Kim Bo-Kyung scored his first Premier League goal today -and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. As regulation time expired at Cardiff City stadium with Cardiff City down 2-1 to Manchester United – a few seconds into stoppage time Kimbo slipped past Evra and snuck in between Rooney and Rio Ferdinand to head a free kick from Whittingham. His header powered its way past a surprised DeGea and on into Cardiff City history. Check this out:
Goal Kim Bo-Kyung Cardiff City 2-2 Manchester… by Sport-Today-2014
It was, for the most part, a great all around team win for Cardiff, who showed grit and character, having to come back twice against the formidable visitors. Not perfect mind you (see Ben Turner’s misplaced pass leading to Man U’s 1st goal), but Cardiff looked competent and comprised enough to deserve the point (and possibly all 3 points). Talk about atmosphere, this one was about on par with the South Wales derby. With bated breath from Cardiff supporters at that 90th minute when Whittingham delivered his set piece, Kim’s goal unleashed pure joy and pandemonium at Cardiff City Stadium, a record 28,000+ in attendance.
Kimbo for his part tearing his jersey off in celebration got booked for a yellow card. C’est la Vie. Malky Mackay subbed Kim in the 76th minute for Jordan Mutch (along with Noone -who replaced Odemwinge and took up position on the wing). Kim’s substitution raised some eyebrows – Mutch had done brilliantly earlier, his through ball to Campbell ensured the ex-Sunderland man with Cardiff’s first equalizer. Nevertheless, Malky had a hunch that Kim, who’s been technically brilliant but has seen his share of bench time lately, could be an impact player against Manchester late in the game. Here’s Mackay post match:
Malky: “It was difficult for Kim Bo after a lot of travelling over the break. He’s a top talent and am delighted with his goal.” #CARMUN
— Cardiff City FC (@CardiffCityFC) November 24, 2013
Kim had traveled 10,000+ miles – getting called up last weekend during the international break for Korea’s friendlies with Switzerland and Russia. After the goal, Kim was so pumped, he looked ready to get that game winner -and nearly got it chasing down a weak backpass to DeGea. Cardiff’s last gasp attack as the 4 extra minutes was expiring saw Cornelious dribble the ball down the center with Kimbo dangerously open to the right – but instead Cornelious opted for a disappointingly poor shot that rolled harmlessly to DeGea. We promise to get to the weekend roundup, but I desperately need sleep before work tomorrow. So I’m gonna hang on this game at Cardiff for just a moment longer…
we’ll update shortly. We might bounce around as if afflicted with ADHD – some interesting facts – this is the first time since 1975 that Cardiff and Manchester United tangled. Back then it was a lopsided 4-1 loss that Cardiff had to endure. Times have been a changin’. Prior to the match, Cardiff’s team twitter sent this out:
Didn’t happen, so that magical statistical milestone will have to wait a bit longer. Meanwhile the much vilified owner Vincent Tan (deservedly so for his erratic behavior re: the Iain Moody affair) had a surprise guest with him. Why it was none other than Sir Alex Ferguson, ex manager for Man U.
Hmm…that’s not going to particularly endear him further with Bluebird supporters, will it?
Back to the actual game: such an entertaining match, this game may have set worldwide viewership records for Cardiff City, with possibly over a billion people tuning in. It doesn’t set all time TV viewership records for a Premiership match, the Manchester derby from 2012 takes that cake (if the Tavern statistician is correct). Cardiff undoubtedly isn’t used to all this attention – all the more remarkable then that Malky’s team was so composed against last season’s champions.
A bit of hyper focus on Kim’s time on pitch: Kim appeared to get some instructions by Malky to get in an advanced position -in range to make something happen. What Malky and others may not have expected was Kim’s ability to use his head to score. Here’s a tweet right from the post match interview:
오늘 처음으로 카디프 마카이 감독님께 질문하봤네요^^ 아주 김뽀 폭풍칭찬! asked Malky about Kimbo~ he’s never scored with his head in training lol pic.twitter.com/pDPAgqyOkn
— 스포츠동아 영국통신원 허유미 (@The_Londongirl) November 24, 2013
We are witnessing the continuing evolution of Kim as a central attacking midfielder from his original left wing position. Is it my imagination or has he bulked up some?
Some other talking points: beaten as he chased down a pass, Wayne Rooney violently took down Jordan Mutch. Did Rooney intend injury for Mutch during the opening minutes of the game? If so, the yellow he got was too light. It’s a 50/50 when reviewing the intent in video replays, but a number of writers felt Rooney was deserving of a red card. Of course Rooney fires in the first goal, then provided the assist (Evra header/goal) to keep Manchester ahead again by halftime. Kimbo’s first significant action involved Rooney: in the 81st minute while dribbling the ball to centerfield, Kim slide tackles the ball cleanly away from Rooney and Cardiff regained possession. Then at the end, Rooney had a chance to be a difference maker after Kimbo’s equalizer – a quick counter attack and Rooney looked to be one on one with Marshall. Instead of delivering a crushing blow to Cardiff, his backpass to Welback had too little on it -allowing Marshall to smother the ball. Disaster Averted.
So far, Cardiff’s adventures in the Premier League has been a roller coaster to say the least. Great results against the top teams, some disappointing losses against lesser opponents – and a general struggle to prop themselves in the table. But in the scoring category against both Manchester teams, in the vicinity of Wales, Cardiff seems to have their number.
45% – Percentage of Cardiff’s Premier League goals this season that have come at home to the two Manchester teams. Baggy.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 24, 2013
Over at ESPN FC, John Brewin writes: “…Kim’s late goal…(was) celebrated from Cardiff to Seoul.” He goes on to observe about Man U, further trouble as they missed out on breaking back into the top 4, which they can thank Kimbo for. Damn straight.
Manchester United is typically red – and Cardiff are the Bluebirds. At home Cardiff play in blue kits. Usually. At least for the previous 104 years – that is until Vincent Tan decided red was Cardiff’s lucky color and practically forced that on the team last season. Several times last season there were marches by Bluebird supporters angry about the decision -held without any community input. Today marked another pre-match Pro-Blue rally and march to denounce Vincent Tan’s makeover. The stadium was divided in it’s red vs blue loyalties, however the fact remains, they are still the Bluebirds —-and they play in red at home…
Lastly, was it pure coincidence, lucky foreshadowing by Cardiff’s graphics design team, or fate: CC’s promotion campaign as Cardiff V Man U tickets were about to go on sale to the general public featured Kimbo’s picture, prominently representing the Bluebirds opposite to Man U’s Robin Van Persie. And yet, RVP was out injured and Kimbo didn’t start the match…
Now finally to bed. I leave you with another written replay as it happened earlier. Jacob Steinberg did the minute by minute plays for the Guardian. Here’s the glorious moment revisted:
GOAL! Cardiff 2-2 Manchester United (Kim, 90 min+1)
Incredible! The Cardiff City Stadium goes mad! Kim has equalised for Cardiff! Whittingham took the free-kick and the South Korean darted in front of Evra to head powerfully past De Gea, who had no chance! Amazing!
Kim Bo-kyung celebrates. Photograph: Tony O’Brien/Action Images