On August 25, FC Seoul were defeated 1-4 to Ulsan Hyundai F.C. at Ulsan Moonsoo World Cup Stadium in Round 26 of the 2018 K League 1.
Seoul adopted a 4-2-3-1 formation for the game. Yun Suk-young, who has come back from a break, Kim Won-gun, Kim Dong-woo, and Park Dong-jin formulated the four-back defense. Hwang Ki-wook, Jung Hyun-cheol, and Cho Young-wook filled the midfield in the form of a triangle. Matic stood on the forefront, with Go Yo-han and Anderson being placed on each side to form a three-top system.
The first shot of the game came from the visitors’ side. Merely three minutes into the game, Yun Suk-young sent a pinpoint cross to the center, and Matic fired a header to the target, which flew head-on to the goalkeeper. In the firth minute, Seoul faced a very dangerous moment, but GK Yang Han-been saved his team with an effortless punch. In the 9th minute, Seoul got yet another chance. Waiting in the right side, Go Yo-han launched a precise cross to a dashing Matic, who fired yet another accurate header to the goalkeeper, but the shot was blocked. Following a defender’s fumbling of the ball in the 36th minute, Seoul allowed an opener to the hosts Ulsan, despite GK Yang Han-been’s dogged effort. In the 42nd minute, Seoul’s defense line was infiltrated by a through pass, and while the goalie threw himself to save the goal, his acrobatic effort did not succeed, subsequently conceding a second goal to Ulsan. Badly shaken, Seoul conceded the third goal to the opponents merely one minute after. The scoreboard read 0-3 when the game reached the half time.
Putting themselves together during the short break, Seoul substituted Sin Jin-ho and Lee Sang-ho in place of Go Yo-han and Jung Hyun-cheolto start the latter half. In the 12th minute, Seoul allowed the fourth goal to Ulsan. The defenders lost focus, which directly led to lack of responsiveness. In the 16th minute, Ulsan goalkeeper fumbled while trying to clear the ball, presenting a chance for Seoul. Lee Sang-ho exploited the confused defenders to secure the ball before lobbing a shot towards the target, but it went off the goalposts by a slight distance. It was in the 20th minute that Seoul managed to mitigate the damage with their first scoring. In a corner, Kim Dong-woo’s shot bounced off the goalposts, which found a way to Lee Sang-ho. Lee pushed the ball down into the goalposts with a header, making the score 1-4. In the 27th minute, Song Jin-hyung joined the pitch in place of Cho Young-wook, who had been much exhausted. Seoul’s manager Lee Eul-yong used up all three substitutions to beef up the offense. The two teams competed for an additional scoring afterwards, but at the end of the day, the game was closed by 1-4 in favor of the hosts Ulsan.
The failure of the game was mainly attributable to the collapse of defense. But regret is a luxury that we cannot afford at the moment. The players will have to brush off the bad memories and train harder to get back on track to return the enthusiastic support of their fans.
The next fixture for Seoul will take place in Gangwon, and they are determined to come back with more win points to advance to the Upper Split.