Asian Champions League update + April 1st backtrack

It’s very rare for the Tavern owner to issue an apology but as April 1 is coming to a close, I have to say while I had fun I am sorry to anyone who had their hopes up for a Park Ji-Sung summer transfer to Suwon (especially to Suwon supporters).  It was not a mean hearted gesture in any way, but I just couldn’t resist in having a little April Fool’s fun. Still, I left some clues in the last post that indicated it was a April 1st hoax.

And then there is that unconscious wishful thinking that emerged from my imagination. Think about it for a moment (apart from the juvenile April Fool’s prank on my part) …wouldn’t it be rad if the headline were really true?  Perhaps Park himself might not think so, but his status as a living playing legend is more than secure. He has nothing more to prove in Europe. He won several prestigious trophies and Premier League titles with none other than Sir Alex Ferguson’s version of Manchester United- he’s already in the history books and still not done playing football.  It’s very understandable why he might prefer his current position in the world. PSV Eindhoven would be a lovely place to ride off into the proverbial sunset for Park – the club where he started his European adventure with Guus Hiddink whisking him and Lee Young-Pyo along. And yet, as someone who has given so much pride to Korea, couldn’t a hypothetical move to Suwon or any other K-League club be the one singular move to transform the Korean culture once more – from exclusively viewing European football matches – to finally turning their attention to the K-League and cultivating as a critical mass a unique and authentic football support culture at home?  In retrospect, Korea does relatively and remarkably well despite the paucity of attention paid to their own locally grown talent, performing week in and week out in pitches all across the southern peninsula. It’s a shame then to see empty stands all across Korea when the best teams in Asia are fighting for dominance in the region – and next door in Japan, in China, in Thailand – all these stadiums are packed – PACKED with their own supporters, full of gusto and enthusiasm for building their local brand of football. They may not win, but you got to hand it to those supporters – That’s pride over there. That’s passion. That’s something that can’t be manufactured overnight in Korea. It is going to take time, but if hypothetically Park Ji-Sung could make that magical transfer happen – it would go a LONG way towards that vision one day becoming reality…and hey, if in 2002 red clad crazy mofos were in the streets in support of the Taeguk Warriors – that’s potential the KFA and the K-League can work with…

Ok so while I was wasting time perpetuating my false transfer news, real relevant stuff was happening, including some Asian Champions League results and Tuesday’s games are in:

FC Seoul with a dramatic last gasp equalizer in a choatic match against Hiroshima saw the game end a 2-2 draw. Yun Il-Lok evened the score in the 54th minute to cancel Notsuda’s 20th minute goal, but a Korean centerback Hwang Seok-Ho (playing for the other side) put Sanfreecce ahead 2-1 in the 70th.  Then late in the game this happened:

Disaster for FC Seoul, but in the 4th and last minute of stoppage time, a 2nd penalty was awarded FC Seoul! Rafael took the PK and then this:

How can some Americans say football draws are boring? In the other match involving a K-League side, Ulsan stumbled a bit, losing 3-1 at Guizhou Renhe. Only Yun Jun-Soo scored for Ulsan (assist by Kim Min-Gyoon) in the 34th to draw first blood. 3 Renhe goals later and viola, Guizhou’s first win in the tournament this year.  Ulsan still tops their group but by a precarious 1 point. Tomorrow’s Asian Champions League matches: Jeonbuk Motors vs Guangzhou Evergrande  6AM US EST / 7PM Korea Time oneworldsports.com will delay broadcast the game in the US, starting at 7am EST Shandong Luneng vs Pohang Steelers  6:30 AM US EST / 7:30 PM Korea Time oneworldsports.com will broadcast on delay at 3 AM on Thursday April 3rd in the US -[seems kinda hard to access -don’t you think oneworldsports?]   John Duerden wrote yesterday for One World Sports about the themes that are emerging from this Asian Champions League season. Here’s an excerpt: Japanese teams are still to convince At the halfway stage, only one of the four Japanese teams currently occupies one of the top two spots that ensure progress to the second stage, and Sanfrecce Hiroshima do so by the narrowest of margins. No team has yet to convince, and just three games out of the 12 played so far have resulted in victory – not disastrous, but disappointing. Opinion is divided as to whether the J.League can be regarded as the best league in Asia if its clubs continue to underperform when faced with opposition from rival leagues. There’s only one way to stop the debate: start winning. Korea still solid While they stuttered a little in the last round of match days, though some in the Land of the Morning Calm blame referees for that, Korean teams have kept to their usual high standards in the competition despite losing a number of their best players to China or elsewhere. Ulsan Horangi looks confident and strong and Jeonbuk is still in a good position despite defeat to Guangzhou, while Seoul and Pohang, the two weaker teams out of the four, have not been bad at all and have all to play for in the second half of the first round.  

UPDATE: I just retweeted the Chosun Ilbo announcement, this one…

that the World Cup tournament will be making a pre tourney appearance in Korea on Friday. From the Chosun Ilbo: “After a media event in Seoul on Friday, the trophy will be displayed at Times Square in Yeongdeungpo on Saturday and at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Sunday.”  Neat!

About Roy Ghim 403 Articles

The old Tavern Owner

1 Comment

  1. You bloody son of a —-!!! LOL. Serves me right for skimming the article! Nice one, I thought “well I’ve gone through this day unscathed” and then Roy Ghim happened. You got me!

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