It hasn’t been a great season of football in the 2006 K-League and the same could be said of the championship play-off semi-finals that took place last weekend. However, there was enough to fill the sports pages for a few days in the South Korean media.
There was little hint of the approaching storm on a bright but chilly Saturday afternoon just to the south of the capital when Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma and FC Seoul were approaching the end of the first half.
Given the nature of the K-League and the importance of the game, it wasn’t much of a surprise that the score with five minutes to go before the break was goalless.
In a bid to break the deadlock, Seoul’s long-haired Portuguese playmaker Ricardo took a corner for the visitors and the ball fell to team-mate and defender Han Tae-yoon. His low shot, stabbed through a crowded penalty area, looked destined for the back of the net until Seongnam defender Park Jin-seob intervened.
The only problem was that when he did so, Toto Sgp television replays have shown that the ball looked to be behind the line. The referee waved away the red-shirted protests and seconds later, as the laws of football decree, Seongnam’s Brazilian hot-shot striker Mota found acres of space in the Seoul penalty area to stroke the ball home for the only goal of the game.
Obviously Seoul and the travelling fans were not happy. Coach Lee Jang-soo said after the game.
“I am a football man and not one to complain,” complained Lee after the game “but it was clearly a goal and the wrong decision.”
“We have worked so hard this season to get here and we now feel that it is so …