The 2023 Korean professional football K-League enters an eight-month long journey. The first division, K League 1, will open on the 25th, and the second division, K League 2, will open on the 1st of next month.
The K-League 1 2023 season opening match will be held at Ulsan Munsu Stadium at 2:00 pm on the 25th with a confrontation between Ulsan Hyundai and Jeonbuk Hyundai. Last season’s ‘defending champion’ Ulsan and Korea Football Association (FA) Cup winners Jeonbuk will go head-to-head from the first round.
Ulsan and Jeonbuk are regarded as two strong powers to compete for the championship this season. Ulsan interrupted Jeonbuk’s 6-game losing streak last season and tasted the thrill of winning the championship for the first time in 17 years. Jeonbuk reigned as the strongest team in the K-League, winning five consecutive seasons from 2017 to 2021.
Ulsan remained runner-up for three consecutive seasons from 2019 to 2021, when Jeonbuk reached the top, but finally overcame Jeonbuk (2nd place) last season and relieved the bitterness of the championship. The two teams are expected to compete fiercely for the championship this season.
Like last season, K-League 1, in which 12 teams participate, will play 33 matches per team until early October. Afterwards, the teams ranked 1st to 6th in the league will be divided into Final A, and the teams ranked 7th to 12th will be divided into Final B.
K-League 2 opens its new season on March 1, the third day of the year. This season, the number of K-League 2 teams has increased to 13 with the addition of Chungbuk Cheongju FC and Cheonan City FC. As such, the competition for promotion to the first division is expected to heat up more.
Busan I’Park will play its first game of the season against a new team, Cheonan, at Cheonan Sports Complex on March 1 at 1:30 pm. The Busan home opener will be held on March 19 at the Busan Asiad Main Stadium.
Busan left its worst record since its founding last season, ranking 10th out of 11 K-League 2 teams (36 points, 9 wins, 9 draws, 22 losses). They won less than double digits and suffered the most losses in the league. It barely escaped last place, but it was an embarrassing result. As such, the determination of the entire team for this season is extraordinary.
Busan’s goal is, of course, promotion. Director Park Jin-seop said at Media Day held on the 20th, “Last year, I showed a lot of sluggishness. He said, “I prepared for winter training with extraordinary determination this season,” and said, “You will be able to see the changed appearance of Busan.” Lee Han-do also said, “Last year was very difficult, but this year will be different. A person who has been promoted will try it, and I will show you how scary a person who has been promoted that year is.”
Busan also focused on strengthening their power ahead of the season. They doubled their offense by recruiting Brazilian striker Pesin (23), Konkuk University Mbappe Choi Geon-joo (23), and Ulsan Choi Ki-yoon (20). Recruiting left-footed multi-defender Choi Ji-mook (24) added strength to the back stabilization and build-up tactics.
They also plan to recruit two more foreign players by March 24, the deadline for player registration for the first half of the year. The two foreign players are likely to be in the forward striker and midfield positions.
This season, K League 2 will play 36 matches per team. The winning team goes directly to K-League 1, and the 2nd to 5th teams proceed to the playoffs (PO) for promotion. The semi-playoff between 4th and 5th place will be held on November 29th, and the playoff between the 3rd and semi-PO winning team will be held on December 2nd. 메이저사이트
The promotion playoffs will be held on December 6 and 9 on a home and away basis. The K-League 2 2nd place directly faces the K-League 1 11th place, and the winner of the K-League 2 playoffs will face the K-League 1 10th place to decide whether to be promoted or not.
In this season’s K-League 2, managing director Kim Cheon, who is made up of the national team-level squad, is considered to be the absolute best. For Busan I’Park, it’s best to rank first in the K-League 2 and get promoted right away, but if that doesn’t work out, we’re prepared to get a ticket to the first division through at least a playoff.
Director Park said, “It is difficult to get information because Cheonan is a new team. I will prepare a lot and carefully prepare for the opening match,” he said, expressing his determination to put the first button well at the beginning of the season.