Gwangju steals one, with the gendarme in on the heist

On Sunday April 24 the K=League soccer match at World Cup Stadium in Sangmu/Gwangju had all the makings of a blowout, since Gwangju was playing Seoul. A thinking man would have given the home squad a slim chance…a betting man could have gotten 10-1 in London, and that’s a long-shot in the soccer world.

But neither man was the referee at this game, who, at the end of the game handed out an absurd yellow card for an “early” free kick to Gwangju, and who then red-carded the player for continuing to argue, which gave Seoul an 11-10 man advantage through the end of the game and four minutes of stoppage time.

So now what were our chances?

Ah, but again one must think about the chances of success for this team even remaining in the league, then the reality that a big upset might propel more fans to show up (wow, The World Cup Stadium really does feel vacant except for the steady cheers and drummer in the two end zones).

Anyway, the referee did his part, and put the pitch on a 45-degree angle, up hill being whichever goal Seoul was shooting for, and call after call, or calls for Gwangju, and to be polite NO whistles at all against Gwangju except flagrant fouls kept the game close.

The first half Gwangju carried the vast majority of play into the Seoul zone, and led 1-0 at the half. But #88 for Seoul, and a few other talented players came out ready to storm back in the second half, but defense and goalkeeping were good, again the referee was STELLAR, and even a down a man, and being pressured relentlessly, Gwangju only gave up one goal. So it was 1-1 heading into the last…wait, wait a minute, oh my, here’s a whistle, and for reasons no sane man could ever explain, the referee took away Seoul’s goal.

He he, we WON this game, and honestly Gwangju was NEVER a man down, though we could see only 9 yellow jerseys and a blue-shirted goalie. Why? Because the man in black was clearly on our side this windy day, and VOILA, a win was “manufactured” Kia-style for the home team.  The 80 or so Seoul fans who made the trip must have been, actually HAD to have been STEAMED about this result, and, had you or I been the coach of Seoul, we may well have been ejected… but somehow he kept his cool.

Sorry about my lack of knowledge in terms of players names…but enjoy the photos.

Doug

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