FC Seoul
FC Seoul puts an end to a proud journey
By gsadmin Date 2016/12/09 Views 2557
Things were skeptical when they allowed the opener. But they never gave up. Having managed to equalized the game against the odds, they put the game back to square one two minutes before the final whistle was blown to grabbing the sliver of hope for a win in the extra time and the penalty shootout that followed. The shootout was exhausting, taking as many as 10 kickers for conclusion. At the end of the day, it was the opposing side, not Seoul, who won the trophy, but the performance they showed today deserved applause and applause only. 

For the second leg to the 2016 FA Cup finals, FC Seoul adopted a 4-3-3- formation. Kim Chi-woo, Kim Nam-chun, Kwak Tae-hwi, and Ko Kwang-min formed the defense with GK Yoo Sang-hun keeping the final line of defense. Yojiro Takahagi, Osmar Barba, and Go Yo-han were in the middle to support the three forwards, Adriano, one of the top scorers of the FA Cup, Yun Il-lok, and Park Chu-young.  

The first half was fierce. Seoul posed a constant threat to Suwon’s defenders with aggressive plays. In particular, Takahagi and Go Yo-han injected vitality into the squad with active engagements. In the 37th minute, Suwon’s Lee Jeong-soo was sidelined due to accumulated warnings, but Seoul’s advantage was short-lived as Takahagi was also shown a red card four minutes later. The first half was closed without scoring. 

Upon the start of the latter half, Seoul threatened the opposing side with an organic pass threading through Go Yo-han, Park Chu-young, and Adriano, and the Brazilian created a one-on-one chance with the goalie with a swift penetration to have a go. Ten minutes later, things began to unfold against Seoul. Kim Chi-woo fell onto the ground after getting a harsh challenge, and an opener was netted by the opposing side amidst the disarray. After the opener, Ju Se-jong was substituted for Kim Chi-woo. 

In the 17th minute, Adriano had a stab for an equalizer after collecting the ball from Park Chu-young. Though it was a miss, the bold effort signaled something greater was in the making for Seoul. It was in the 29th minute of the latter half that an equalizer was found. Park Chu-young sent the ball to the center with remarkable composure, and Adriano kicked it with ease across the goal line. The game grew only more intense. Seoul needed one more goal to make up for the loss they allowed in the first round. Seoul continued to pommel. Yun Il-lok was exhausted, and the manager brought in the fresh legs of Yun Seung-won. It was the newbie that worked a miracle. The regulation time was over, and even the extra time was reaching the end, and the young replacement received a cross from veteran striker Park Chu-young and found the net. Miracle was the only word apt enough to describe the goal.  

The dynamics remained intense into the additional 30 minutes. In the 11th minute, Adriano collected a short pass from Cho Chan-ho inside the penalty box and struck the ball, which missed the target slightly. In the 8th minute of the second half, Cho Chan-ho had a go, but the ball flew head-on to the goalkeeper. Despite the continuous efforts to find the net, the 30 minutes came to an end soon. 

The tension was palpable during the penalty shootout. It was a fierce affair taking as many as 10 kickers, but in the end, Seoul had to settle for second place. 

It was such an impeccable game, and an impeccable season. The second round for the FA Cup finals encapsulated the entire journey for Seoul in 2016. Facing difficulties, Seoul never gave up and managed to find a way to overcome the barriers, striving for the ultimate goal against all odds. Despite a major personnel transition in the middle of the season, Seoul managed to mount to the top in all competitions they participated in. They won the K League championship, made it to the semi-finals to the AFC Champions League, while grabbing the second place for the FA Cup. The journey has just begun for manager Hwang Sun-hong. Seoul will return next year, better and stronger.
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