This was the other of the two games being played simultaneously on adjacent pitches. The beauty of that is that you don’t have to read anything in this post about my journey to Cheonan or the usual guff about what I’d had for breakfast. I’d had glimpses of the first half of this match whilst watching the game next door between Cheonan City and Busan Transportation. From a distance it looked as if Germany were taking on Holland but as the teams came out for the second half I could see that whilst Cheonan were wearing the classic Dutch combination of orange shirts and white shorts, Gyeongju Citizen had red and green stripes on the fronts of their white shirts.
The visitors were leading by two goals to one but that didn’t seem to have diminished the support from the half a dozen home fans close to where we were sitting. They had four drums between the six of them which is a ratio that I imagine even the drummiest of marching bands could only aspire to.
There were probably about a hundred people in total watching, which was pretty good when you consider that a game of a much higher standard was taking place less than twenty yards away. I didn’t notice any fans cheering on Gyeongju, just as I didn’t when I saw them play in Seoul recently. Maybe they don’t have any travelling fans. Or maybe they just don’t like to make a fuss, acknowledging goals at either end with a similar stoic nod and a wry smile. That’s fair enough, I’ll watch out more closely for them in future.
Ten minutes into the second half, Cheonan drew level. One of their strikers chased a through ball and placed his shot to the keeper’s left.
There weren’t a great deal of chances for most of the second half and my attention did drift occasionally to the Cheonan City game taking place to our left. Five minutes or so from the end Cheonan’s Park Min Seok cut in from the right and shot across the keeper into the corner of the net to give the home team the lead. The lads with the drums seemed overjoyed.
The joy was short-lived though as Gyeongju hit back almost straightaway through Jang Ji Soo. His initial shot was parried by the Cheonan goalie but the ball ballooned up and he was able to direct his header over the grounded keeper. Three-all and surely worth more than a wry smile from the away fans.
The point moved Gyeongju up into second place in their nine team group, whilst Cheonan remained in seventh place, five points behind.