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Taking The Super match to a Whole New Level: The Battle for 9th Place

Only a week ago, Suwon Samsung Bluewings fell 2-1 to Daegu FC in the 2022 K League 1. The result in Final B had many Suwon fans believe that the two-legged promotion/ relegation games were inevitable with a team battling in the K League 2. However, it looks as if FC Seoul wants to make the fight for survival more exciting and increase tension for their fans as well as Suwon's. 

With the last round of the K League 1 Final B taking place this Saturday, Michael Redmond looks ahead at Suwon's visit to Gimcheon Sangmu and how FC Seoul's visit to Suwon FC can also affect the Bluewing's finish in the table.  

Fixtures to Make Note of 

Saturday 22nd October 2022, 3pm

Suwon FC Vs FC Seoul: Castle Park, Suwon

Gimcheon Sangmu Vs Suwon Samsung Bluewings: Gimcheon Sports Complex, Gimcheon 

As Things Stand 

Looking at the table above, FC Seoul are two points ahead of Suwon Bluewings in the table. Both teams are also level on goals scored which is important to note. Going against the grain, the K League decide standings on goals scored if two teams are tied on points, not goal difference. This has come into effect in the past. Take note of 2020 when Seoul E-Land had the better goal difference between themselves and Daejeon Hana Citizen. However, due to the K League judging on goals scored, Daejeon went to the playoffs with 36 goals against Seoul's 33 goals. 

With this in mind, there are a few different outcomes which can happen on the weekend and here is want can go down...

What Could Happen

As things stand in the 2022 K League 1 Final B

Making note of the standings, Gimcheon sits in 11th, Suwon in 10th, and Seoul in 9th. 

11th place will play Daejeon Hana Citizens in two-legged promotion/ relegation games. 

10th place will play the winner of the playoffs between Gyeongam vs Bucheon and then that winner Vs FC Anyang, once again in two-legged games. 

9th place will survive. 

Gimcheon Sangmu
Gimcheon will play a promotion/ relegation game regardless of any other team's results on Saturday. Gimcheon could climb to 10th if they beat Suwon Bluewings and on paper have the easier team to fight against for survival. 

Gimcheon Sangmu will play promotion/ relegation games regardless of any results on Saturday

Suwon Samsung Bluewings
This is where it gets a bit tricky. A loss for Suwon on the weekend will drop them to 11th place for two games against Daejeon. 

A draw will keep them in 10th and play the winner of the K League 2 playoffs.

A win will also keep them in 10th place unless FC Seoul lose. 

Suwon Bluewings still have a chance of survival 
FC Seoul
A win for FC Seoul will confirm 9th place and survival. 

A loss will lead them to hope that Suwon Bluewings do not win. If both teams draw, FC Seoul are safe.

A loss and a Suwon Bluewings win will see Seoul drop to 10th and Suwon climb to 9th.

A draw could be okay, as long as Suwon do not beat Gimcheon Sangmu. If Suwon do win, they will need to score one more goal than FC Seoul.

For Example:

If the two games ended, FC Seoul 2-2 Suwon FC and the other game ends Suwon Bluewings 1-0 Gimcheon. FC Seoul will still remain in 9th as they managed to score 43 goals in the season against Suwon's 42.

On the other turn of the coin

If the two games ended, FC Seoul 2-2 Suwon FC and the other game ends Suwon Bluewings 3-0 Gimcheon. FC or even Suwon Bluewings 3-2 Gimcheon, Suwon will leapfrog Seoul as they will now have 44 goals against FC Seoul's 43 goals. Both teams will be level on points. 


Fc Seoul have been freefalling since the K League 1 split

Adding Fuel to the Fire 

Those who are familiar with the K League 1 will know the rivalry between Suwon Bluewings and FC Seoul. When the two teams meet, it is normally called 'The Super Match' In the past, the two sides were battling for the title or at the very least, an ACL spot. So the match had a lot more at stake than just bragging rights. 

Apart from 2017, Since 2016, at least one of the two teams have been in the bottom six come the time of the K League 1 split. Both teams have been in the bottom six on three occasions since 2016 and the years 2020 and this year, 2022 had them both of them in the mix.

The Super match is the highlight of many a K League fan in the season

The last ten games have seen five FC Seoul wins, three Suwon wins, and two draws. 

in 2022 the results were as followed:

Suwon Bluewings 0-0 FC Seoul: October 2022

FC Seoul 1-3 Suwon Bluewings: September 2022

Suwon Bluewings 0-1 FC Seoul: June 2022

FC Seoul 2-0 Suwon Bluewings: April 2022

Thinking Outside of the Pitch

The last round of games saw the Bluewings beat Suwon Fc 3-0 in the Suwon derby. Giving the side some much-needed momentum going into the last game of the regular season. 

For FC Seoul however, the opposite could be said. FC Seoul have failed to win any of their games post-split, with two losses and two draws. The kick in the teeth for the capital side was their 1-0 loss to already relegated Seongnam Fc, who have had a treacherous time in the K League 1.

An Ik-soo is feeling the pressure at FC Seoul
The loss led to a big fan protest against FC Seoul and their manager An Ik-soo which barricaded the team bus, not allowing them to leave the stadium until the boss and Na Sang-ho apologized for their performance. Seoul are heading into their game with Suwon FC practically rock bottom. 

Suwon Bluewings have to face Gimcheon Sangmu, this will be the fourth time they will play one another this year. The previous three games this year saw two draws and a Suwon win. Suwon will need to rely on their neighbour Suwon FC to put in a good performance against FC Seoul to climb to 9th place, but Suwon Bluewings fans will remain hopeful. 

A Slight Issue If Suwon Survive...

FC Seoul will be destroyed if they slump to 10th place on Saturday. However, that will be the least of their problems if this is to happen. 

That is because FC Seoul have also made the 2022 FA Cup final against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. The team that fell short this year of the K League title and will do anything to get their hands on some silverware. It is not just the team that they are playing which is the problem, it is also the dates. Below are the following dates of the promotion/ relegation games, as well as the FA Cup final dates.

Promotion/ Relegation Dates 

Game 1: K League 2 team  Vs K League 1 team: Wednesday 26th October 2022

Game 2: K League 1 team  Vs K League 2 team: Saturday 29th October 2022

FA Cup Final Dates

Game 1: FC Seoul Vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors: Thursday 27th October 2022

Game 2: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors Vs FC Seoul: Sunday 30th October 2022

FC Seoul are set to play Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the 2022 FA Cup final
As you can see at this moment in time, if FC Seoul do end up in 10th place, they are looking at playing four games in five days. Now it will be the case that something will be moved to give Seoul more time if they are to end in 10th place, however, it could still look like a lot of games in a short space of time. 

FNR

Final Thoughts

Suwon's fight to do just about enough to stay in with a chance of survival and FC Seoul's freefall has allowed for a very exciting afternoon of football to be played on the weekend. To be completely honest, even though Suwon have to rely on their cross-town neighbours Suwon FC to give them a hand, you could say it is advantage Bluewings. 

FC Seoul are having so many problems on and off the pitch at the moment and surely physiologically that could be affecting the players. The capital club were once so far away from the drop that no one could have thought that the season would end like this. 

Seoul will need to get a result against Suwon FC on the weekend if they are to avoid playing in the promotion/ relegation games. And with the way things are going for the side so far, maybe a Seoul derby in the league is still on the cards, just not in the K League 1.



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