"We are the champions!" blares Freddie Mercury's voice over the loudspeakers (and from beyond the grave) as FC Seoul team members take turns lifting the trophy and being showered by confetti. Sunday was the final leg of the K-Lague championship, reprising Wednesday's first leg, a hard earned 2 - 2 result in Jeju at which FC Seoul scored the equalizer in the closing seconds, stunning Jeju United players who had watched FCS snatch first seed from them in the final two games of the regular season.
Sunday's result was a squeaker, with the Red-and-Black coming from down a goal to take the 2 - 1 victory and their first crown as FC United on the 4 - 3 aggregate. They previously won as Lucky-Goldstar Hwangso FC in 1985 and 1990, and the Anyang LG Cheetahs in 2000.
The teams fought to a first-half stand-off, trading goals quickly as Jeju capitalized on sloppy distribution from the goalkeeper, FCS earning a penalty less than one minute later on a take-down in the box, tucked away by Jung Jo-gook. Brazilian Adilson, or Adi, who recently returned to the line-up after being sidelined most of the season with a knee injury, scored the gamewinner off a corner kick, and also earned himself "Man of the Match".
This being the championship, the powers-that-be did things up right, including a Christmas tree and an all-girl marching band:
Well, except for the fact that they were completely out of beer before halftime. Which is not just unbelievable, but unforgiveable! Fortunately, my pal Charles and his lovely wife were with me, and they volunteered to make a quick trip to the nearby GS25. Problem solved--but what kind of mickey mouse operation runs out of beer at the championship game? Here is Charles with me right at the end of the game, after the reinforcements arrived!
|FCS mascot (dragon, I think?) leads the fans in cheering|