Yongin City v Busan Transportation, Saturday 28th July 2012, 4pm

Yongin is a hopeless place to get to if you live anywhere else in Korea but Yongin. Or at least the Yongin Football Centre is. There is some sort of folk village theme park in Yongin and it’s easy enough to get a bus straight to there from Seoul but their National League football team, Yongin City, play quite some distance out of town and it takes a lot more effort.

Jen and I took the 5000-1 bus from Gangnam, then changed to the 5005. The next step would have been to catch the 94-1 bus and then walk about half a mile through the countryside. When we got out of the second bus though, the chances of finding the third looked slim. We didn’t fancy standing in the blazing sunshine by the side of a road in the middle of nowhere and so flagged down a taxi instead.

Twenty minutes and fifteen thousand won later we arrived at Yongin Football Centre. There are five pitches in the complex and Yongin were taking on Busan Transportation on the one with the full length stand. It was late afternoon by this time and the only seats in the shade were in the back row. To make matters worse there wasn’t a single seat with an unobstructed view of the pitch.

The main problem was a VIP section in the centre of the stand that jutted further out than the sections either side of it. The view was then further reduced by the stand being so close to the touchline that you’d have to stand at the front railing and lean over if you wanted to see what was going on directly below.

View from the back row.

Busan were in an all-white Adidas kit that had the old school three stripe numbers. I’m of the age where I shouldn’t really notice things like that, never mind think how good it looks. Yongin were in all blue with much less noteworthy numbers on their backs.

Another view from the back row.

Fifteen minutes in and the heat was too much. We moved out of the sun and walked around behind the goal to sit in the shade near to the corner flag on the other side. A few people followed us, some sitting inside the fence, others peering through it. Whilst sitting on the shaded grass made the heat that much more bearable, we did have to put up with ants running over our feet and legs. You can’t have everything though.

Busan probably had more of the first half possession, they certainly had more of the territory and hit the bar just before the break. Mind you, Yongin went straight down the other end and should have scored themselves.

We watched the rest of the game from here.

At half-time it was still goalless and in addition to the ants we got a swarm of dragonflies. They were a couple of inches long and, if dragonflies do that sort of thing, could probably have given us a nasty bite. It’s possible that the dragonflies and the ants were attracted by my lunch of sausages left over from breakfast served with roasted vegetables left over from the day before. Four cans of Cass washed it down.

Much better than dried squid.

As the second half drifted on lanky striker Cha Chul Ho emerged as the main threat for Busan but they still couldn’t take their chances. There was a strange incident after an hour where it wasn’t clear whether the ref had booked Busan’s Park Seung Min. He had the yellow card in his hand but seemed to be daring the player to say one more word, after which he would no doubt have waved it with a flourish. To the disappointment of the crowd and the ref, the player stayed tight lipped and it looked like the card went back into the ref’s pocket unused.

Goalmouth action.

I estimated a peak of around a hundred fans, although by the end it was probably down to thirty. I didn’t notice any supporters from Busan although maybe the heat, ants and dragonflies were keeping them quiet. The official attendance was announced as one hundred and two and as I’d probably not counted Jen and myself in my estimate, perhaps I’d got it just about bang on for once.

Don’t know if these were players, fans, coaches or passers-by.

Fifteen minutes from time Lee Young Woong squeezed a header in at the back post for Busan to give them the lead. It was no more than they deserved although I’d had my doubts as to whether they would ever manage to make the breakthrough.

Lee Young Woong celebrates with his team mates.

In injury time Busan keeper Yeo Myung Yong pulled off a good save fron Yongin sub Kim Yeon Gun to ensure the three points for the visitors and keep them in a play-off position.

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