The ‘Troubleshooter’ Park Chu-young salvaged his team again. On July 2, FC Seoul won a thrilling victory against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors at home, on the back of a dramatic goal found in the injury time of the latter half of the game. It was the unswerving will of the Seoulites that allowed them such a thirst-quenching victory before their supporters.
FC Seoul adopted a 4-3-3 formation for the day. Park Chu-young led the forefront with Yun Seung-won and Cho Chan-ho offering support fire from each side. Lee Sang-ho stood at the center of the midfield, with Ju Se-jong and Lee Myung-joo back him up from behind. Osmar Ibanez and Kwak Tae-hwi were at the center of the defense, with Kim Chi-woo and Go Yo-han aiding the two center-backs from each flank. The job of goalkeeper was assumed by Yang Han-been.
In the 13th minute, Kwak Tae-hwi fired the first shot on target for Seoul with a powerful free kick. While Jeonbuk made a few attempts to find the net, Seoul fended them off with systematic defense. Lee Myung-joo, who made his first appearance as member of FC Seoul, dominated the midfield, boasting great teamwork as if he’d been playing for the team for a long time.
It was FC Seoul who first netted an opener. Teamwork and focus made the remarkable play. The hero of the opener was Yun Seung-won. In the 35th minute, Park Chu-young created space with dazzling skills, where Cho Chan-ho struck the ball to see bouncing off a defender, which was again collected by Park Chu-young for another go. The goalkeeper blocked the shot again, and this time, Yun Seung-won took on the mission to whip in a strong drive into the goalposts with his left foot. It was Yun’s second goal this season. The visitors mounted sharp attacks, but Seoul managed well enough to close the first half without conceding any goal.
The game was equalized almost instantly when the latter half was kicked off. The referee called a penalty kick based on the VAR system, which has been implemented for the first time this year. The spot kick was converted with success despite GK Yang Han-been’s accurate prediction. Afterwards, Seoul sought to find additional goals by distributing long passes from middle to front. After GK Yang Han-been saved his team in a one-on-one chance, Seoul launched a series of counterattacks. In the 12th minute, Park Chu-young made a bold attempt at the goal, which was blocked by the goalkeeper, and in the 16th minute, Yun Seung-won struck an unexpected drive from a distance, which ended up hitting the goalpost.
Yun Il-lok was substituted for Cho Chan-ho and led the offensive efforts both in sides and at the center. Whenever the things seemed to be going south, Seoul had Kwak Tae-hwi and Osmar Ibanez neutering the opponents’ attempts at finding the net. In the 37th minute, Lee Seok-hyun appeared on the pitch as substitute for Yun Seung-won. About five minutes later, Seoul used their last substitution on Sim Sang-min in lieu of Lee Sang-ho. In the 40th minute, one of the opposing team members was sidelined for accumulated warnings, prompting Seoul to make an all-out effort for a decider.
Having exhausted all 90 minutes, Seoul spurred their last efforts by sending Go Yo-han threading his way through the thicket of defenders to have a go, which bounced off the left side of the goalposts. It was Park Chu-young who put a nail in the coffin. Lee Myung-joo used his header to collect Yun Il-lok’s corner kick, and Park Chu-young trapped the ball on his chest before striking a thunderous shot inside the goal. Soon enough, the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the game, sending 17,000 Seoul fans getting to their feet to celebrate the unexpected turn of events.
Seoul turned the tide of atmosphere in their favor by winning a dramatic victory at home. Park Chu-young became the hero of the game again, netting yet another decider against the same team in 8 months. Seoul will be given a week-long break before traveling to Gwangju where the team will seek to accelerate their current momentum.