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2023 K League 2 Round 19 Preview

league 2023.06.30   I   hits 487

In what is one of the tightest K League 2 tables in recent memory, there are fourth versus fifth and seventh versus eighth clashes with automatic promotion and playoff implications. The top two are locked on the same number of points and the entire top six are separated by just one point. All six positions could change depending on the outcome of this weekend's action.

Match of the Round

Bucheon FC 1995 (4th) vs Gimcheon Sangmu (5th), Sat. 1st July - 19:30

Fourth host fifth this Saturday in K League 2 when Bucheon FC 1995 take on Gimcheon Sangmu. The two sides are both locked on 30 points with only goals scored separating them and, given how tight the top six in K League 2 is this term, a win for either team could be enough to move top of the table. Bucheon are on a run of four unbeaten and one loss in nine while Gimcheon make the trip north on the back of two straight wins but had previously been on a run of four without a win.

Bucheon's 27 goals scored puts them third in the table in that regard, one ahead of Gimcheon in fourth with 26. In terms of shots on target, though, it's Gimcheon that have registered the most with 86 and Bucheon actually fall to ninth with 63. Most of Gimcheon's shots have come from inside the area with 133 (2nd) but Gimcheon are not too far behind with 104 (5th). 

Korean youth international An Jae-jun is Bucheon's top scorer this term with six goals, enough to rank joint fourth in the division's goal-scoring charts while Cho Young-wook is Gimcheon's leading marksman with five to tank joint seventh. 

Gimcheon won the first meeting between the two teams this term 4-1 thanks to goals from Kim Ji-hyun, Lee You-hyun, Kim Dong-hyun, and Kwon Chang-hoon. The overall record reads played five, four Gimcheon wins and one draw.

Team of the Round

FC Anyang (vs. Gyeongnam FC, Sun. 2nd July - 18:30)

FC Anyang sit top of K League 2 heading into Round 20. The Violets have their excellent recent form to thank for that having now gone five unbeaten with three wins. Last time out, Anyang came from behind to earn a 2-1 win away to Seoul E-Land with a Kim Jung-hyun brace turning the game on its head. Anyang are second in terms of goals with 28, second for total shots with 213, second for shots on target with 79, and first for shots from inside the area with 138. Andrigo and Park Jae-yong are the team's top scorers with five each and the latter is fourth for shots on target in the division with 16, the former just behind in sixth with 14. Up next for Anyang is fellow promotion rivals Gyeongnam FC who sit third in the table and just one point behind. Gyeongnam won the first meeting this term, edging out the Violets in a five-goal thriller after two late Anyang own goals. 

Player of the Round

Peter Makrillos, Chungbuk Cheongju (vs. Seongnam FC, Mon. 3rd July - 19:00)

Another stunning strike from midfield Peter Makrillos last time out helped Chungbuk Cheongju onto a 1-1 draw away to title-chasing Busan IPark. With less than a minute on the clock, the Australian found space around 35 yards out, turned, and let rip right-footed. His shot looped over the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner. It was Makrillos' fourth of the campaign which makes the former La Masia prospect the club's second-top scorer this season. All four goals have come in games that have seen Chungbuk Cheongju pick up points, two wins and two draws. Up next for Peter Makrillos and Chungbuk Cheongju is Seongnam FC at home on Monday. Seongnam sit directly above in the table and on the same number of points (20) following four straight defeats. A win, therefore, could move the Lions above the Magpies and potentially into eighth place should results elsewhere go their way.

Elsewhere in K League 2 Round 19

Managerless Ansan Greeners, sitting second-bottom and 10 points adrift from the rest of the table, have the unenviable task of trying to stop a very much in-form Busan IPark side. The Greeners are on a run of five straight losses and haven't won since 23rd April eight matches ago. They were, however, able to hold Busan to a 0-0 draw when they last faced off against their south coast counterparts and beat them in the last meeting of 2022. 

Gimpo FC's run of four matches without a win has seen them slip out of the top five and in danger of being dragged out of the promotion race. Ko Jeong-woon's men will look to return to winning ways this Sunday when ninth-place Chungnam Asan visit Solteo Stadium. The Owls, though, won last time out - 1-0 at home to Ansan Greeners thanks to a stunning solo effort from Park Min-seo. Gimpo's last win was actually against Chungnam Asan, back on 14th May.

On Monday, Jeonnam Dragons take on Seoul E-Land in what is a clash between seventh and eighth. Both the Dragons and the Leopards are locked on 23 points and know that a win would go a long way in narrowing the gap with the playoff places which currently stands at seven points. Both teams have three wins and two draws from their last five outings but the Dragons came out on top when the two sides met this term - 1-0 thanks to a late goal from Brazilian star Valdivia.

K League 2 Table

K League 2 Round 19 Fixtures

Saturday 1st July

#ANSvBUS: Ansan Greeners (12th) vs Busan IPark (2nd) - 18:30 
#BUCvGIM: Bucheon FC 1995 (4th) vs Gimcheon Sangmu (5th) - 19:30 

Sunday 2nd July

#ANYvGYE: FC Anyang (1st) vs Gyeongnam FC (3rd) - 18:30 
#GFCvCAFC: Gimpo FC (6th) vs Chungnam Asan (9th) - 19:30 

Monday 3rd July

#JDFCvSEFC: Jeonnam Dragons (8th) vs Seoul E-Land (7th) - 19:00 
#CHFCvSFC: Chungbuk Cheonju (11th) vs Seongnam FC (10th) - 19:00 

Where to Watch

Follow all the action LIVE, for FREE, and in HD on TV.KLeague.com.