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NEWS

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Playoff Preview: Gimpo FC vs. Gyeongnam FC

league 2023.12.01   I   hits 263

The 2023 Hana 1Q K League 2 playoffs continue this Saturday, edging closer to the two-leg tie with a team from K League 1. It's Gimpo FC's first experience of the K League playoffs while Gyeongnam are looking to make it fourth-time lucky.

Overview & Match Information

Fixture: Gimpo FC vs. Gyeongnam FC
Competition: 2023 Hana 1Q K League 2 Playoff
Venue: Solteo Stadium, Gimpo
Date: Saturday 2nd December 2023, 16:30 KST

Gimpo FC host Gyeongnam FC this Saturday in the last stage of the K League 2 playoffs. Gimpo, having finished third, only need a draw to advance to the promotion-relegation playoff with 10th in K League 1. It's roles reversed for Gyeongnam who, having knocked out Bucheon FC 1995 on Wednesday in the first phase of the playoffs thanks to a 0-0 draw, now have to win if they want to extend their season.

Gyeongnam are looking to do what only three other teams have done in the K League playoffs before and that's beat the higher-ranked side to advance. Gyeongnam actually did exactly that last year after finishing fifth and overcoming Bucheon in fourth; Daejeon beat FC Anyang in 2021; Gangwon beat Bucheon in 2016, and Suwon FC beat Daegu in 2015. However, the only time the lowest-ranked team has gone on to win promotion was in 2014 when Gwangju after finishing fourth beat Gangwon in third and then Ansan Police in second before overcoming Gyeongnam of K League 1. Gyeongnam are looking to be just the fifth team in 10 seasons to go up via the playoffs. The Roses have never done it before but were relegated via the playoffs in 2014 and 2019.

As for Gimpo FC, while it is their first foray into the K League playoffs, Ko Jeong-woon has guided his team to a playoff win before, securing the K3 championship in 2021 after finishing second in the league that season.

Recent Form

Gimpo FC make it into the playoffs after finishing third in K League 2 this season after a very impressive second campaign at this level. They are, however, on a run of three without a win and lost 1-0 to their opponents this Saturday whom they met on the final day of the season. Gimpo also went through all of November (three games) without scoring so will be determined to get back on track this Saturday. Prior to their mini-blip, Gimpo had been on a run of seven unbeaten with five wins.

Gyeongnam are in decent form, unbeaten in six now with three wins and three draws. They've also kept two cleansheets on the spin. This upturn in form helped put Seol Ki-hyeon's men back on track after a run of four without a win.

Team News

Mo Jae-hyeon is a doubt for Gyeongnam and may have already played his last game for the club before beginning military service. Mo was taken off in the 74th minute of the 1-1 draw with Gimcheon in Round 38 with a hamstring problem and hasn't been involved since. Gimpo don't have any injury worries and it could well be a very similar team to the one that lost to Gyeongnam on the final day of the regular season.

Head-to-Head

There have been just seven previous meetings, all of which have come in K League 2 and most have gone Gyeongnam's way with four wins for the Roses, one for Gimpo, and two draws. Both draws came this season, both by the same 0-0 scoreline. In fact, there has been just one goal scored in this fixture this season and just two in the last four meetings on account of the back-to-back 0-0 draws in March and July. Two of Gyeongnam's four wins over Gimpo have come away from home. 

What to Watch

How Gyeongnam break down K League 2's meanest defence


Gyeongnam did it in Round 39 but they will have to do it again if they want to advance to the next phase of the playoffs. With Gimpo only needing a draw, the emphasis is on Gyeongnam to try and breach a backline that has conceded just 25 times this season. The Roses have won 15 games this season, and nine have come away from home, and 30 of the 54 goals were scored on the road. Gimpo, meanwhile, have conceded 14 goals at home this season from a total of 25 and kept eight of their 19 cleansheets at the Solteo Stadium.

Who to Watch

Luis Mina, Gimpo FC


With 16 goals and four assists, Luis Mina's 20 goal contributions this term is second only to Jeonnam's Valdivia. His most recent goal contribution came in the 2-1 win over Jeonnam in October; an assist while his last goal came in September. While Gimpo don't need to win the game on Saturday, getting their top scorer in form for the possible two-leg playoff with 10th in K League 1 might be the difference in promotion or another season in the second tier. Luis Mina is fourth for total shots with 79 and sixth for shots from outside the area.

Park Min-seo (21), Gyeongnam FC


Gyeongnam have two Park Min-seos, a 25-year-old forward who scored the winner when these two teams last met, and a 23-year-old midfielder. The midfielder Park Min-seo, who wears the number 21 shirt, has five assists and two goals this season. He's second behind Mo Jae-hyeon for assists but with Mo an injury doubt, Park will be looked upon to provide. He ranks joint eighth in the league for assists but is top for key passes with 65. Park has two goals for Gyeongnam this season, the most recent turned out to be quite important - a late equaliser at home to eventual champions Gimcheon that no doubt gave Gyeongnam confidence heading into the league clash with Gimpo on the final day. Another player to keep tabs on his Brazilian forward Gleyson who's the club's top scorer this term with 13. His last goal was over a month ago, though, so the 27-year-old will be looking to break his scoring duck.

Where to Watch

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