After being swept by last-place Suwon Samsung in the season-ending Super Match in Anbang, acting head coach Kim Jin-gyu of K League One FC Seoul called it the most painful defeat of his career.
Speaking after the team’s 37th round home match against Suwon at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Friday, Kim said, “I’m sorry to the fans who came out in large numbers. I think it’s an irreparable defeat for our fans,” he said, adding, “It seems like everything we’ve done so far has been wasted.”
Seoul, who secured the highest seventh-place finish in this season’s K League One Final B, went down 0-1 to Suwon. They were unable to overcome a goal conceded by Bassani in the 18th minute of the second half.
It was an even more disappointing defeat for Seoul, whose fans are still reeling from their failure to qualify for Final A, as they dropped the rivalry Super Match in their final home game of the year. The story was more mixed for relegation-threatened Suwon, who dramatically improved their chances of survival with the win.
“We tried to score a lot of goals, but it didn’t work out,” Kim said of the difference between the two teams. We should have finished when we had the chance and scored.” On the day, Seoul recorded 10 shots, including three on target.
With 36,700 fans in attendance at Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul has now drawn a total of 432,929 fans in 19 home matches this season, surpassing the 400,000 mark for the first time since the 2018 season when the K League began officially tracking only paying fans.
The average attendance also surpassed 20,000 for the first time (22,633), and the record for the highest average attendance in a season in Korean professional sports was also set on the day, surpassing the 21,901 of the Lotte Giants in the 2008 KBO, but Seoul was unable to reward the fans with a win.
In the final minutes of the game, when Seoul’s deficit was deepening, players from both teams engaged in “bench clearing” due to intense nerves.
“The players didn’t need to get excited in front of so many fans, but I don’t know if it was necessary for both teams to do that. There were a lot of young fans, and they shouldn’t have shown that kind of behavior,” said Kim.
Seoul will try to achieve the “beauty of the species” on Dec. 2 against Daejeon Hana Citizens.
“We won’t be able to change many players, but the young players who train with the A team will have a chance,” Kim said of the plan. 토토