Busan pulls off 2-1 upset over Suwon FC in 1st leg of relegation playoffs

K League 2’s Busan I-Park has taken a commanding lead in the race for promotion to K League 1. The team scored two penalty kicks against Suwon FC in the first leg of the promotion playoffs (PO) and pulled off a dramatic upset after Suwon FC’s key player Lee Seung-woo was sent off.

Busan came from behind to win 2-1 at home against Suwon FC in the first leg of the Hana WonQ K League 2023 Promotion PO at Busan Asiad Stadium on Saturday. After falling behind 0-1 in the first half, Busan won two penalty kicks in the second half to make up two goals. In the process, Lee Seung-woo was sent off for accumulating cautions. With the win, Busan secured the first point in the promotion PO, giving them an advantage in the second leg away at Suwon on May 9.

Suwon FC, on the other hand, is facing relegation. They were unable to defend Jang Jae-woong’s first goal of the day, and Lee Seung-woo was unable to play in the second leg due to a red card.

The away goal rule does not apply to the promotion PO. If the first and second matches are not tied after 180 minutes, they go into overtime, and if that doesn’t work, they go to a penalty shootout.

Busan took the lead through Suwon FC’s Jang Jae-woong in the 42nd minute of the first half. However, in the second half, Busan’s Lee Seung-ki tripped over Suwon FC’s Lee Seung-woo in front of the gate, and the video assistant referee (VAR) awarded a penalty kick. Lee Seung-woo, who had received one yellow card earlier, was sent off for accumulating cautions for foul play. In the 39th minute of the second half, Ramas stepped up to take the penalty kick and calmly finished to equalize the score.

Busan didn’t lose their focus in the second half of stoppage time. Kim Jong-hwan was tripped by Kim Sun-min in the box, earning another penalty kick, which Ramas neatly slotted home to complete a thrilling comeback win.

Busan slipped to second place in their final match against Chungbuk Cheongju FC in K League 2, conceding a late equalizer to Cheongju’s Jorgi in stoppage time after leading 1-0. A win would have given them a direct ticket to promotion, but unfortunately, they had to settle for Gimcheon Commerce on goal difference. Suwon FC dropped to 11th place in the K League 1 and into the relegation zone.

Meanwhile, Gangwon FC (10th in K League 1) and Gimpo FC (3rd in K League 2), who also played for the promotion spot, played to a scoreless draw. The two teams battled back and forth, but were unable to find the back of the net and will face off at Gangneung Sports Complex on September 9.

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