Friday, 1 August 2008


Last night Sean and I went down to the World Cup Stadium (see a couple of weeks ago) for the auspicious under-23 international friendly clash between Korea and Australia. When we arrived we circumnavigated the whole stadium searching for somewhere to buy tickets. We found nowhere, and with the match already having kicked off we were considering finding a TV. Then we were approached by a tout exclaiming: tickets! You want ticket?! Man won! Man won!

A fiver? Yes please.

OK, so we get inside, wait around needlessly for a warmish can of Hite and, twenty minutes after kick off, make our way to our seats, high up in the rafters. We sit down, praise the view, lament the empty seats and within about thirty seconds, before I'd even turned my camera on, promising striker Shin Young-rok cuts inside onto his right foot and curls a lovely shot into the far corner of the net: the only goal of the match.


The rest of the game was less than thrilling, both sides obviously not wanting to overexert themselves before the Olympics. It did come to life in the last ten minutes, with Australia hitting the post and coming close a couple more times, and one Korea counter attack which resulted in the ball being desperately cleared off the line and the whole crowd rising to their feet.

My camera's battery failed me, but I managed to get some shots. Which are below.
Immediately after the goal. Just look at the.. euphoria.

Me playing spot the Leeds player. Then I realised Neil Kilkenny only came on at half time.

The maniacal fans with their flares and flags and chants of 한국! 한국! (Hanguk! Hanguk!) (Korea! Korea!) to the tune of Go West. This was where most of the volume was coming from. The majority of the other spectators were families and young couples, each with their complimentary commemorative paper fan, which when wafted by 20000.. uh, fans.. in unison, gave us from our viewpoint the impression of flowing water. Erm, yep. Bye!

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