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FA Cup Final Recap: Seoul Finally Win Something

(from FC Seoul's Facebook Page)
Despite the early kick-off, Halloween was a brilliant day awash in sunshine and beer.  FC Seoul took on Incheon United inthe FA Cup final and for once, Seoul did not botch it.  I predicted a dull, tense game, with neither side going for it out of fear of slipping up.  As usual, I was wrong and it was a cracking game with some really nice goals..

Seoul started a bit slow as Incheon had a couple of half-chances in the first 15 minutes.  After Kevin's shot went straight at Yu Sang-hun, Seoul began to press forward and dominate.  Adriano must still be wondering how Yoo Hyun saved his shot in the 23rd minute after a brilliant ball over the top by Molina sprung Yun Il-lok free to cross from the left.

Yun was quite good in the first half Saturday.  He was running all over the pitch and I thought he was by far the better forward than Adriano.  Yun brought another great save from Yoo as he shot from distance in the 25th minute.  

(From FC Seoul's FB Page)
The goal finally came in the 33rd minute.  The scorer was Takahagi and what a goal it was.  Chesting the ball down and volleying it off the bounce once, the ball dipped into the top and it gave Yoo no chance.   

After that, Seoul sat back and attempted to do what they have had problems with all year, defend and counter-attack.  Sometimes, like against Seongnam, they catch a team out.  Usually though, that does not happen and this tactic just invites pressure against the defense.  For example, in the 62nd minute Incheon just missed wide after a well-worked free kick.  

After being pinned back in their half during the first 45 minute and unable to string a series of passes together, Incheon decided to play long balls into the box for Kevin to do something with.  This was first seen in the 64th minute when Kevin did well to knock the ball on for another Incheon player to head for a score.  Unfortunately, it was straight at Yu Sang-hun.  

However, Incheon was not to be denied and this set up a crazy finale.  In the 72st minute, after another long ball into the box and it fell to Lee Hyo-gyun just inside the box.  Making no mistake, he thumped it into the net to tie the game.

I am still not sure what really happened on that goal.  Yu Sang-hun was quite skittish, coming off his line and then rushing back (maybe he could have been in a better position to block the goal?).  Maybe Lee Woong-hee could have done better against Kevin, but considering the difference in physiques, probably not.  

From there, it looked as extra-time and PKs beckoned.  However, Seoul's savior Adriano popped up again to win the game in the 88th minute.  Incheon CB Kwon Wan-kyu leaped up in the air to head the ball away, but misjudged the flight, and it fell beautifully for Adriano to knock into the net.  

(This is the first one he should have scored on, from FC Seoul's FB Page)
Adriano is absolutely frustrating at times.  He did not really do much in the game and I thought it was him, not Yun Il-lok that should have been subbed.  However, he seems to have a knack for scoring goals.  That is ten goals in thirteen games since he has signed for Seoul mid-season.  

I would say that he is definitely the best mid-season acquisition in the K-League this year.  A lot of things have clicked and gone right for Seoul since the mid-break, but it has helped that they were lucky for Adriano to fall into their laps.  I could not imagine this result happening if it had been Everton rather than him.  

That being said, Adriano has a lot to work on still.  I think he needs to put more effort in helping press to win the ball back, making better decisions when he has the ball, and being quicker in deciding what to do.  That being said, he has a knack that a lot of strikers do not- scoring.  I could see him moving to China at the end of the year.  How I have digressed.  

The game was not over then.  Seoul won a corner in the 91st minute and Molina stepped up and scored from THE CORNER.  The balls to do something like that in the final is absolutely magnificent.  

Fans went wild.  Molina went wild.  It was a great goal and a great way for him to wrap up his career if that is to be the case.

(The game's MVP.  From FC Seoul's FB Page)
This year started out like absolute shit, but unlike last year, it has been a lot more interesting.  I would say that Seoul has made some progress this year.  They have scored goals and as of late, their games have been a lot more entertaining.  

There will be a lot of flux with FC Seoul this off-season.  Cha Du-ri is retiring.  How are they going to replace Molina?  Is Osmar going to China?  If so, how will they replace him?  Are Kim Yong-dae and Kim Jin-kyu staying?  If so, will they want to sit the bench?  Will Yun Il-lok play better next year?  

However, if they can keep the core of their team such as Osmar and Adriano, Seoul might be able to build towards a title run next year.  

(From FC Seoul's FB Page)

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