Busan IPark, riding on the momentum of ‘8CHIOL’, reclaims the top spot in 2 months

Professional soccer’s Busan I-Park has won three straight games and is finally at the top of the K League 2 standings.

Busan won 1-0 against FC Anyang 2023 in the Hana OneQ K League 2 at Anyang Sports Complex in Gyeonggi-do, Gyeonggi-do, on Wednesday, thanks to Sung Ho-young’s early goal. With 53 points (15 wins, 8 draws, and 5 losses), Busan moved to the top of the league, one point ahead of Gimcheon Sangmu with 52 points (16 wins, 4 draws, and 8 losses).

Gimcheon was overtaken at the top of the K-League 2 standings earlier in the day after a 0-0 draw against Chungbuk Cheongju, which resulted in just one additional point. This is the first time in about two months that Busan has been in first place since early July.

After taking the lead with a win over the Ansan Greeners on July 1, Busan immediately stumbled with back-to-back losses to Gimcheon (1-2) and Seongnam FC (2-3). However, they rebounded with six wins, one draw, and one loss in their next eight games. With four wins and one loss in August alone, Busan realized the ‘8chiol’ (going up in August) and won its first game in September, reclaiming the top spot with three consecutive victories.

With the top spot in the K League 2, Busan’s chances of promotion to the first division have also increased. The winner of the K League 2 goes directly to the K League 1 next season. For Busan, it would be a perfect promotion scenario if they could capitalize on their recent momentum and go straight to the K League 1.

After falling to the second division in 2016, Busan was promoted to the first division in 2020 after five years. At the time, Busan had finished second in the 2019 season in the K League 2 and returned to the K League 1 through the promotion playoffs. Finishing first in the K-League 2 is a “direct promotion” to the K-League 1 without the need for a playoff.

On the day, Busan battled for possession against Anyang. They had won the previous two meetings, but were unable to create any scoring chances against a physical Anyang defense. They only had two shots on goal in the first half, including Kim Jung-hwan’s right-footed strike in the seventh minute.

In the second half, they continued their offense by increasing their share of possession. Substituting Kim Chan, Kang Sang-yoon, Jung Won-jin, and Park Se-jin, Busan shifted up a gear and finally broke through Anyang’s goal in the 17th minute of the second half. After receiving a penetrating pass from Choi Jun, Sung Ho-young fired a left-footed shot that deflected off a defender and into the back of the net.

With a 1-0 lead, Busan didn’t slow down their offense. As in the previous match against Gimcheon, they did not focus on defense, but pressed hard and blocked Anyang’s attacks in advance. Despite the heated atmosphere, Busan did not concede a goal until the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time to preserve the one-goal victory. Sung Ho-young scored the winning goal, marking the second consecutive game in which he scored a goal. It was Busan’s third straight win against Anyang this season.안전놀이터

After the game, Busan head coach Park Jin-seop said, “It was a tough game away from home. The fact that we scored the first goal and the players defended with great effort was a factor in the victory,” he said, thanking his players. He continued, “I’m not happy to be No. 1, but the remaining games are important. We will recover well during the A-Match and continue the good mood,” he said.

After the A-Match break, Busan will play an away match against Gyeongnam FC on October 1 at the Changwon Football Center.

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