Jeju United v Chunnam Dragons, Saturday 21st July 2012, 7pm

Jen and I had turned up at Seogwipo World Cup Stadium last September only to discover that the match had been relocated to Jeju Civil Stadium, some forty kilometres down the road. Whilst it seemed a bit of an inconvenience at the time it did mean that we got to see a game somewhere that rarely hosts one these days and it gave us another reason to return to Jeju.

Ten months later we were on the early morning Air Busan flight from Gimpo. I suppose it probably qualifies as a budget airline with return fares of about eighty quid, but with allocated seats and complimentary drinks it doesn’t seem like one. The flight takes about an hour, but the airport is on the other side of the island so we had close on another hour in a taxi before we reached the start of Section Six of the Olle Trail at Soesokkak.

The fifteen kilometre or so section follows a mainly coastal route to Oedolgae, particularly in the early stages. I read afterwards that there is a sewage disposal plant not too far from the start, but we didn’t see or smell it.  There was a brief detour inland that I suspect was to stop scruffily dressed hikers from wandering across the front lawn of the posh-looking KAL Hotel. We passed a waterfall soon afterwards and then stopped for lunch on the wrong side of a barrier with a danger sign. We didn’t seem to be at much risk of falling into the sea, but there were a few dodgy looking bugs scurrying around at our feet.

Just us and the bugs.

A little later we stumbled across some targets and eventually realised that they were set up to allow tourists to shoot arrows across a bay. I know that Korea does pretty well at archery in competitions like the Olympics, but I felt that it was pushing it a bit to expect tourists to be able to hit a target a hundred metres or more away whilst contending with the coastal breezes. The Olle Trail path isn’t too far away from the targets and it wouldn’t surprise me if every now and again some hiker ends up having his eye out.

I doubt many arrows are used twice.

As we approached Seogwipo Harbour it didn’t look like we had far to go and, as the crow flies, we probably didn’t. What we hadn’t factored in though was the desire to ensure that the route passed every point of interest, restaurant and gift shop in town. At one point we detoured through a park for half an hour only to emerge thirty yards from where we’d gone in.  It did mean that we got to see some golf though as a Korean  LPGA Tour event was taking place in Seogwipo that weekend.

Michelle Wie drives off from the fourth tee.

After a final detour up a hill, Sammae-bong, for some views that weren’t worth the effort we finished up at Oedolgae and then took the much more direct two kilometre route back into town. There are plenty of places to stay around the harbour and we checked into the Milano hotel. It came complete with a sea-view, decent air conditioning and half a dozen mosquitos.

The football wasn’t due to kick-off until seven o’clock and so after taking a taxi to the stadium we had time to get something to eat. For those of you that take an interest in my diet, we had something called Jjimdak. It’s made up of lumps of chicken and potato in a spicy sauce. There was some other stuff in there too, carrots, onions and peppers probably. I took a photo of it but by that stage we’d already eaten a lot of the good bits. We were also given a couple of complimentary fried eggs and some fake Pringles.

There was more potato in it five minutes earlier.

I like the design of the Jeju World Cup Stadium. It only has a roof on one side, but it curls around and is apparently based upon a seashell. I think as interesting designs go, it isn’t quite as good as the Big Bird Stadium at Suwon, but it runs it close.

I took this one last year.

We bought eight thousand won tickets for the east stand, although it looked as if you could use them for the north and south stands too if you wanted.  There were a few hundred Jeju fans to our right and ten Chunnam fans behind the opposite goal. Most people watched, like us, from the east stand.

Jeju were in orange, whilst Chunnam dressed up as Newcastle. That was sufficient to get me rooting for the home side, although taking the generous odds of 8/13 against a Jeju win had already given me an allegiance for the evening.

I was disappointed to see veteran keeper Lee Won Jae had been dropped to the bench for Chunnam, possibly because they had conceded a lot of goals lately. His young replacement seemed quite nervous, although  the way his defence played in front of him it was easy to see why.

Random action shot.

By half-time Jeju were four goals up and it was all over as a contest. Chunnam tried to make a game of the second half and created some decent chances, but Jeju were never really under pressure. Seo Dong Hyeon added another two goals for the home side to give himself a hat-trick and Jeju a 6-0 victory.

Seo Dong Hyeon makes it six.

The win didn’t alter the league tables with Jeju remaining in fifth position and Chunnam in eleventh Whilst I doubt that Jeju will be challenging for the title, it wouldn’t surprise me if Chunnam were to be relegated.

3 Responses to “Jeju United v Chunnam Dragons, Saturday 21st July 2012, 7pm”

  1. Luke Fellwalker Says:

    See that looks like good food…mind you it’s taken nearly 2 years for you to find some. Won’t be as good as the Cow Pie in The Dog and Gun in Keswick though

  2. onthetrailofthelionking Says:

    Maybe not, but it’s only 500 miles from Seoul rather than 5,000. Almost handy enough to pop in on a lunchtime.

  3. Rogerd Says:

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