Tuesday, October 15, 2013

South Korea vs Brazil Friendly - Neymar didn't disappoint

Last Saturday I got the chance to go see South Korea and Brazil play an international friendly match at Seoul's World Cup Stadium.  Although baseball has gained a lot of attention in the last 10 years in Korea, soccer still is the king of sports here.  The national team supporters are affectionately referred to as the 'Red Devils'.  So my girlfriend and I put on our red shirts and made our way to the stadium.  We joined a record-setting crowd of 65,308 in hopes that Korea could put on a good show against one of the best national teams in the world.  

The scene just before kickoff

Record crowd for Seoul's World Cup Stadium

The first half of the game was very closely played.  The Korean team played aggressive, deciding to go with the strategy of playing very physically.  Late in the first half, with the score still 0-0, things started to get a little chippy between the Korean team and Brazil, specifically Neymar.  It seemed that they were targeting him specifically, trying to use their physical play to take him out of his element.  It didn't work...

Neymar put the Brazilian team up 1-0 going into the half.  Shortly after the start of the second half, Brazil used a quick counter-attack to get past the Korean defense.  Oscar was able to get the Korean goalie to bite on a fake and then chip the ball over him to give us our final score, 2-0.  

I was really hoping to see Korea score even just one goal, simply to see the reaction of the crowd.  They were very enthusiastic the entire game and aside from one successful attempt at 'the wave' they stayed focused on the action for the full 90.  Korea did have a handful of scoring opportunities, with this one probably being the best...

Overall it was a great night.  We met Brandon and his girlfriend for dinner near Hapjeong before we all went to the match.  I've been lucky to be able to go to some great events recently and I'm looking forward to continuing that trend here in the next few weeks.  Now I just need to add a playoff baseball game to the list.

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