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Recap: K League 2 Round 36

Recap: K League 2 Round 36
After 36 rounds, the regular K League 2 season wrapped up before the playoffs begin at the end of the month. In Round 36, the top two picked up narrow wins whilst Anyang and Gwangju headed into their fixtures with Daejeon and Ansan respectively still playing for a possible playoff spot. A comprehensive guide to K League 2 Round 26.

Daejeon Citizen 2-2 FC Anyang

Following their defeat in round 35 to Champions Asan, FC Anyang knew only three points against fourth placed Daejeon coupled with a Gwangju slip up would do for them to have any hope of a playoff place. Anyang looked to be holding up their end of the bargain with an early strike from Alex and an own goal from Yoon Junseong, giving them a 2-0 lead.

Daejeon had the chance to half the deficit in the 55th minute from the penalty spot in bizarre fashion. Marcos was all set to clear the ball, only seemingly not to notice Ahn Joohyung had slid in and won the ball first, the Brazilian swung his leg only to find there was no ball to kick, just Ahn lying in front of him. Park Inhyeok took the resulting penalty, but his effort was too close to Jeon in goal who parried the ball away to safety. Just four minutes later however, Jeon went from hero to villain, his awful pass fell straight to Cho Kwibeom, who took his shot first time from 35 yards into the empty net.

Daejeon’s comeback was completed by Park Inhyeok, he was the quickest to react after Ahn’s header hit the post and the ball fell loose inside the box. In truth Ahn should have scored, following a wonderful cross from Park Daehoon, but luckily for the forward Park Inhyeok was on hand to spare his blushes.

In the end a draw was probably a fair result, with both sides having opportunities to take all three points. Daejeon will now be eagerly awaiting the K League’s decision regarding the future of Asan on November 19th, to find out which of Busan IPark or Gwangju they will face in the promotion playoffs.

Gwangju FC 4-0 Ansan Greeners

Gwangju knew that any slip up against Ansan Greeners, could see them leave the door open for FC Anyang to take fifth position from them, and potentially the final promotion playoff spot with it. The final decision on that issue will be made on November 19th, with fourth place out of reach for Gwangju, all they could do was win their match and then play the waiting game.

In the end it was not even close, Gwangju ran out 4-0 victors, confirming the Green Wolves as the league’s second worst side after what can only be described as an awful season. A fantastic early strike from Yeo Reum, started off the rout in what would quickly become a very one sided affair, beautifully curling in an effort from 25 yards. Duarte continued his fine form to make it 2-0 after 40 minutes, his deflected effort beating the man on the line after Ansan goalkeeper, Park Hyeongmin flapped at a cross. A bad first half got even worse for the Green Wolves when the league’s top scorer, Na Sangho, curled in a fine free-kick just before the break.

Ansan Greeners shored up their defence at half time, but never looked likely to get back into the game, especially after Choi Myunghee received his marching orders in the 68th minute. The midfielder was rightly punished for a horrendous late tackle on Yeo Bonghun, he was nowhere near the ball and the howl in pain from Yeo was audible for all to hear. The game as a contest was finished, but Gwangju added one more to the score line in injury time, Duarte netting his second of the match, finishing from close range after Na was denied his own brace in the same move.

It will be a nervous few days for Gwangju as they wait to hear if they have been granted a play-off spot, but if they are confirmed as the final team, they will go into their next fixture full of confidence after this performance.

Seoul E-Land 1-0 Suwon FC

Two of the leagues bottom sides faced off on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Jamsil, where Seoul E-Land hosted Suwon FC. As a half of few chances looked to be ending scoreless, Seoul managed to break the deadlock, with a little help from the officials. Choi Ohbaek broke clear of the defence only to see the assistant referee's flag raised for offside, he played on and his lobbed effort bounced back off the crossbar with Choi Chiwon on hand to slide in the rebound. Choi Chiwon, having followed in the shot whilst the Suwon defenders had committed the schoolboy error of not playing to the whistle. The referee took advice from VAR and Choi Ohbaek’s run was correctly adjudged to have been perfectly timed, and therefore the goal was awarded.

Suwon were almost instantly level, only for Fernando Viana to place his effort just over the bar, he did well to stretch out a leg and reach Park Sejin’s perfect cross, but was unable to keep his finish down. Within a few minutes of the restart Suwon thought they would get the perfect opportunity to get back into the game after what looked like a Herrera handball inside the penalty area, however the referee and VAR disagreed and the game continued.

The second half pressure was all coming from Suwon, with Viana again afforded the best chance, this time he intercepted a weak shot from a team-mate that had Seoul goalkeeper Kim Youngkwang moving to his right. Viana looked to place his effort to the goalkeepers opposite side only for Kim to jump back up, dive to his left and make a fantastic save.

In a game of few clear cut chances, the difference in the end was Choi’s simple finish after some poor Suwon defending. Neither side will be happy with the way their season has panned out, but for Seoul E-Land, there will be slight comfort in ending on a high note.

Bucheon 1995 0-1 Asan Mugunhwa

Bucheon 1995 ended the season with a home fixture against Champions Asan, in what may well end up being the Police side’s final match. If that is the case, Asan will be pleased to have signed off with another solid performance and three points to boot.

Asan almost got off to a dream start in the sixth minute, when Kim Sangpil was the first to react as goalkeeper and defenders left the ball for each other, but his poked effort narrowly missed the target.

A tight first half was summed up when Bucheon had the chance to take the lead through Park Kun, in the 40th minute. He climbed highest in the box to meet Moon Kihan’s corner, got a great head on the ball but again the attempt was just wide of the target.

The second period continued as a close affair, with both goalkeepers making some excellent saves, the home side's Lee Kyhyun being the busier of the two. Just as both teams’ seasons seemed to be petering out with a 0-0 draw, Asan showed the spirit that Champions need, and with 90 minutes on the clock managed to grab the winner. A free-kick was whipped into the penalty area, Lee came out to punch the ball but was unable to get any distance on it, Asan reacted quickest and won both the first and second ball, leaving substitute Kim Ryundo a simple touch and finish from seven yards. A fitting way for Asan to bow out.

Seongnam FC 1-0 Busan IPark

With both sides final league positions decided after game week 35, Seongnam in second and Busan third, pride and form going into the promotion playoffs were the motivations needed as the two sides faced off at the Tancheon Sports Complex.

The first half was a tight affair, with Busan slightly shading the play and having a very good shout for a penalty after 18 minutes. Rômulo showed some nice skill to break into the box from the right hand side, Moon Jihwan slid in to intercept the danger, he took the ball with his left foot but clearly followed through with his right taking the ankles out from under the Brazilian. However, the referee was unmoved and allowed play to continue.

Both sides hit a few long range efforts, with Busan coming the closest to the opening goal. A clever corner routine saw Kim Chiwoo smash a 20-yard effort off the crossbar, Jeon Jonghyeok sprang to his left but in reality his effort would have made no difference to the strike had it been an inch lower.

Within 10 minutes of the second half beginning, Busan were down to ten men for the second weekend running. This time, it was Kim Hyunsung who saw red, following a second yellow card, the Busan man was astonished by the referee’s decision. Kim was holding off Seongnam defender Moon Jihwan as a long ball was aimed towards him, only for the official to have deemed him to have used his elbow. Moon milked the contact and the Seongnam players looked delighted with the decision, much to the disgust of Busan manager Choi Yunkyum.

The remainder of the game saw Busan bravely try and hold on to the point they deserved, as Seongnam pressed forward. Eventually, the extra man paid dividends in the 86th minute, substitute Lee Hyeonil, scoring the game’s only goal. And, what a goal it was, the forward expertly controlling Yeon Jewon’s cross on his chest 12 yards out from goal, before acrobatically placing his overhead kick into the net, the Busan goalkeeper did not even have time to move such was the quality of the finish. A goal worthy of winning any game of football.

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