Friday, June 18, 2010

Korea vs Argentina at Olympic Park

When Thursday rolled around, it was time for Korea to face it's second opponent in Group B, Argentina. For those who know nothing about soccer, like me, Argentina is one of the top teams in the world, #7 in the world to be exact according to FIFA's website. With Korea ranking #47 we all knew it was going to be a rough game. But, you know, after watching Korea crush Greece 2:0, and watching Nigeria hold up remarkably well against Argentina (though still loosing 1:0), everyone though Korea might come out... well, not as winners, but at least respectably well considering the circumstances.

I went straight to Olympic Park after finishing work, as it was the closest venue to watch the game. I didn't get there until 20 minutes into the game, and the first thing we realized that we missed in those 20 minutes was that Park Chu-young accidentally deflected the ball into Korea's own net, scoring the first point for Argentina.

Just before the first half ended, Korea scored it's first and only goal of the night. The crowd went wild, but I must say that Olympic Park was much tamer than City Hall. Everyone was sitting until this goal was scored and the strobe lights flew on. Much more family orientated here.

The rest of the game didn't go too well for Korea. In the end, Korea lost 4:1, a defeat much worse than anyone could have expected. There were no crazy celebrations after the game like the last one, everyone picked up their things and got out as quickly as they could. Now we place our bets for the game with Nigeria next week. Nigeria has lost two games, so I expect they will be fighting hard to get one win out of the tournament.

Viewing at Olympic Park was much calmer than City hall. Because we showed up so late, we were unable to get into the main viewing area, but we were able to watch on the big soccer ball screen set up in front of the Olympic Peace Gate. There were many families with small children, and folks more or less settled down on mats on the ground with snacks and drinks to watch the game. The next game is a 3:30 am match in Korea, so I expect I will watch the final match at home.... if I can manage to stay up that late on a weekday...

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