Jeonbuk Motors v FC Seoul, Saturday 27th October 2012, 4pm

I had a couple of options for games this weekend including making the trip across to Gangwon to watch Gangneung, the one remaining National League team that I haven’t yet seen play at home. In the end though I decided to head down to Jeonju to watch Lee Dong Gook’s Jeonbuk Motors take on league leaders FC Seoul.

Both teams had eight games left to play and Seoul were seven points clear of second placed Jeonbuk. The sides still have to meet each other in Seoul before the end of the season but this was a must-win game for Jeonbuk. Or at the very minimum a game that they definitely couldn’t afford to lose.

Jen and I took the KTX south and with plenty of time to spare stopped for a dolsot bibimbap just outside of Iksan station. It’s a dish that mainly consists of rice and vegetables and it is served in a red-hot stone pot. If I can get through it without burning my mouth or my fingers I tend to regard the occasion as a success.

We then took a cab from Iksan to Jeonbuk’s World Cup Stadium. It cost 17,000 won which is a bit more than if we’d travelled on to Jeonju by rail but it saves on the hanging about between trains.

World Cup Stadium

There was still around half an hour to go before the 4pm kick-off when we arrived and we bought 10,000 won tickets for the east stand before making our way to the upper tier. It had been raining on and off all afternoon and I was keen to be under cover.

The Seoul fans were to our left and for a team that were top of the league and the best supported in the country, it was a disappointing turnout. I doubt that there were more than two hundred present. Those that had made the journey got behind their team though and kept up the support throughout.

FC Seoul fans.

It was a fairly poor attendance all around really. In addition to the Seoul fans in the south stand, Jeonbuk had maybe eight hundred ‘ultras’ in the north. There were about the same number in the west stand opposite. I couldn’t see how many people were in the lower east, but I’d be surprised if there were the nine thousand or so that would have been needed to make up the announced 11,681 crowd.

In the home end there were a couple of banners commemorating Jeon Bong Jun, a local resistance leader who was put to death by the Japanese in 1895. He was still outnumbered by the banners of Che Guevara though.

Jeon Bong Jun

I was surprised to see Choi Eun Seong in goal for the home side. The forty-one year old has had a new lease of life since he left Daejeon last year, but regular keeper Kwon Soon Tae has recently returned from his National Service and I’d expected him to re-claim his spot. He didn’t get any closer than the bench though.

The old fella started well, tipping a dipping shot over the bar in the first few minutes, before going on to have a decent game.

Choi Eun Seong

Lee Dong Gook was up front by himself. He’s had a good season overall albeit with prolific runs of scoring being interspersed with some barren spells. That’s how it goes, I suppose. He was recently dropped from the national team for the umpteen time in his career but has responded in the best way possible with five goals in his last five games. One of them was a particularly impressive strike from outside of the box against Ulsan where he chested the ball down with his back to goal before turning and volleying it into the top corner. I don’t remember too many of those from his time with the Boro.

Jeonbuk were busy early on with Eninho curling a shot over the bar when he could probably been a bit less selfish. It was Seoul who took the lead though when a shot from a corner was saved on the line before Sergio Escudero knocked the rebound home.

That was it for the first half, but at the break we were treated to a win a car competition where the four contestants selected a key in turn and whichever one electronically opened the car would take home the prize. After three failures the fourth bloke celebrated by default only to discover that his key wouldn’t work either. They were all too far away.

Everyone moved forward ten yards and tried again. Another four failures. With the teams back on the pitch and waiting to start it just became a random free for all with the contestants dashing towards the car frantically pressing the button on their key in the hope of one of them winning before the ref lost patience and told them all to clear off.

Get closer!!!

An hour into the game Jeonbuk equalised. The ball was floated over the top and Lee Dong Gook slipped his marker before diving to head home. It was his thirtieth goal of the season in all competitions for club and country. That’s twenty eight more than he got for us.

One each.

The home fans celebrated by waving their little banners that I understand translates as a laughing noise. Fair enough I suppose, although with the scores level they were still seven points behind in the race for the title. I’d have thought that Seoul probably had more to smile about.

Yeah, whatever.

Both side had plenty of chances in the final half hour, the best of them falling to Hugo Droguett who managed to flick the ball away from the Seoul keeper before missing the opportunity to put the ball into the empty net. It finished one each and with seven games to go it looks like Seoul will probably take the title.

One Response to “Jeonbuk Motors v FC Seoul, Saturday 27th October 2012, 4pm”

  1. Foliage and Hiking in Naejangsan « jenniferteacher2pointø Says:

    […] you are interested in the game, you can read Craig’s write-up, but I can summarize it: Jeonbuk played terribly, missing chance after chance. The game ended in a […]

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