FC Seoul drew 1-1 with Incheon Untied after going through a fierce battle at home. Despite their desperate effort to put an end to the winless streaks, Seoul conceded a 1-1 draw to Incheon on Round 30 of the 2018 KEB Hana Bank K League 1.
Seoul came up with significant change to theirformation with a 4-4-2 system. In particular, the return of Kim Nam-chun, who is affectionally dubbed “Chundic” after the Serbian defense legend, and Ha Dae-sung, 'the King of Sangam', drew a heated attention from fans. GK Yang Han-been stood guard, with Yun Suk-young, Kim Nam-chun, Kim Dong-woo, and Shin Kwang-hoon forming a four-back defense. Each wing was filled in by Kim Han-gil and Go Yo-han, with Sin Jin-ho and Ha Dae-sung commanding the centerfield. On the forefront, Park Hee-sung and Lee Sang-hoteamed up for the first time this season to find Incheon’s net.
The game was charged with the typical electricity between the two rival teams, with both sides firing heavy attacks. In the seventh minute, Moon Sun-min tried an over-head kick, but it was blocked by the steady hands of Yang Han-been. In the 10th minute, Park Hee-sung collected a through pass to whip in a cross from the left, but it did not lead to the intended target Lee Sang-ho. The hosts sough to fight back with quick counterattacks, neutralizing Incheon’s attempts to find the net with a dual defense line from the middle and the four backs. In the 13th minute, Shin Kwang-hoon intercepted the ball to pass it towards Go Yo-han, but his effort was thwarted by tough defense. Seoul utilized the two goal-getters, Park Hee-sung and Lee Sang-ho. Crosses were lobbed for Park Hee-sung’s towering header, and chances were made from the agile sways from Lee Sang-ho.
In the 22nd minute, Seoul created the best chance for the first half. Collecting a pass from Ha Dae-sung, Go Yo-han used his head to offer a chance to Park Hee-sung, but it was blocked by a tackle, failing to translate into a shot on target. Wings Kim Han-gil and Go Yo-han used their agility to tear down the sides. In the 33rd minute, Sin Jin-ho earned a free kick, which led to a header by Kim Nam-chun, which seemed to have found the net, but it was deemed off-side and did not lead to scoring. It was in the 44th minute that Seoul’s focus cracked for a moment, when Moon Sung-min managed to find an opener for Incheon. The hosts tried to equalize the game during the two minutes of extra time, but the whistle felt blown sooner than expected.
In the latter half, Seoul played more aggressively in a bid to turn the tide of the match. In the fourth minute, Kim Han-gil sent a quick, low cross towards Ha Dae-sung, who pulled off a bicycle kick, but it flew over the goalposts. In the eighth minute, Go Yo-han, the team captain, cut off a pass from the opponents and delivered a perfect pass for Park Hee-sung, but it was blocked by the goalkeeper. In a following free kick, Sin Jin-ho executed his free kick with great precision, but it met the hands of the goalkeeper. In the 10th minute, Seoul substituted Cho Young-wook for Kim Han-gil, making an aggressive move. The replacement received a chance to find the net merely in two minutes. After collecting a through pass from Sin Jin-ho, Go Yo-han lobbed a pass towards Cho, whose ambitious header did not lead to scoring. It was in the 15th minute that the game was back to even. Sin Jin-ho delivered a corner kick, which found a way towards Go Yo-han, who volleyed it and found the first goal for Seoul.
Proving more prolificthan ever this season, Go Yo-han has so far netted seven goals, the personal best in his career. In the 16th minute, Seoul put Matic in place of Park Hee-sung. In the 26th minute, Sin Jin-ho’s pinpoint cross met Matic’s head, but the header flew over the crossbar. Afterwards, Matic had another promising chance where he received a perfect pass from Lee Sang-ho, but his shot was blocked by the defense. It was too valuable a chance to be wasted for Seoul, who had just blown two good opportunities. In the 34th minute, Matic peeled off a defender before passing it to Cho Young-wook. Cho sent a low shot towards the other corner of the goalposts, but it narrowly missed the target. In the 35th minute, Kim Won-sik was brought onto the pitch to give a break to Ha Dae-sung, who boasted a monstrous workrate. In the 47th minute, a cross was fired from the right corner, and Lee Sang-ho made a precision header, but then again, it did not shake the nets. The hosts sought to find the net to the last minute of the game, but a final whistle was blown for a game which saw no winners.
The game, which took place on the last day of holidays, ended up in a draw. Encouraging news is the presence of Ha Dae-sung and Kim Nam-chun, who have come back from a long absence. Seoul will face another home match against Sangju after a short, three-day break. Seoul will prepare for the match with a resolute will to enter the Upper Split and live up to fans’ high expectations.