Busan coach Park Jin-seop loses title in front of his eyes “The players struggled…”

After narrowly missing out on the title in the last minute, Busan I-Park head coach Park Jin-seop vowed to fix the team’s disappointment.

Busan drew 1-1 at home against Chungbuk Cheongju FC in the final 39th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2 2023 at Busan Asiadju Stadium on Saturday afternoon, thanks to conceding an equalizer through Giorgi just before the end.

This ended Busan’s dream of winning its first ever K League 2 title.

In a match played at the same time, Gimcheon Sangmu pulled off a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Seoul Eland 1-0 in the last minute.

Busan, which finished the regular season with 20 wins, 10 draws and six losses (70 points), fell behind Gimcheon (22 wins, 5 draws and 9 losses – 71 points).

“The players struggled a lot throughout the year, and I think there will be some disappointment,” Park said at the postgame press conference, adding, “We need to watch the remaining games (of the K League 1 teams) and analyze the teams we will face in the (promotion playoffs).”

Having missed out on a direct ticket to the top flight, which is awarded to the K League 2 winner, Busan will now have to play a relegation playoff against the 11th-ranked team in K League 1 as the runner-up.

On the day, Park called most of his players to the penalty box midway through the second half after taking a 1-0 lead to “solidify.

Ultimately, this decision paid off. Chungbuk Cheongju came out sharper in the second half and tied the game after a last-minute offensive push.

“At 1-0, it was inevitable,” Park reflected.

Meanwhile, Chungbuk Cheongju coach Choi Yoon-gyeom, who tried his best to prevent Busan from winning the title, felt sorry for his opponent.

After adding one point in the final match, Chungbuk Cheongju (13 wins, 13 draws, 10 losses – 52 points) finished the season in eighth place.

“I’m sorry,” Choi said after the game.

“I really want to praise our players for trying their best,” Choi said, “but personally, I was cheering for Busan a lot, and my heart is heavy.” 토토

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