FC Seoul won their last home match in regular league against the Jeonnam Dragons, on the back of the two goals from Park Yong-woo and Yun Il-lok. Chalking up six wins and one draw, Seoul remained undefeated for the seventh consecutive game. Now ranked on the second in the league tables, FC Seoul is qualified to be the league champion, which will be decided by the final showdown with Jeonbuk.
Seoul adopted a 4-3-3- formation for the match. Yun Il-lok, Adriano, and Park Chu-young formed a triangle in the front, with Ju Se-jong, Park Yong-woo, and Yojiro Takahagi in the middle. Ko Kwang-min, Kim Nam-chun, Kwak Tae-hwi, and Go Yo-han filled out the four-back line with goalkeeper Yoo Hyun making his usual appearance
From the start, Seoul took on an aggressive posture in a bid to create chances to find the net. In the 4th minute, a defender cleared the ball from Ko Kwang-min’s bold penetration attempt, and Ju Se-jong collected it before earning a free kick chance. Kicker Park Chu-young sent a powerful drive towards the goal, which was punched away by the goalkeeper, and Adriano pounced on the loose ball and had a go, but it did not lead to scoring.
It was Park Yong-woo that made a difference in the game, who vowed to make contributions to his team in his Media Day interview. Seoul continued to chip away at the sides with sweeping penetrations, and in the 9th minute, Yun Il-lok snaked his way through the left side. Park Yong-woo, who was waiting in the vicinity, got a loose ball and had a go from a distance to net such an unexpected opener. Traveling in a marvelous trajectory, the ball slightly touched the hand of the goalkeeper before zooming into the net. It was all the more meaningful as Park had only scored in the ACL competition.
Seoul continued to push the opponents with dominance, and Seoul found yet another goal when Yun Il-lok, who also scored in the previous match against Jeju, volleyed the ball mid-air inside the penalty box in the 29th minute. Seoul’s passing skills were even more impressive in limited space, and the goal proved how various a route Seoul has in finding the net. On the other hand, Yun Il-lok played a key role for the several games, scoring for two games in a row. FC Seoul managed to close the first half with a comfortable two-point lead.
Seoul’s attacks remained threatening into the second half. In the 13th minute, Lee Seok-hyun had a go in a wide open chance, but the ball flew off the goalkeeper by a whisker. They allowed a goal 10 minutes later, but the team remained focused and played their way. Substitution of Osmar Barba added stability to the squad, and in the 34th minute, Adriano and Lee Seok-hyun boasted a fantastic pass play near the penalty box. While the Brazilian peeled off a couple of defenders and charged down the PA, he failed to have a go.
Seoul’s pressure did not let up to the last minute of the latter half. In the 37th, Seoul substituted Dejan Damjanovic for Adriano, and in the 44th minute, Ko Kwang-min whipped in a cross, which led to Takahagi, who in turn presented Yun Il-lok with a chance. Yun had a one-on-one chance with the keeper on the back of his dribbling skills but failed to find the net. Soon, the whistle was blown to signal the end of the game, allowing FC Seoul a 2-1 victory.
After entering the Top Split league, Seoul allowed no loss by chalking up three wins and one draw against the four toughest opponents of the league. Now, the “final” round is waiting for Seoul. The next game will take place on Nov. 6 in Jeonju, which will mark the 38th round of the 2016 K League Classic. In fact, Seoul has the history of winning a league cup in 2010, which also took place in Jeonju. There is no plan B. The only option Seoul can afford is a win. Players, fans, the manager and coaches will have to make a concerted effort for the next big game.