With Seongnam being drawn away to the Army down in Sangju eyes were diverted elsewhere in the hope of finding an FA Cup fixture that was ‘work-friendly’. Both Suwon teams were awarded home draws and given my desire to limit the number of Bluewings victories I wish to watch in a year it was off to the Suwon Civil Stadium and their clash with K-League One side Daegu FC. It was a bit of a mad dash from work to make kick-off but The Chief (@chiefinkorea) had dangled the carrot of a free ticket in my face and so it was that I made the jaunt down the ever depressing Line 4 to Sadang Station with the hopes of a cup giant killing in my heart and a bottle of Pocheon Hdong Makgeolli (포천 쌀막거리) in my bag.
We were joined before kick-off by @korearacing outside the stadium and took our seats in the temporary stand just in time for the players coming out. There are no bag searches in the home stands of Suwon Civil Stadium and given that the beers on offer looked sparse to say the least it’s recommended that you fill your pockets so to speak before coming in. There wasn’t exactly a bumper crowd in attendance but this is the FA Cup and let’s be honest it takes free tickets to make most fans even think about bothering to turn up.
The first half was exactly what you would expect from two teams who had opted to play mainly reserve squads with an eye on more important league duties and, as I was reliably informed by The Chief, Suwon FC don’t score first half goals. Those first 45 mins were pretty uneventful and if I’m being honest my attention was being drawn to the occasional cheer form the baseball crowd in the match going on in the Wiz Park next door. We seemed to have almost lost @korearacing at HT as he disappeared mumbling “I’m just going to have a look” only to return as the 2nd half huddles were taking place.
If the 1st half was a non-event the 2nd would spring into life as Suwon FC decided that the game was worth turning up for, Daegu would take a little longer to come to the same conclusion. The hosts started to push forward more as the game went on and soon found that they were up against not just Daegu but one of the most incompetent and useless referring teams since my days watching the SPL. It wasn’t that they were biased towards either team it was the fact they overruled each other whenever they felt like it and stopped and started the game at random.
Back to the footballing action in hand and it would be the K2 team who would finally break the deadlock as Asian Games 2018 winner Cho Yu-min gave the Suwon boys the lead with 10 mins left on the clock. It wasn’t quite “scenes” in the temporary stand but the home fans celebrated the goal exactly how fans who have been down-in-their-luck should. Almost immediately after the goal Kim Dae-eui changed shape and decided to try and hold onto the win instead of pushing ahead and finishing the game, this would prove to be a mistake. First on the 90th minute Daegu equalized and then quite ridiculously with 93 on the clock they found the winner via one of the cruelest deflections you will see this year.
FT 2-1 and the Suwon players immediately ran to surround the referee in protest over the winning goal. I have been watching Korea football for the best part of 12yrs and I have never seen Korean players react the way they did, foreigners yes but Koreans tend not to react in the manner they did. Cho Yu-min would earn himself a justified red card for screaming in the referee’s face akin to that of one of those 애교 girlfriends you see in Everland getting upset over there being no white tiger cuddly toys left in the gift store at closing time.
All that was left was to bid farewell to The Chief and head to the Seoul-bound bus stop, a quick stop outside the baseball stadium let us know that the game was still going on and that, thankfully, the bus back home was as empty as most football stadiums that night.