Signs of fatigue were felt from the recent penalty shootout. Though exhausted, Park Chu-young and Dejan each managed to find the net, revving up the scoring machines again. On May 20, Round 12 of the 2017 K League Classic saw FC Seoul defeated by Gangwon F.C. by 2-3.
FC Seoul adopted a 3-4-3 formation. Goalkeeper Yoo Hyun formed the defense along with three defenders – Kwak Tae-hwi, Hwang Hyun-soo, and Osmar Barba, with Sim Sang-min and Go Yo-han standing on each side. Ju Se-jong and Lee Seok-hyun stood in the center, and Dejan Damjanovic was at the top of attackers backed by Yun Seung-won and Mauro.
In the 7th minute, Dejan fired a shot from a good distance, getting the upper hand of the game. The hosts continued to pommel Gangwon. In the 17th minute, Dejan and Yun Seung-won each had a go to find the net, but their efforts hit off the wall of defenders. GK Yoo Hyun and three defenders were instrumental in fending off the intermittent counterattacks from the opposing side. In the 20th minute, a Gangwon forward left unchecked with the goalkeeper, but Yoo Hyun defused the crisis with a quick, preemptive response.
Regrettably, it was Seoul that allowed an opener first in the 37th minute. The hosts were quick to put themselves together and launched decisive attacks to even out the score. Three minutes later, the effort bore fruit. Yun Seung-won’s bold mid-range drive hit off the bar and the goalkeeper to soar in the air. Dejan dashed in with his eyes on the ball, and equalized the game with a nice header. The scoring was a testimony to Dejan’s instinct as a goal-getter. After several attacks from Seoul, the referee blew the whistle to signal the end of the first half.
FC Seoul’s momentum remained undiminished into the latter half of the game. In the 10th minute, Dejan collected a cross from Sim Sang-min to make a header, but the ball missed the target. In the 11th minute, Seoul beefed up the offensive by substituting Yun Il-lok and Park Chu-young in place of Yun Seung-won and Mauro. Immediately after being substituted, Park charged down the field 15 meters or so with dazzling dribble to unleash a strong shot from a distance, but it flew wide the goalposts.
Seoul allowed one more in a penalty kick in the 17th minute. In the 33rd minute, Seoul went for broke by replacing Hwang Hyun-soo with Lee Sang-ho. The game was a toss-up until the 41st minute when Seoul allowed yet another goal from Gangwon. During the extra time, Park Chu-young pulled back one with a header. While the Seoulites did their best to make up for the margin for the rest of the time, the game was closed with the final whistle.
While the final score was a let-down, the twin scoring from Park and Dejan were encouraging enough. Before the break, Seoul are planning to wrap up the early race with a successful result. By saving up their stamina for the week, Seoul will face the game with Ulsan with the utmost resolve to win.