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2024 Hana Bank K League 2 Round 2 Preview

league 2024.03.08   I   hits 214

After a record-breaking number of supporters took in the six matches last weekend, K League 2 brings yet more enticing encounters in Round 2. There's a local derby on the south coast where Gyeongnam FC host Busan IPark, Cheonan City will look to make it back-to-back wins when they take on Chungbuk Cheongju, and Fejsal Mulić will be looking to add to his goal tally when Suwon Samsung Bluewings head to Mokdong to face Seoul E-Land.

Match of the Round

Gyeongnam FC vs. Busan IPark, Sat. 9th March - 14:00

The first Nakdong River Derby of the season sees Gyeongnam FC host rivals Busan IPark this Saturday. Gyeongnam won on opening day, picking up a 2-1 win away to Ansan Greeners thanks to a brace from Won Ki-jong. Busan, on the other hand, suffered a 3-0 defeat at home to Seoul E-Land but as two goals were scored in second-half stoppage time, IPark boss Park Jin-sub may feel like the result flattered the Leopards somewhat. The visitors this Saturday, then, will be all the more determined to get their season up and running.

Gyeongnam will be looking to pick up where they left off on opening day, having dispatched the second-most shots (20). Busan, having attempted fewer shots, showed better accuracy than Gyeongnam (46.2% vs 30%). In terms of creativity, Busan's Sung Ho-yeung and Gyeongnam's Lee Min-hyuk and Park Min-seo both recorded two key passes on opening day, while Busan's Bruno Lamas made the second-most passes to the final third with 20, and Gyeongnam's Park Won-jae fifth-most with 14. Busan have won the last two Nakdong River derbies away from home. The head-to-head over the last 10, though, is split dead even with four wins and 10 goals each and two draws. Saturday's clash will be the 50th Nakdong River Derby.

[READ: 2024 K League 1 Round 2 Preview]

Team of the Round

Cheonan City (vs. Chungbuk Cheongju)

Last season it took the Cheonan City until Round 23 before earning a first-ever K League win. This season, though, Cheonan began the new campaign with maximum points. Away to Bucheon FC 1995 last Saturday, goals from Yoon Jae-seok, Lee Kwang-jin, and Paulinho earned Kim Tae-wan's side a 3-1 victory. The challenge for Cheonan now is to earn back-to-back wins in K League for only the second time in their history, having won three on the spin in September last year. Across the two divisions on opening weekend, Cheonan were one of only two teams to score three or more goals. Kim Tae-wan's men had the third-best shooting accuracy at 53.8% and were fourth for touches in the box. Up next for Cheonan is the visit of Chungcheong rivals Chungbuk Cheongju, who also won on opening day. Last season, from the three K League meetings, it was Chungbuk Cheongju who had the upper hand with one win and two draws, and with both joining the league last year, City will be looking to record their first-ever K League win over their provincial neighbours.

Player of the Round

Fejsal Mulić, Suwon Samsung Bluewings (vs. Seoul E-Land)

A brace for Fejsal Mulić last Sunday got Suwon Bluewings off to a winning start to the new campaign. In front of what was a K League 2 record crowd of over 14,000 for the visit of Chungnam Asan, Mulić opened the scoring 22 minutes in with a clinical finish from close range, turning in a pinpoint accurate Lee Sang-min ball across. Mulić doubled Suwon's lead in first-half stoppage time with a rocket of a free kick from way out; the free kick kissed the inside of the post before making its way into the back of the net. Chungnam Asan pulled a goal back in the second half, so Mulić's free-kick proved to be the match-winner. With a double against the Owls, the Serbian has already scored half of his total goal tally from 2023. With three total shots and two hitting the target, Mulić sat joint top for opening-day shooting accuracy in K League 2. Up next for Mulić and the Bluewings is the trip to Mokdong to take on Seoul E-Land. The Leopards also won on the opening day, dispatching Busan in a 3-0 win on the south coast. 

Elsewhere in K League 2 Round 2

On Saturday afternoon, Leonard Pllana will make his debut for Gimpo FC by making a return to his former hunting ground with his new team set to take on his former employers Jeonnam Dragons. Gimpo sat Round 1 out whereas Jeonnam suffered a 1-0 loss away to Chungbuk Cheongju.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Chungnam Asan host Bucheon FC in a match that sees two teams go in search of their first points of the season. Chungnam Asan lost away to Suwon Samsung Bluewings despite having a man advantage for most of the match, while Bucheon were turned over at home to Cheonan City. 

Closing out the weekend's K League 2 action, Seongnam FC take on Ansan Greeners, two teams that lost last time out. Seongnam suffered a 2-0 loss away to FC Anyang, while the Greeners fell to a late goal at home to Gyeongnam despite taking the lead early into the first half.

[READ: 2024 K League 2 Season Preview]

K League 2 Round 2 Fixtures

Saturday 9th March

#NakdongRiverDerby: Gyeongnam FC vs. Busan IPark - 14:00
#JDFCvsGFC: Jeonnam Dragons vs. Gimpo FC - 16:30
#CAFCvBUC: Chungnam Asan vs. Bucheon FC 1995 - 16:30

Sunday 10th March

#SEFCvSSB: Seoul E-Land vs. Suwon Samsung Bluewings - 14:00
#CCFCvCHFC: Cheonan City vs. Chungbuk Cheongju - 14:00
#SFCvANS: Seongnam FC vs. Ansan Greeners - 16:30

FC Anyang sit Round 2 out

Where to Watch

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