Last night I went to see a World Cup Qualifier at the World Cup Stadium in Seoul, featuring the mighty Red Devils (aka South Korea) and the footballing giants of the United Arab Emirates. Despite initial misgivings, it ended up being a really entertaining, open game. Pre-game joviality included the taking of pictures with the one UAE fan we saw, and some bets- I had 2-1, and amigos Jake and Paul 2-0 and 2-1 respectively.
Things started well, and it didn’t take long until Lee Keun-Ho made the best of early pressure to put Korea into the lead on 20 minutes. Only 6 minutes later, Park Ji-Sung made it two with a well taken shot blasted into the top right corner. At half time it looked like Korea might just sit back and protect their lead, but they opened with a flourish after the break and should have been 3 or 4 nil up in no time. One attempted lob hit the bar, and for a while I thought luck was on the UAE’s (and Jake’s) side. On 72 minutes UAE scored a soft goal, and I thought I was in the money. But my financial gains- and any lingering Korean nerves- dissapeared 10 minutes from time with a third, and Lee Keun-Ho got his second- and Korea’s forth- in the closing minutes.

While the attendence was dissapointing, and the crowd lacking the Brummie spirit of, well, Blues fans, it was a really good game and the World Cup Stadium is a great venue- a spacious, modern venue holding 65,000. Looks like I’ll be back there again in a few weeks with a teacher who wants to take me to an FC Seoul game.

Pictures soon.