[Recent News][6]

K League 1
K League 2
Classic
FC Seoul
Jeonbuk
Daejeon
Challenge
AFC
ACL
Featured
Interview
Ulsan
Korean National Football Team
Incheon
Podcast
Jeonnam
Busan
Jeju
Daegu
Seoul E-Land
Suwon
FA Cup
KNT Men
Transfers
Gyeongnam
Gangwon
K-League Classic
Pohang Steelers
K League Challenge
Fans
Ansan
Gwangju
Suwon Bluewings
Seongnam FC
Asan
Bucheon 1995
Anyang
Suwon FC
Gaming
Preview
Daejeon Citizen
Bucheon
KNT
Football Manager
Abroad
Sangju
Citizen
From The Stands
K League Classic
Pohang
FM2018
Busan IPark
World Cup
Awards
Gimcheon
Korean national team
Elimination Game
News
FIFA
KFA
Asian Cup
EAFF
FM2017
Events
KNT Women
Recap
K League All Star Game
Chungbuk Cheongju
Chungnam
K3
Russia 2018
East Asia Cup
K4
Qatar 2022
playoffs
FIFA16
Gimpo
Power Rankings
Away Days
CONIFA
Cheonan
Club World Cup
Busan Transport
Cheongju
Chungju
Goyang
Inter Korea
North Korea
Ulsan Citizen
Yangpyeong FC
Asian Games
Chiangrai United
Cho Hyun-woo
Final A
Final B
Final Round
Goyang Citizen
K5
Mokpo City
National League
Pocheon
Russia 2020
SoRare
Survivor
TNTFC
Winners Circle
Yokohama
scouting

Match Recap: FC Seoul fail to close up shop and ship late equaliser to Pohang Steelers

A parting gift from Hwang Ui-jo to the Sangam crowd looked to have earned FC Seoul a win over top-four rivals Pohang Steelers but a late, late equaliser from Ha Chang-rae ensured that the spoils were shared.

Overview

A second stunner from Hwang Ui-jo in the space of a week got FC Seoul up and running but, with Seoul trying to park the bus, Steelers centre back Ha Chang-rae rose to head home a 95th-minute equaliser. 

There were very few surprises in An Ik-soo's team selection. Hwang Ui-jo led the line but former Pohang winger Lim Sang-hyub returned to the starting lineup at left wing, Na Sang-ho then shifted over to the right. Osmar was recalled after starting the 1-1 draw with Incheon on the bench as the other of the two changes. 

Pohang bos Kim Gi-dong made four changes to the lineup that beat Jeju last time out; Baek Sung-dong made way for Kim In-sung, Goh Young-jun dropped to the bench in place of U22 player Cho Jae-hoon, Ha Chang-rae came in for Park Chan-yong at centre back and Zeca led the line with Lee Ho-jae named among the substitutes.

First Half

Seoul were largely in control for most of the first 20 minutes of proceedings. Hwang Ui-jo came the closest to breaking the deadlock but his bullet header from point-blank range was parried away by Hwang In-jae between the sticks for Pohang.

Baek Jong-beom produced some good saves of his own, including one from Zeca on 29 minutes who burst through before trying to find the back of the net from a tight angle. Baek was equal to it though and kept the scoreline at 0-0. It was Pohang's first real look on goal but Baek was alert.

As the home team, Seoul enjoyed a lot of the possession - as they often do. Pohang were happy to have men behind the ball and not be too aggressive with the press. 

The match itself was, in some ways, about pressing - putting the pressure on Ulsan to prevent the Horangi from running away with a second league title in as many seasons. Heading into the Round 18 clash at Sangam, Ulsan were 14 points clear of Pohang in second and 16 ahead of FC Seoul. Pohang in second and Seoul in third, it is up to them to try and ensure there is something that might resemble a title race. At this stage, though, Ulsan may well be champions before the split.

The deadlock was eventually broken with 37 minutes on the clock; Hwang Ui-jo scoring his second in as many matches and his second screamer in as many matches, to boot. He picked the ball up on the left flank, cut in onto his right foot before smashing it into the top corner. 

Seoul hadn't had too many clearcut chances and so it was probably going to take something special to open the scoring.

FNR

Second Half

The second half began much in the same way as the first had played out. The Steelers thought they had been awarded a spot-kick on 56 minutes after goalkeeper Baek Jong-beom was adjudged to have brought down Kim Seung-dae. 

However, Kim was in an offside position when the ball was played through to him and so a free-kick was given instead. Seoul would do well to learn not to allow another, similar opportunity though.

Feeling confident, Hwang Ui-jo went for the spectacular again on 65 minutes but his right-footed effort went over the bar. It summed up his time at Seoul in some respects with the 30-year-old seemingly finding his feet and playing more like himself as the game and indeed his time at Seoul begins to wind down.

There was the feeling, though, that Hwang would have other opportunities to add to his tally on this balmy evening in the Korean capital.

But Seoul boss An Ik-soo decided to shut up shop with attacking midfielder Aleksandar Paločević taken off on 71 minutes and replaced by centre back Kwon Wan-kyu, rather than going for a second goal.

Seoul's shape shifted to a back three at this point with Lim Sang-hyub at left wingback, Park Soo-il on the right and Kwon Wan-kyu tucking in at right centre back in the three. Without the ball, it was very much a back five without the ball in a 5-3-2. Would this park-the-bus approach come back to haunt FC Seoul?

Seoul had to hang on a bit with the change in approach inviting pressure. It looked like a game of attack versus defence with Pohang's centre backs camped on the halfway line.

Willyan and Han Seung-gyu were introduced in the 86th minute in place of Na Sang-ho and Ki Sung-yueng, perhaps to show Pohang that Seoul weren't done yet.

Six minutes being added on at the end of the second half reinforced that the job was indeed not done yet. 

An excellent piece of defending from makeshift left wingback Lim Sang-hyub ensured that Goh Young-jun was denied access to goal. Pohang now throwing everything they have, including the steel kitchen sink.

Lim was called upon again at the far post clearing the ball out for a corner but the veteran winger seem to over-stretch and needed treatment. 

Pohang's last throw of the dice was defender Park Chan-yong coming off for Zeca and going up top to try and salvage a draw. Every Seoul player came back to defend a 94th-minute corner, even Hwang Ui-jo who had normally occupied space toward the halfway line.

But none could prevent Ha Chang-rae from heading home the equaliser. No one picked him up either and was unmarked 10 yards out. Seoul were left stunned but Pohang's persistence had paid off.

Summary

Seoul have a moment of magic to thank for points earned again for the third match in their last four. The performance was typical of FC Seoul who couldn't make the most of the amount of possession they enjoyed. A late change in shape with a shift to a back five merely invited pressure on Seoul and gave Pohang the impetus to keep searching for an equaliser.

Seoul, nor does any team in K League 1 for that matter, have the ruthlessness and sheer quality to disturb Ulsan. There's a lot of football still to be played this season, half a season in fact, but at the moment, from the performances of FC Seoul and Pohang Steelers, it is a one-tiger title race. Both teams will see this as two points dropped, more so Seoul who just could not see the game out.

Attendance: 18,118

No comments:

Post a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search