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FC Seoul vs. Seongnam- A Brief Recap

(From FCSeoul's Facebook Page)
The referees did their best to help the sheep shagging, welfare cheats, but it was to no avail as Seoul overcame buggery, nepotism, and fraud to win 2-1 at the death.  

Seoul, on an afternoon that normally would have ended in malaise and frustration, battled hard throughout the game and came away the victors in a game that they probably would not have a month ago.  They have not won many games against teams above them this year, so this victory is quite satisfying.  So, from just the weather, the cans of Tsingtao, and the result, it was the perfect Sunday out.

Seoul was shit for quite a bit of the game, nearly conceding quite a few times in the first half and continuously not making the most of their opportunities.  However, they persevered and scored two goals in the last five minutes to win.  Whether or not one thinks they were undeserved victors or displayed the heart of a champion, I guess that depends on where in the stadium you were sitting.

From the start of the game, Seoul came out quite lethargic AGAIN.  This is the third league game in a row where Seoul has started poorly.  Do they not have a warm-up beforehand?  Does Choi Yong-soo say anything before kickoff?  Where is the intensity for Seoul when they start?  I know it is possible because Seoul came out of the gate strong against Suwon.  Why can't Choi get the team to always start like that?

Seoul has started poorly, conceding first against each league opponent, in their last three games.  Gwangju dominated the first half and Kim Ho-nam banged one in the 27th minute.  Jeonnam took a bit longer, but Lee Jong-ho broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute.  Seongnam didn't even fuck around as Kim Seong-jun put the ball in the back of the net in the first minute.

(Better times, the Suwon game.  From FC Seoul's Facebook Page)
The First Half

The move started down Seoul's left flank as Park Yong-ji, scorer of the K-League's goal of the year, fought against Ko Kwang-min to win the ball.  Ko did well to win the ball, but then chain of mistakes began that led to the first goal.  Ko should have cleared it, but instead he tried to play the ball out of the defense and passed it to Molina.

He must have felt Hwang Eui-jo closing down on him, because I cannot figure out why else Molina would pass so weakly to Kim Dong-woo.  Hwang intercepted Molina's laughable attempt of a pass and crossed it for Kim Seong-jun to score.  From there, it looked like Seoul was going to be in for a long day.

According to the K-League stats, if Seongnam score first, then they win 96.2% of the time.  That is a ridiculously good percentage to have.  Based on the league stats before this game, I can see why.  Seongnam was tied with Incheon for goals conceded, at 29 in 33 games, which is second best in the league.

In the 3rd and 4th minutes, Seongnam got two more shots off as well.  As I said before, Seoul really did come out flat and were completely played off the pitch in the beginning of the game.  Seongnam really should have wrapped up the game in the 29th minute.  Kim Seong-jun, scorer of the first, attempted to repay the favor and put Hwang Eui-jo through with a wonderful back heel.  However, Yu Sang-hun stood tall and denied the striker to keep Seoul in the game.

That being said, Seoul was not completely anonymous in the first half.  Both Adriano and Yun Il-lok had good chances to score but sent them wide.  Seoul had some good build up play and it was nice to see them not lie down and give up like they might have in the past.  I felt good about Seoul's chances with them only being down by a goal after the first half.

(From FC Seoul's Facebook Page)
The Second Half

Early on, Hwang Eui-jo again could have made it two-nil, but his header to the near post was off target.  In the 54th minute, Yun Il-lok was knocked over by Yun Young-sun in the box for what was obviously a clear penalty.  Five minutes later, Yun Young-sun was back up to his old tricks, tripping Adriano in the box.  For whatever reason- family, blackmail, buggery- referee Kim Hee-gong decided not to award a penalty again.

Before Adriano being tripped in the box, he was able to steal the ball off Seoul's fullback Lee Tae-hee and race down the sideline on to goal.  After that, Seongnam coach Kim Hak-beom decided to go defensive.  In the 60th minute, he removed Park Yong-ji for his fullback Kwak Hae-sung.

From here, the game changed in Seoul's favor and they had the majority of the possession and chances.  Choi changed his tactics, taking off Kim Dongwoo who was poor and bringing on Go Yo-han.  He switched the formation to a 4-2-3-1 and it immediately paid divedends as Go Yo-han was knocked over in the box for what should have been Seoul's third penalty.

Still not able to find the goal, Choi brought on Yun Ju-tae and removed Molina.  Now Seoul was playing 4-4-2.  It was interesting to see the movement of the Seoul players at this point.  Yun Il-lok went out wide to his natural position and could play with the ball at his feet more often.  Takahagi was making inside-out runs as well.

Finally, after missing a couple of chances at goal in the 80th minute, Osmar pushed up to become the third center forward.  It was his knockdown, from a Ko Kwang-min cross, that led to Go Yo-han putting the ball into the back of the net in the 86th minute.

Seongnam probably should have been happy with a point and just tried to hold on to the ball.  They pushed up going for the winner and were caught on a Seoul counter.  Go Yo-han started it, passed it off to Adriano, who found Yun Ju-tae.  Adriano then made a run into the box and Yun Ju-tae floated a wonderful ball over the top of the defense for him to head into the back of the net.

(from FC Seoul's Facebook Page)

For Seongnam, questions must be asked.   Did they choose to sit back and defend too early.  It is hard to focus and play without the ball for 30 minutes.  Surely, there must have been disappointment in the locker room.

Looking at the statistics, Seoul enjoyed 61% possession.  They had 11 shots on goal compared to Seongnam's 13.  This really was a wide open game and it is too bad more contests are not played like this in the K-League.

This win cannot disguise the fact that Kim Dong-woo has been poor for two games in a row.  He was hauled off in the second half as Seoul chased the game, but he had a bit of a nightmare in the first half.  Again, he tried to dribble out of trouble and was lucky to not be punished for his efforts.  Many of Seongnam's attacking moves were directed towards his side as well as teams are looking to focus on him rather than Lee Woong-hee, who has been much better as of late.

However, let's focus on the positives.  Seoul came back from the dead and beat a team that almost never loses when they score first.  I would say this is the second best win of the season.  They showed a lot of heart and hopefully they can build from this.

On Sunday, the K-League's 1 percenters come to World Cup Stadium.  After losing in the last minute to Pohang last week, hopefully they will be down and Seoul can get a result and continue to stay in the chase for third place.

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