of 15 defeats in the last 17 matches. I have more chance of going home from a match with all of EXID than Bucheon losing that game.

When E-Land do end up missing out on play-off place then it will be another incredibly frustrating season for the team. They've simply found their stride too late and they'll reflect on stupid dropped points against Goyang and Chungju on multiple occasions stretching all the way back to the opening day of the season. A more ruthless approach from the off may just have paid dividends given the way the season shaped up.

My Predictions:

I'm going out on a limb here and going to say that even though Ansan have it lose that Daegu will snatch the title on the final day and take the automatic promotion spot. I wouldn't bet the mortgage on it though. Gangwon, Busan and Bucheon to complete the play-off lineup. 

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