On the 10th, fans will be treated to the ‘Promotion Derby’, the most important match for the top teams in the K League before the A-match break.
Daejeon Hana Citizens, led by head coach Lee Min-sung, who led the team to promotion after eight years and is praised for his fiery attacking soccer, and Gwangju FC, led by head coach Lee Jung-hyo, who is studying and attracting attention with his charming interviews, are set to face off at Daejeon World Cup Stadium on Saturday, April 10.
Both teams are in a similar mood, but Gwangju has been in better form recently. Away from Daejeon, Gwangju have impressed as a promoted side this season, winning four, drawing one and losing five of their first ten league games through a combination of organized tactics and disruptive positional football. However, they hit their first bumps in the road with two draws and two losses from rounds 11 through 14 of the league, but a three-game winning streak against Suwon FC, Pohang, and Suwon Samseong from rounds 15 through 17 has lifted their spirits ahead of their clash with Daejeon.
Similar to Gwangju, Daejeon has also impressed since their promotion, going unbeaten in their first five league games and knocking off title favorites Ulsan Hyundai and Jeonbuk Hyundai. Hovering near the top of the league standings and performing as well as a promoted team can, Daejeon recorded five wins, two draws, and three defeats in their first 10 games, but their early momentum has been dampened by just two wins from rounds 11 through 17. However, the team’s momentum from the early matches has been temporarily dampened by a thrilling victory over ‘nemesis’ Gangwon FC, which broke a four-match winless streak.
Gwangju’s ‘undefeated jinx’ for four years again?
Gwangju hasn’t lost to Daejeon in the league in about four years. The last time Daejeon won against Gwangju was on November 9, 2019, when they defeated Gwangju in a K League 2 match at the Daejeon World Cup, thanks to goals from Kim Seung-seop (Jeju), Kim Chan (Busan), and Yoon Sung-young (Chungju).
Since then, Daejeon has suffered from the Gwangju jinx, with three draws and two losses in five league matches against the club.
Of course, Daejeon and Gwangju didn’t meet for two seasons after Gwangju was promoted in 2020 and stayed in the K League 1 for the 2020 and 2021 seasons, but when the two teams met again in 2022, they battled for the top spot in the K League 2, and after four matches in the league, Gwangju won two wins and two draws against Daejeon to beat Daejeon and win direct promotion.
The Gwangju jinx is alive and well, as Daejeon failed to take the three crucial points against Gwangju to secure direct promotion, and also failed to win their first meeting since being promoted this season.
With the head-to-head record between the two sides at 10 wins, 9 draws and 9 losses, Gwangju will be looking to continue the jinx with a win against Daejeon to equalize the head-to-head record, while Daejeon will be looking to break the jinx and take a clear lead in the head-to-head record.
With Daejeon trying to break the jinx and Gwangju trying to continue the jinx, it will be an interesting ‘promotion derby’ to watch and intuit.
Two teams in need of a win Currently, only one point separates the fifth-ranked Daejeon from the sixth-ranked Gwangju (Daejeon 25 points, Gwangju 24 points). It’s not just Daejeon and Gwangju’s point difference that should be of concern, but also the situation of 7th-ranked Jeonbuk (24 points) and 8th-ranked Daegu (24 points) below these two teams.메이저놀이터
This is because if both teams fail to pick up three points in the ‘promotion derby’ with a loss or draw, they will be in the worst possible position to drop down to eighth place. With only one point separating them, and the standings could flip in a single game, these are two teams that need to win.
With both teams in need of a win to keep the jinx alive or break it and leapfrog into the top half of the table, who will emerge victorious in the ‘promotion derby’ after impressing fans with their hot streaks since promotion? Let’s keep an eye on the match on Saturday, October 10th.