Sunday November 23rd sees the 19th FA Cup Final being held at Seoul World Cup Stadium. FC Seoul and Seongnam FC are the teams hoping for victory. The match kicks off at 14:15 and the winner will not only get their hands on the cup but will gain entry to next season’s Asian Champions League.
Amazingly this is Seoul’s first ever FA Cup final as FC Seoul, they did win it in 1998 when they were known as Anyang LG Cheetahs before they moved to Seoul. Since they moved they haven’t really been renowned for their great cup runs. Seoul were made to work on the way to the final, having matches against Incheon, Pohang, Busan and Sangju with all but their semi-final against Sangju going to extra time. They come into this match on the back of having thrown away a two goal lead to Ulsan last weekend, but they are sitting fourth with a chance of third place and an automatic ACL slot in their hands. Yoo Sang Hoon was the hero earlier in the tournament when he was outstanding in goals in the penalty shootout against Pohang. Osmar has been ever present in defence and you would imagine if both these players have a good day then it will be tough for Seongnam. The match could also see Everton and Molina line up against their former team having both appeared in previous finals with Seongnam, Molina losing in 2009 and Everton winning in 2011. Seoul hold home advantage for the match and that could be a huge mental boost for them.
Seongnam have made a bit of a name for themselves in this tournament and Sunday will see them grace the final for the sixth time having won it on two previous occasions, 1999 as Cheonan Ilhwa and 2011 as Seognam Ilhwa. Their run to the final wasn’t really fraught with danger, with matches against Daegu, Gwangju and Yeungnam University coming before their semi-final victory over Jeonbuk. The Jeonbuk match of course was a tough one and it took penalties to separate the two. That penalty shootout was a masterclass in penalty taking with Seongnam winning 5-4. Although their league form has been poor this season their experience in this tournament will give their fans hope that they can pull off the win. There is also extra incentive for captain Park Jin Po as he will surely want another FA Cup under his belt before departing Seongnam to join Sangju next season to complete his military service. Just like with Everton and Molina, Server Djeparov and Kim Tae Hwan come into this match with experience in cup finals with the opposition having both won the 2010 League Cup with FC Seoul. There is a rumour that Seongnam have never won in the World Cup Stadium, is that about to change on Sunday?
Predicition – Can’t see 90 mins being enough for this one. Seoul to win 2-1 after extra time!