December 8, 2012
Where am I? Delirious and stunned – I suddenly find myself with a signed Kim Bo-Kyung jersey and in the midst of Cardiff natives, I’m jumping up and down like a madman cheering for Kim as he knocks in his first goal for Cardiff. I’m pinching myself to see if I’m still in the realm of reality: did all that really happen? I was in Washington D.C. so what was that all about being amongst Cardiff folks?
First let’s go with what we do know -on Friday evening at Blackburn – Kim didn’t start but came in for Craig Noone in the 69th minute. Cardiff had a solid game up to that moment, but had a tenuous 2-1 lead (goals earlier by Mark Hudson and Craig Bellamy). Late in the game, everything opened up for the Bluebirds, with Joe Mason subbing in and making immediate impact by scoring in the 84th minute. Not a minute later, Kim picked off Scott Dan’s loose pass near the right side and dribbled the ball quickly towards the 18 yard line. He executed a 1-2 with Heidar Helguson, then shot across the box and into the net for his first goal this season. Cardiff now furthers their lead in the N-Power Championship and extends their incredible home winning streak. Here’s replay of the historic goal:
It would be tempting to say it was his first goal on English soil – that remarkably wouldn’t be accurate as Kimbo scored against Switzerland in the Taeguk Warriors’ terrific medal run during the London 2012 Olympics in July. Let’s revisit that epic game winning goal, shall we?
Many Cardiff fans got a chance to see Kim close up that summer when it was rumored he would be joining them in the fall. Apparently, they liked what they saw.
Wait, what’s all this about the Tavern owner wearing a Cardiff jersey –autographed by Kim Bo-Kyung no less?!? I got a chance to catch up with a Tavern contributor, CJay, who’s here visiting the US (with his dad -who helped cram in vast knowledge about the team and Cardiff history and culture between bites of dinner). We discussed Tavern business as usual, but more importantly we got to catch a Cardiff match – an extremely very rare treat as not many N-Power English Championship games are broadcast in the US; this was made even more memorable by the visit from our man in Cardiff in the flesh. Backing up a moment, we posted pictures earlier this week taken by CJay of Kim signing an autograph, but didn’t think too much about it since then. Turns out, Kim was signing a top that would be eventually put into my surprised hands on Friday evening! An incredibly epic gesture, I immediately wore it, offered profuse and heartfelt thanks and continued on with an entertaining evening of conversation and watching brilliant Cardiff football. We talk about football being a uniting force despite continental distance, and that surely happened in a grand way in that small dimly lit tavern in D.C. CJay had predicted before the match that Kimbo would get his first score that night. Accurate was he, and the noble Tavern contributor, his father, and I leaped to our feets and cheered on Kim when he got his first strike. Even the waitstaff and the Lucky Bar’s owner, an ex-pat from Wales joined us later in merriment. Just an unforgettable night, I don’t know how else to describe the atmosphere. Oh, almost forgot:
In other action on Friday, Son Heung-Min delivered 2 shots in a 90 minute performance for Hamburg as they defeated Hoffenheim 2-0 at home. Credit Rudnevs for the brace as Hamburg climbs to 6th in the Bundesliga table despite Van der Vaart and Beister’s absence due to injuries. Some analysts are speculating that Hamburg may have a shot at a European qualification for next year, if they can keep up this form.
More games tomorrow, and the Tavern will be tracking Koo Ja-Cheol, Park Ji-Sung and Ki Sung-Yeung. Yesterday’s post has all the weekend listings. Ki is on another Welsh side -hungry for his first goal of the season. Kim’s goal on Friday may be just the inspiration Ki needs on Saturday.