The Hana OneQ K League 2 2023 has just entered the second round robin, and the top of the standings is in doubt. Unlike Gimcheon Commerce, which was considered the favorite before the start of the season, the competition is fierce.
With all 16 rounds of the 2023 K League 2 now completed, Busan I-Park leads the league with eight wins, five draws, and two losses for 29 points. They are followed by second-place FC Anyang (28 points), third-place Gyeongnam FC (27 points), fourth-place Bucheon FC 1995 (26 points), fifth-place Gimpo FC (26 points), and sixth-place Gimcheon Commerce (24 points). From first to sixth place, there is a fierce battle within five points. Gimpo and Gimcheon have played one less game, so the gap could be even narrower.
Compared to previous years, the difference is stark. Unlike this season’s 13-team field, 11 teams competed in the K League 2 last season. Last season, the leader after 16 rounds was Gwangju FC. Gwangju had 11 wins, one draw, and two losses at the time, giving them 34 points. They were followed by Bucheon (30 points) and Daejeon Hana Citizens (26 points). In sixth place was Seoul Eland with 18 points, already 16 points behind leader Gwangju.
It’s a far cry from the predictions made by the K League 2 scene before kickoff. Unlike Gimcheon, which was initially touted as a strong promotion candidate with outstanding resources on the verge of enlisting in the army, chaos ensued, with the lead changing hands every round. 안전놀이터
Before the Hana OneQ K League 2 2023 Round 16 match between Anyang and Bucheon at Anyang Sports Complex on March 3, Bucheon head coach Lee Young-min analyzed the reasons for this.
“There are two new teams and other teams that are struggling, and it seems that this phenomenon is caused by these teams not accumulating enough wins,” he said.
He cites the 2016 season as an example. It was the final season for Cat Zaikro and Chungju Hummel, with Chungju finishing 10th and Cat 11th in the league. In particular, the Cats struggled to accumulate points with just 2 wins, 10 draws, 28 losses, and 16 points. Cheonan City FC, who are new to the K League 2 stage this season, are still winless with 1 draw, 14 losses, and 1 win, meaning that the lower teams are giving away too many points to the higher teams.