K League 2 Playoffs Set Stage for Promotions to Top Football League

SEOUL – Following the conclusion of the regular season in the second division of South Korean football, select teams are gearing up for the playoffs with the opportunity to be promoted to the K League 1 for the 2024 season. The first playoff series in the K League 2, featuring Gyeongnam FC and Bucheon FC 1995, is scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. Gimcheon Sangmu FC, having won the K League 2 title on Sunday, has already secured a direct promotion to the top league next year. Meanwhile, the runner-up team, Busan IPark, will face the 11th place team from K League 1 in one of the promotion-relegation playoff series. The other promotion-relegation series will involve the 10th seed from K League 1 and a playoff winner from K League 2.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the winner of the Gyeongnam-Bucheon match will advance to the second playoff series against the third seed, Gimpo FC. This match is set for Saturday at 4:30 p.m., with the winner moving on to play against the K League 1's 10th seed. Gyeongnam, having edged Bucheon in the standings, will host the playoff at Changwon Football Center. During the regular season, the teams met three times, with each winning one match and Gyeongnam securing a victory in their first encounter.

Key players in the playoff include Gyeongnam's top scorer Gleyson Garcia and Bucheon's leading scorer An Jae-joon. The playoff rules stipulate no extra time in the event of a tie, with the higher seed declared the winner. If Gyeongnam fails to win, it will mark the end of head coach Seol Ki-hyeon's tenure, as the club's management has already decided not to renew his contract.

The K League 2 playoffs are not the only high-stakes matches occurring, as three teams in the K League 1 are also battling to avoid relegation. Gangwon FC, Suwon FC, and Suwon Samsung Bluewings are all in contention, with their final regular season matches scheduled for Saturday.

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