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2023 Hana 1Q K League 2 Round 23 Preview

notice 2023.07.21   I   hits 632

Coming up this weekend as the 2023 Hana 1Q K League 2 campaign reaches Round 23, the top two collide in Changwon when Gyeongnam FC host Gimcheon Sangmu, an in-form Gimpo FC taken on an Ansan Greeners side that's lost nine on the spin, and Kim Jong-min will be looking to make it two goals in a week when he and Cheonan City take on Seongnam FC.

Match of the Round

Gyeongnam FC (2nd) vs Gimcheon Sangmu (1st), Sun. 23rd July - 19:30

The top two collide on Sunday when second-place Gyeongnam FC welcome new league leaders Gimcheon Sangmu to Changwon Football Center. Gyeongnam had been top before the midweek games but a draw away to Seongnam, coupled with Gimcheon's win over Chungnam Asan, means the two promotion favourites switched places. 

There should be plenty of goals as the teams are the top scorers in the division; Gimcheon with 37 and Gyeongnam with 35. Gimcheon's xG of 33.47 is the highest in the league while Gyeongnam's is the third-highest with 37, both teams, then, are scoring even more than they're expected to. It's perhaps of little surprise, then, to know that both top the table for total shots - Gimcheon with 300 and Gyeongnam with 266. However, shooting accuracy is where the teams differ with Gimcheon in fourth having managed to land 36.7% of shots on target while Gyeongnam are 12th with 31.6%.  Both rank highly for points earned after taking the lead. Gimcheon have earned 34 points from the 12 games in which they've taken the lead, winning 11 of them and drawing one. Hosts Gyeongnam have gone ahead 11 times this term and gone on to win 10 and draw one. 

In terms of key players to keep tabs on, Brazilian forward Gleyson has 11, making the Gyeongnam man the joint-top scorer in the division. Just behind him is Gimcheon's Cho Young-wook who has nine for the campaign which is a personal best for the on-loan FC Seoul forward. Both scored last time out and will be looking to add to their tallies come Sunday.

Team of the Round

Gimpo FC (vs. Ansan Greeners, Mon. 24th July - 19:00)

Back-to-back wins and an unbeaten run of four matches has moved Gimpo FC back up to fourth in the table. On Tuesday, Gimpo earned a valuable 1-0 away win over Seoul E-Land having made the short trip to Mokdong, Park Kwang-il scored the game's only goal less than 10 minutes into the second half. It was his second goal of the season and the second this month from a defender who hadn't scored in K League before. 

Gimpo tend to win by narrow margins. In fact, only on two occasions this season have Gimpo won a match by a margin of two goals or more. But when Gimpo take the lead they usually go on to win the game. In fact, from the 10 matches in which they have scored first, Ko Jeong-woon's men have gone on to win eight of them and draw two. Only Gyeongnam and Gimcheon have better records than that. But Gimpo have a better defensive record than Gyeongnam, Gimcheon, and in fact, every time in the division having conceded just 12 so far from 20 games.  Up next is Ansan Greeners at home, a side that has lost its last nine matches and not won an away match this season. Interestingly, the Green Wolves' last away win was at Gimpo in August last year.

Player of the Round

Kim Jong-min, Cheonan City (vs. Seongnam FC, Sun. 23rd July - 20:00)

Kim Jong-min's goal away to FC Anyang on Tuesday earned Cheonan City another point, their third in as many matches. It was also Kim's first goal in K League since October 2018 when in the dark blue for Suwon Bluewings. Kim Jong-min signed for the K League 2 newcomers in the winter from J2 League side Iwate Grulla Morioka where he spent the 2022 campaign. Before that, he was in the now-defunct National League with Gangneung Citizen and then in K4 with FC Pocheon. The goal against Anyang was somewhat fortuitous in that Kim's header took a hefty deflection off the defender before going in. But the emotion in the celebration showed just how much the goal meant to him. Up next for Kim and Cheonan is the visit of Seongnam FC, a side that's now on a run of four unbeaten and has eyes on the playoff positions. 

K League 2 Table

K League 2 Round 23 Fixtures

Sunday 23rd July

#CHFCvSEFC: Chungbuk Cheongju (9th) vs Seoul E-Land (10th) - 19:00 
#GYEvGIM: Gyeongnam FC (2nd) vs Gimcheon Sangmu (1st) - 19:30 
#CAFCvBUC: Chungnam Asan (11th) vs Bucheon FC 1995 (5th) - 19:30 
#CCFCvSFC: Cheonan City (13th) vs Seongnam FC (8th) - 20:00 

Monday 24th July

#GFCvANS: Gimpo FC (4th) vs Ansan Greeners (12th) - 19:00 
#BUSvANY: Busan IPark (6th) vs FC Anyang (3rd) - 19:30 

Where to Watch

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