The final round of professional soccer’s K League 1 kicked off a fierce battle for survival among teams in the relegation zone.
One of the two teams, Gangwon FC and Suwon Samsung, is likely to be relegated to the K League 2, the second division.
Kwak Jun-young is a reporter.
The K League 1, which is divided into top and bottom teams, entered the final round last weekend.
Gangwon FC and Suwon Samseong have started their struggle to escape the relegation zone,
“If we reduce our mistakes, we will go in the direction we want….”굿모닝토토
“It’s a game we’re desperate to win, so we’ll do everything we can to win….”
They lost back-to-back games against Seoul and Jeju, respectively.
Currently 11th and 12th in the league, the realistic goal for both teams is to avoid the bottom.
Because while both Gangwon and Suwon are in the relegation zone, it’s a different story if they’re at the bottom of the league table.
The 11th-place team in K League 1 has a chance to survive by playing a relegation playoff against the 2nd-place team in K League 2, but the bottom team is immediately relegated.
Currently, Gangwon and Suwon are separated by just one point, meaning they have to fight tooth and nail every game.
Both teams have been desperate to get out of their slump this year, even changing their managers.
However, Suwon has been hovering around the bottom of the table this season, even after the appointment of Yoon Jung-hwan.
Suwon has changed managers three times, including acting coach Yoon Ki-hoon, but there have only been a few periods when they weren’t in last place.
With four K League titles and five FA Cups under their belt, Suwon, a “traditional club,” could be facing their first relegation in their history.
With four survival games remaining, Gangwon and Suwon coincidentally meet in the 38th and final round of the season.
The fate of both clubs – keeping the flame alive in the top flight or straight relegation – could be decided in the final game on December 2.