The K League 2 (previously known as the K League Challenge) season this year was interesting both on and off the field. Asan certainly had some highs and lows. Here are the key fact and figures, best and worst teams, players and more;
K League 2: 2018 Season Review
Asan Mugunghwa topped the table and took home the title, but as the Korean Police side will stop playing soon they forfeited promotion which went to Seongnam FC. Busan I’Park, Daejeon Citizen and Gwangju FC played in the playoffs, which Busan I’Park won. But sadly Busan lost in the playoff final against FC Seoul.
At the bottom of the table Seoul E-Land finished with the wooden spoon but thankfully for them there is no relegation from the K League 2 this season.
Taking a FM (Football Manager) approach here are the sides that had strong seasons and seasons to forget.
Daejeon Citizen started the season with a huge squad of many unknown players and it showed. However they improved during the summer and make it into the playoffs.
Also FC Anyang were awful at the start of the season, but like Daejeon improved and almost made it into a shock playoff spot.
Suwon FC were the favorites to take the league title at the beginning of the season, but in the end failed to even make the playoffs. They’ll be some big changes during the off-season at the Civic Stadium.
Also Bucheon 1995 lost ground on the rest of the league, a new stadium seems to have been cancelled and attendances have dropped heavily.
K League 2: 2018 Season Player Review
There were a number of players who had strong 2018 seasons down in the K League 2. Young Korean forward Na Sang-Ho had a fantastic season, finishing as the leagues top goalscorer plus an Asian Games Gold Medal and finally a full international debut. Surely he’ll move up to the K League 1 in the spring. Brazilian Wesley Alex bounced back from a poor start at FC Anyang to rediscover his scoring boots he’d left up in Goyang a few years ago. Finally Busan I’Park forward Rômulo finished the season as the leagues top assistant with 9, looking an improved player vs. his debut Busan season.
Again taking a FM (Football Manager) approach here are our best and worst signing of the season.
Best Signings of the Season;
Daejeon Citizen Forward and Romanian International Aurelian Chițu finished his debut season third on the goalscorers table and hoped Daejeon make it to the playoffs.
Another Daejeon Citizen forward Shohrux Gadoyev (Uzbekistan) had a great debut season in the K League and even received an international callup.
Finally former Gangwon, Gyeongnam and Asan Mugunghwa forward Jung Sung-min had a great season for Seongnam helping them to second place and promotion back into the K League 1.
Worse Signings of the Season;
Again Daejeon Citizen but this time for the wrong reasons; Slovakian Filip Hlohovsky was a big signing for Seongnam last spring but he only managed three games for Daejeon and not a single full ninety.
Kim Dae-Uk joined FC Anyang from Auckland City and ended up just making up the numbers. Some might have expected him to feature a little more.
Suwon FC had a pretty awful season and Kim Dong-Chan was signed from Seongnam FC to be a key goal machine, but he just never got going.
Finally Sherjill MacDonald joined Busan I’Park in the summer boasting Premier League and MLS experience, but only managed 46 minutes of game time in K League 2.
K League 2: 2018 Prediction Review
The pre-season prediction wasn’t a mile off, with one major error…Suwon FC. If you remove Suwon FC the top 5 are correct apart from Asan and Seongnam performing better and Busan a tiny bit worse. At the bottom FC Anyang were a little better than we expected and Seoul E-Land a little worse.
K League 2: 2019 Hopes
Firstly we hope that Asan Mugunghwa continue for the 2018 and provide a nice launch pad for the 2020 Asan Citizen side.
Jeonnam Dragons dropping down into the division will make things interesting as they are a solid club with good support for this level. They’ll be in the title picture no doubt.
Finally we hope that poorly supported sides from this past season Seoul E-Land and Bucheon 1995 for example, hire some marketing staff and get more bums on seats. Bucheon lost faith when their new stadium plans seemed to die, and E-Land just can’t compete with the baseball. Fingers crossed things will improve as a league drop from 2,324 to 1,649 average is not a good sign.
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