Cheonan City v Busan Transportation, Saturday 14th April 2012, 3pm

There are two football teams in Cheonan. One of them, Cheonan City, plays in the National League whilst the other, Cheonan FC, is one division lower in the Challengers League. Up until recently they played their games at the Baekseok and Oryong stadiums respectively. These days though they both seem to have been turning out at the newer Cheonan Soccer Centre.

The Soccer Centre has four pitches, two grass and two artificial. Both the grass pitches have seats for spectators, the main pitch having stands down two sides whilst the other has just the one stand.

So, what’s all this leading to? Well, I was coming to that. Both teams had been given a home fixture on the same day and so it should have provided an opportunity for a few hours of watching football, with one game following the other. That’s too sensible though and instead both games were given three o’clock kick-offs. Baffling. I couldn’t miss the opportunity of watching two games simultaneously though and so Jen and I caught a train from Seoul to Cheonan at Saturday lunchtime.

Cheonan is pretty well served by transport options ranging from the thirty-five minute KTX journey to a couple of hours on the subway. This time we went by Saemaul, which was the fastest option until the introduction of the high-speed KTX trains a few years ago. It took just over an hour and that was fine. We overtook a few of the subway trains at a pace where I could look smugly into their carriages. The KTX trains must use a different track which is just as well really as the difference in speed between the KTX and the subway trains would no doubt be enough to suck out the subway carriage windows and spirit away the hats, glasses and false teeth of the people inside.

We took a taxi from Cheonan station, but that was only because we didn’t know where we were going. It’s probably only a ten minute walk from there to the Soccer Centre. Once we arrived we had to decide what to do. Do you focus on one game or try to watch them both at the same time? If you sat right at the end of the stand you could pretty much keep an eye on both, a bit like if you had a seat right on that dividing screen at The Crucible when the snooker is on. In the end though, we decided to watch forty-five minutes of each game and started with the National League fixture between Cheonan City and Busan Transportation.

The view from the main stand looking towards the other grass pitch.

Both teams have terrible kits. Cheonan were wearing maroon with grey shorts and socks. That’s not a football strip, particularly the grey socks. They looked like kids who had forgotten their PE kit and were just wearing standard school uniform socks. Busan weren’t much better, they have a strip that resembles a Brighton kit from the front. Nothing too bad about that I suppose, unless you are a Crystal Palace fan, but the blue and white stripes are only on the front of the shirts. The shirts are solid blue on the back which makes them look nearer to Chelsea when you see them from behind. It’s as if you are watching three teams chasing the same ball.

School kids v Brighton v Chelsea.

Whilst the strips were dodgy, the crowd was very impressive for a game at this level. I’d estimate that there were about five hundred people in the main stand and another seventy or so sat in the sunshine opposite. The home side were cheered on by about a dozen ‘ultras’ whilst Busan also had a few supporters making a bit of noise at the far end of the main stand.

Cheonan City fans.

The visitors almost opened the scoring in the first minute but the ball ran just the wrong side of the post. They were certainly the more attacking of the two teams, but the finishing from both sides left a lot to be desired.

Busan had another good opportunity ten minutes before half-time when Kang Jin Kyu cracked the ball against the bar from the edge of the box. He hit it with enough force for the rebound to clear the penalty area. The miss was forgotten a couple of minutes later though when Busan took the lead through Park Seung Min. The former Incheon United midfielder capitalised upon a spot of arsing about by the Cheonan defence to drive the ball home from close-range.

This wasn't the goal, but it would be ideal for a Spot the Ball competition.

That was about it for the first half and as we had another match to watch on the next pitch, just about it for us too as we moved to the adjacent stand at half-time. A few minutes into the second half the noise from the crowd alerted us to a goalmouth scramble and we were able to watch from a distance as Busan doubled their lead.

A little later I had a wander between the two pitches to get some photos of the main stands so I did see a bit more of the Cheonan – Busan game.

The view from the other side of the pitch.

We didn’t miss any more goals though and the match finished with Busan maintaining their two goal advantage.

4 Responses to “Cheonan City v Busan Transportation, Saturday 14th April 2012, 3pm”

  1. Cheonan Double Header « jenniferteacher2pointø Says:

    […] course, if you want to know about goals, you’ll have to read about the Cheonan City v Busan Transportation game and Cheonan FC v Gyeongju Citizen game on Craig’s blog. You may be able to guess how […]

  2. Alexander Says:

    Yes, for small things South Korean haetlh care is hard to beat, but when it comes to the you are pretty much screwed unless you can raise a lot of money quickly in order to receive treatment.I had to have emergency surgery and the doctors here in Daejeon didn’t seem too concerned about letting me die until they got that authorization from my credit cards allowing them access to the cash whether or not I lived or died. My doctor even had the nerve to come falling down drunk to my bedside the evening after my surgery to have a good laugh at my expense at surviving a surgery that he called very “touch and go” and his not having had a foreigner die on his operating table.

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    Cheonan City v Busan Transportation, Saturday 14th April 2012, 3pm | Trail of the Lion King

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