Gimpo Citizen v Pocheon, Saturday 6th April 2013, 2pm

0 - Gimpo opening shot

Gimpo is one of the new clubs in this season’s fourth tier Challengers League and last Saturday I thought I’d go along and watch them take on the previous year’s champions, Pocheon. The Gimpo City Stadium didn’t seem to be the easiest place to get to as I couldn’t find a subway station anywhere near the ground, however I had been told that there’s a bus that runs from Gangnam to Gimpo City Hall, which is close enough. I don’t often take the local buses due to the increased likelihood of my ballsing things up but on this occasion it worked fine.

For reference, and assuming you are starting from somewhere near where I live, you come out of Gangnam Station Exit Four, walk on for about fifty yards and then catch the 9501 bus. It takes about an hour to get to Gimpo and you get off at the City Hall stop. Don’t worry, it’s announced in English.

If you cross over the footbridge and then walk back along the other side of the road for about two hundred yards before turning right, the stadium is about a hundred yards further on. I walked all the way around the stadium before I found the way in, but then I like to do that even when I already know where the entrance is.

It brightens the place up a bit.

Gimpo Civil Stadium.

The stadium looks a bit run down, but I was impressed by the various paintings on the outside. At the gate there were a few old biddies fussing around, welcoming people in and making sure they had coffee and a programme. I made my way up to the main stand which I’d estimate held about a thousand. It was partially covered with the roof providing shelter for maybe two hundred people. As it was pissing down, this was the ideal place to sit and in a  handy coincidence the crowd was just the right size to allow anyone who was happy to squeeze in to keep dry.

Gimpo were in an Arsenal strip whilst Pocheon had some sort of blue effort with an orange trim. It reminded me of the type of colour scheme that you’d see on a deodorant can with sales targeted at fourteen year old boys.

I’d only just sat down when a glancing header from Hong Jee In put the visitors in front. There was a brief outburst of cheering from some people behind me that suggested  that there were some Pocheon fans sheltering from the rain too, probably his Mam and Dad.

Pocheon held the lead for twenty minutes or so until a poor headed backpass put Hwang In Seong clear through on goal. His shot beat the keeper but came back off the post, Gimpo teammate Lee Seung Hyun was following up and he bundled the ball home for the equaliser. That sparked a bigger celebration.

Hwang in Seong was at the heart of most of the Gimpo attacks and should really have put his team in front, poking the ball against the outside of the post and then heading over from the six yard line. Pocheon are a decent team though and they regained the lead just before the break when a mazy run into the box from Seo Dong Hyun took him past two defenders before he pulled the ball back for Ahn Seong Nam to tap in.

Pocheon on the attack.

Pocheon on the attack.

At half-time I sacrified my seat in the dry and nipped out to Maccy D’s across the road. I then watched the second half through a gate on the other side of the stadium that had overhead cover. Gimpo were making a game of it and could have equalised again when Kim Seong Jin hit the post with a looping shot from thirty yards.

There were four Pocheon fans on that other side of the ground who had declined a seat under cover. They kept up a steady stream of encouragement in circumstances where I doubt I’d have bothered.

The Pocheon hardcore.

The Pocheon hardcore.

The away fans were rewarded twenty minutes from time when Kang Seok Gu curled a free kick into the box, nobody got a touch and it bounced past the unlucky Gimpo keeper. I felt sorry for the fella as he’d had a solid game. He made amends with two saves in quick succession afterwards but they merely served to keep the score down, Pocheon finishing up three-one winners.

The victory maintained Pocheon’s unbeaten record and consolidated their position at the top of the table. Gimpo, with two wins and two losses so far, remained in fifth place.

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