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Jesse Lingard makes FC Seoul debut in 2-0 loss to Gwangju FC

Jesse Lingard made his FC Seoul debut in Saturday's 2-0 loss away to Gwangju FC in Round 1 of the 2024 Hana Bank K League 1 season, coming on as a 76th-minute substitute.

With FC Seoul chasing an equaliser, Lingard was brought on in place of Kim Gyeong-min who, himself, had not long before been introduced off the bench.

Lingard's first touch of the ball was a bass around the corner from deep into the half-space for Kim Jin-ya to run onto but was just a bit quicker than Kim would've liked.

His second action was a shot from outside the box which went over the crossbar.

He looked bright and was keen to get on the ball and make an impact on the game, deployed centrally as the 10 in the three behind the main striker with Palocevic shifted out to the right. 


At this point in the game, though, Gwangju were making it difficult for Seoul with men behind the ball. Seoul found it tough to get through.

Lingard was booked late on for a late tackle on Oh Hu-seong, cue boos from the home support.

Five minutes were added in stoppage time, during which Gwangju added a second through another but perhaps slightly less high-profile foreign import Gabriel Tigrão, who turned in from close range on 96 minutes.

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Seoul fell behind in the first half with Lee Hui-gyun's shot from outside the area finding its way through, despite goalkeeper Choi Chul-won getting a hand to it.

It will be seen as another error from Choi who was a surprise inclusion and preferred to last season's first choice Baek Jong-beom.

Seoul boss Kim Gi-dong had told reporters before the game that he didn't expect to use Lingard, so his appearance off the bench is perhaps a sign that things really were not going to plan.

"He wasn't supposed to come with us to Gwangju. We had a meeting two days ago. I asked him how ready he felt he was and he said around 70%. That sort of level would make it difficult for him to play. Whether that be 90 minutes or even just a few. Fans have expectations. I asked him what wouldn't make him feel disappointed, and he said he'd do his best. He said he wanted to come along so we put him in."

Afterward, Kim Gi-dong said:

"In a situation where we were looking to find a goal we needed to bring on a player who is direct so we put Lingard on. With 15 minutes left, I'd thought about the probability of him scoring if a chance came. He's not fit yet. It wasn't a case of there being a problem with the player on the pitch. 

"He hasn't been with us for that long. That's why he was a bit lacking compared to in his heyday. I saw some good things. We'll make it better."

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