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“There are plenty of 6-point tight matches” 2nd place→6th place→Disqualification, and Bae Sujin are the only salty plates in K League 1

Tensions are running high in the K League 1 as the ‘absolute favorites’ Ulsan Hyundai slip to their first back-to-back losses of the season. While Ulsan is desperate for a turnaround, the teams below them are hopeful.
The battle lines are becoming clearer. With 53 points, Ulsan still has some breathing room. The gap between them and the second-place Pohang Steelers (41 points) is still double digits. The battle for second place is a slippery slope. Only four points separate Pohang from third- and fourth-place FC Seoul and Jeonbuk Hyundai (both with 37 points).

The battle for sixth place is even tighter. Fifth-place Daegu FC (33 points) and ninth-place Incheon United (30 points) are separated by just three points. Sixth-place Gwangju FC has 31 points, while seventh through eighth-place Daejeon Hana Citizens and Jeju United have 30 points. Third through fourth and seventh through ninth are tied on points. The battle for second place is also climactic. While 10th-ranked Suwon FC has 20 points, only one point separates 11th-ranked Gangwon FC (16 points) from last-place Suwon Samsung (15 points).

Round 24 of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 is full of ‘close matches’ worth six points. Gangwon and Suwon will go head-to-head at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 22 at Gangneung Sports Complex. 12th and 11th place are a world apart. The 12th place will be directly relegated, but the 11th place will have another chance to stay in the first division through the promotion playoffs (PO).

Suwon’s rebound is notable. Suwon snapped a nine-match winless streak (four draws and five losses) with a 3-1 victory over ‘giant’ Ulsan in the last round. It also narrowed the gap on Gangwon, which had gone 13 games without a win (6 draws and 7 losses). Gangwon have yet to record their first win under Yoon Jeong-hwan. They have drawn four and lost one.

Suwon was the first victim of Kim Byung-soo, who took over in May. If Suwon can defeat Gangwon on their own turf this time around, the ‘bottom spot’ will change hands. Mulicic, who has scored in three consecutive games, is also expected to be on his toes.

Having overhauled their squad in the summer transfer window, Gangwon have nowhere to turn. Gangwon made five new signings, the most of any K League 1 club. Of those five, a whopping four are foreigners. The Brazilian attacking trio of Yago, Gabriel, and Wellington, along with Montenegrin defender Kang Tuzi, could transform the team into a completely different one if they are able to land.

Jeonbuk, the ‘team to beat’, is also on a roll. In their last six games alone, they have collected the most points (4 W, 1 D, 1 L, 13 P). This round is a watershed moment. They face Pohang right away. The whistle blows at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 at Pohang Steel Yard. 먹튀검증

However, the ‘Mobile Magic’ Pohang is a scary team. They have won both meetings with Jeonbuk this season. Pohang is the only team to hand Jeonbuk two losses this season. Pohang faced Jeju in the last round and took a 1-0 lead before coming back to win 4-2. Jeonbuk will need to shake off the ‘Pohang jinx’ if they want to move up to second place.

Ulsan welcomes Jeju home at the same time. Ulsan has faced Jeju twice in the K League this season, winning 3-1 and 5-1. However, in last month’s FA Cup quarterfinals, they lost a 120-minute thriller.

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