FC Seoul has progressed to the round of 16 in the 2011 AFC Champions League as they beat Al Ain 3-0 in their 5th match of the group stage at Seoul World Cup Stadium, on Wednesday evening. Accumulating 10 points with the record of 3-1-1, FC Seoul booked their spot in the next round, regardless of their last match in the preliminary stage against Hangzhou Greentown, which will be held at Hangzhou, on 11th.
Nagoya Grampus in the same group earned the same amount of points but maintained their first place in the Group F ahead of FC Seoul by their head-to-head victory against FC Seoul. Therefore, the final standing of the Group F will be fixed after the both club’s last group stage match. Whoever finishes atop of the group will play home in the round of 16. FC Seoul and Nagoya Grampus have 1 more away match to be played against Hangzhou and Al Ain in the preliminary stage, respectively.
FC Seoul’s victory over Al Ain is quite meaningful. First of all, it is a consecutive win after Yong-soo Choi took over the club as a caretaker manager. It is the club’s first straight win in this season which proves the club’s upturn in form. The club had won an electrifying comeback victory over Jeju United on 30th of April.
Above all, as the score reveals, the Seoulites maintained a total domination over the game. It seemed like the team had recovered their solid team play and speedy offense as they wiped the UAE’s side out with 3 goals. Even though the game was played during the weekdays, the match drew 23,623 fans who had enjoyed enough of the festive mood by the team’s clean sweep. The crowds started to present a spectacular sight in the second half, cheering the players with enormous waves as if responding to the team’s goal parade.
Meanwhile, Il-koo Han, the goalkeeper who had made his debut match, impressed the fans by keeping very calm between the posts and bringing off some magnificent saves throughout the game.
With the continuation of the momentum, finishing atop of the Group F in ACL and jumping up in the league table would be a matter of time.
Yo-han Ko opened the scoring in the 15th minute. Ko struck a beautiful out front curler after receiving a keen pass from Dae-sung Ha on the left-side of Al Ain area. Thanks to Ko’s display of great form this season, FC Seoul’s attacking option has been significantly diversified.
FC Seoul added to their advantage when Myong-jin Ko delivered a precise cross, again from the left-side, to Dejan who finished up the perfect piece of work with a fine header. Both Myong-jin Ko and Yo-han Ko, whom the fans call the ‘Double Ko’, attained an offensive point in the match. Both Ko are fascinating their fans as a newly rising duo in the squad which the fans had not seen after the famous ‘Double Dragon’.
On 36th minute, FC Seoul put the game to bed when Dejan doubled his tally for the night with another header from Ki-han Moon’s cross that was delivered with an acute sense.
It was a faultless game for the club. Claimed the consecutive win, FC Seoul now has to keep up with the momentum. The club has only gone through one of the 8 matches of compactly scheduled month. The real deal starts from hence.
FC Seoul plays away against the unbeaten Sangju FC on 8th, and departs to Hangzhou the day after. There is no less important game to them, and therefore, adding numbers to the winning streak would be confidently expected if they maintain their impetus and concentration.