Suwon Samsung Bluewings Relegated to K League 2 for the First Time in History

Seoul, South Korea - In a historic moment for South Korean football, Suwon Samsung Bluewings have been relegated to the K League 2 for the first time since the club's inception. This follows a goalless draw against Gangwon FC in their final match of the 2023 K League 1 season at home.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Suwon Samsung concluded the season in last place with 33 points, accumulating eight wins, nine draws, and 21 losses. This outcome led to their direct relegation to the K League 2 for the upcoming 2024 season.

To evade direct relegation, Suwon Samsung needed either a win against Gangwon at the Suwon World Cup Stadium or a draw coupled with a defeat for their rivals Suwon FC against Jeju United. However, Suwon FC's 1-1 draw against Jeju, combined with Suwon Samsung's own draw, sealed their fate. This marks a significant fall for a team that previously won four K League titles before the introduction of the two-division system.

The K League adopted the promotion-relegation system in 2013, adding a competitive edge to the league's structure.

In their match against Gangwon FC, Suwon Samsung struggled to generate significant offensive opportunities. Despite making four substitutions in the second half, their efforts, including a missed volley by substitute Fejsal Mulic, were not enough to secure a victory.

The final minutes of the match saw further attempts by Suwon Samsung, including a header by An Byong-jun during added time, but these efforts failed to yield a goal, culminating in the draw that confirmed their relegation.

Both Gangwon FC and Suwon FC, as the 10th and 11th seeds, will now face the promotion-relegation playoffs next week, providing them with one last opportunity to remain in K League 1 for the next season.

Suwon FC, also finishing with 33 points, edged out Suwon Samsung based on the first tiebreaking category of goals scored, leading 44-35.

In their respective match, Suwon FC's Lee Yeong-jae scored a crucial free-kick goal to equalize against Jeju, following an early goal by Jeju's Kim Geon-woong. Despite a tense final phase, including a free kick by Jonathan Ring hitting the crossbar, Suwon FC managed to secure the draw necessary to advance to the playoffs.

Prior to this match, Suwon had struggled against Jeju throughout the season, suffering one draw and two losses without scoring a goal.

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