Yangju Citizen v Hwaseong, Saturday 11th May 2013, 7pm

0 - opening shot

Once I’d started with the Korean ground hopping, I suppose the logical conclusion was to complete their version of the ’92 Club’ and see every team play at their home ground. There are currently fifty teams in the four divisions in Korea, but as the Police play all their games away it’s actually the ’49 Club’.

It’s a frustrating process trying to complete the set in Korea as each season usually involves the introduction of three or four new teams, a relocation or two to a different city and any number of stadium moves. I’d ended the previous year just four grounds short of getting around them all, but when the 2013 season kicked off the total outstanding had increased to ten.

Two months of zipping around the country meant that with just three days remaining in Korea the only club left was Yangju and so that’s where I went on Saturday evening.

A few years ago Yangju was probably all just fields of cabbages. These days it’s fields of cabbages mixed in with a few high rise apartments to cater for those who prefer to travel in and out of Seoul for their vegetables rather than growing their own.

No idea why Abramovich didn't pitch up here.

No idea why Abramovich didn’t pitch up here rather than Chelsea.

If you take the subway, carry on one stop beyond Yangju Station and get off at Deokge instead. It’s then a twenty minute walk from Exit Two to the Godeok Stadium. There’s a convenience store just before you get there for stocking up on beer.

It's up the hill, to the right.

It’s up the hill, to the right.

The stadium wasn’t too bad for the fourth tier, mainly because it didn’t have a running track. There were five hundred or so seats running the length of one side of the artificial pitch, with another hundred and fifty in a raised stand on the opposite side. I reckon the attendance will probably have peaked at around two hundred and fifty.

The elevated stand.

The elevated stand.

The home side were in yellow and black, with visitors Hwaseong in white and blue. Hwaseong have had the better start to the season and looked more confident in possession in the opening minutes but neither side created much in the way of chances early on.

Hwaseong on the attack.

Hwaseong on the attack.

The deadlock was broken twenty minutes in by Hwaseong’s Jeon Bo Hoon. He received the ball close to the penalty spot and despite a Yangju defender clinging to his arm like a kid refusing to leave his Mam on the first day at school, he was able to place his shot wide of the keeper to open the scoring.

Action at the other end.

Action at the other end.

Once the first goal had gone in, Hwaseong stepped it up a bit and five minutes later Lee Soo Min struck a left footed shot across the keeper and in off the far post to double the lead.

Ten minutes later Mr. Lee got his second and Hwaseong’s third goal with an effort that was almost identical to his first. Yangju had a couple of opportunities from distance but didn’t really threaten and they went in at half-time three down.

A kid with a drum arrived during the  break and sat down near me. I took that as my cue to go and see what the view was like from the other side of the ground.

The main stand from behind the goal.

The main stand from behind the goal.

Despite the score Yangju were still competitive in the second half and if one of their early chances had gone in, then who knows what might have happened. It’s possible. Do you remember Steaua and Basel? Massimo off the bench?

It wasn’t to be though and with twenty minutes to go Lee Soo Min completed his hat-trick with a right-footed version of his earlier goals.

Where I'd sat in the first half.

Where I’d sat in the first half.

The rout was completed five minutes from time when with the home defence left stranded upfield Kim Jin Il received the ball unmarked in the box and lofted it over the Yangju keeper for the fifth.

The Yangju subs.

The Yangju subs.

And so that was that. The ’49 Club’ completed with a fourth division game in the middle of nowhere. That’s exactly as it should be.

2 Responses to “Yangju Citizen v Hwaseong, Saturday 11th May 2013, 7pm”

  1. Luke Fellwalker Says:

    I think you should get a 49 club T Shirt made. Just the words ’49 Club’ people will ask and I’m sure your answer will become more abstruse with each asking

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