With the second round of fixtures in this year’s Relegation Group completed we have a clearer picture of who is watching things unfold from the safety of the viewing platform and who is still battling against the tide to avoid the drop into K-League Two obscurity. With three games reaming it is still all to play for for four of the six teams.
A 1-0 home victory for Gangwon courtesy of a 17th minute looping header from Kim Ji-hyun was enough to see off Jeonnam on the day. The game wasn’t exactly a rip-roaring end-to-end battle with Gangwon safely knowing that even defeat would’ve left them needing a collapse to be in any real danger. They could have been leading by a larger margin come HT but top goalscorer Deric wasn’t quite his prolific self. 3pts were enough though and guarantees that they’ll be back next year in the K-League One. Next up is Incheon at home
The fairy-tale 2018 season continues for Daegu as first they clinched a spot in the FA Cup on Wednesday past coming back from Jeonnam with a 2-1 win, then on Sunday a share of the points at home with FC Seoul was enough to see them, like Gangwon, secure their place in the 2019 K-League One. They went behind to a Go Yo-han strike before battling back and equalizing from a Cesinha free-kick which left Yang Han-bin scrambling across his goal-line. The draw leaves them tied with Gangwon on 43pts and safe to concentrate on that two-legged FA Cup final coming up in December. Next up is Sangju at home.
FC Seoul’s utterly miserable run continues and the return of Choi Yong-soo seems to bearing minimal fruit at the moment as the boys from the capital seem devoid of ideas going forward at times. After this match Choi came out and said that he is now happy with the defence and found the draw “inspiring”, you’d imagine the majority of The Suhoshin would think differently. They, just like last week, took the lead but were unable to hold on to it and with games against the other 3 relegation threatened teams coming up they’ll need to be able to kill a game off better if they are to avoid a playoff battle. Next up is Jeonnam at home
The Army followed up their 1-0 win over Jeonnam with a 2-1 defeat in Incheon Football Stadium with Yoon Bit-garam again getting on the score-sheet, this time after beating what felt like half the Incheon team before slotting the ball past the keeper. Sangju had their chances including a decent claim for a handball in the 2nd half which was waved away and also resulted in Sim Dong-woon getting stretched off injured in the scramble that followed. They’ve only won two of their last fifteen games which given some of the players at their disposal is more than a little concerning. Next up is Daegu away
Incheon’s win over The Army saw them claw their way off the bottom of the table and into 11th spot and a potential playoff come season’s end instead of the automatic relegation spot they’ve made their own this year. Goals from Nam Jun-jae and Stefan Mugosa gave them a two goal lead before the hour mark and despite a surge of Sangju attacks they held fast and claimed a huge 3pts. The victory sees them leapfrog Jeonnam and given how experienced they are in the ‘relegation dogfight’ might give them the confidence boost they’ve been looking for these last few weeks/months. Next up is Gangwon away
Jeonnam traveled to Gangwon knowing that they needed a win to stay off the bottom of the table but unfortunately never really looked like getting the result they needed. They looked frustrated throughout and that was no more evident than in Yugovic’s yellow card for leaving his foot in. The Dragons have lost three in a row in the league and look a team desperate for others to help them stay up, they have a tough run of fixtures coming up and will need a huge effort if they are to finish above both Seoul and Sangju. Next up is Seoul away