‘Super Match’ ends with no winner

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‘Super Match’ ends with no winner

Substitute Dzenan Radoncic scored a late equalizer, and a 10-man Suwon Bluewings team once again denied FC Seoul’s attempt to snap its winless streak against their metropolitan archrival in the first “Super Match” of the season yesterday in the Gyeonggi city of Suwon.

Dejan Damjanovic ?gave Seoul an early 1-0 lead, and the visitor continued the charge after North Korean striker Jong Tae-se was fouled out in the 38th minute. But, Radoncic pulled back for Suwon with his 88th-minute header, sending the home crowd of 37,879 at the Suwon World Cup Stadium to their feet. ?

With a 1-1 draw, Suwon ran its undefeated streak against Seoul to nine games. The draw also kept the Bluewings atop the table in the K-League Classic, a point ahead of the Pohang Steelers, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Gyeongnam FC on Saturday.

Seoul remains winless in six games, the longest-ever winless streak for a K-League defending champion?. The Lucky-Goldstar Hwangso, the predecessor of FC Seoul, lost two matches and drew three others in the first five games of the 1991 season. “I expected a tough game, but it was tougher than that,” said Suwon coach Seo Jung-won, who experienced his first Seoul-Suwon match as a coach?.

“But, I thought there would be a chance in the second half and reminded ?the players [of that fact]. I want to compliment the players for not giving up till the end.”

Seoul’s chance started with Koh Myong-jin. The 24-year-old midfielder, while on defense, intercepted the ball and dribbled it to the left side before passing it to Damjanovic. The seasoned striker, after easily avoiding Edward Bosnar’s tackle, fired a midrange right-footer which bounced once before hitting the back of the net.

Radoncic, a Montenegrin substitute in the 84th minute, offset his compatriot’s ?goal, converting a Stevica Ristic cross into a header, which Seoul goalkeeper Yu Sang-hun ?barely touched before it went into the left rear side of the net.

Cha Du-ri made his K-League Classic debut in the game after spending 10 years in Europe, mostly in Germany. The World Cup defender played the entire 90-minute game, providing help in the pullback. His debut also featured a showdown between him and his Bundesliga pal Jong, who committed a tackle foul against the Seoul goalkeeper.

FC Seoul coach Choi Yong-soo said Jong’s exit ?didn’t help his team.

“The advantage in number proved rather poisonous for us,” the coach said. “As time went by, our players seemed to be losing focus.”

By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]
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