That’s the romance of the All-Star Game, and the fans of Team K-League showed us the end of it.
Team K League defeated Atletico 3-2 in the ‘Coupang Play Series’ at Seoul World Cup Stadium on July 27 at 8pm.
The team that faced Atletico was composed of the best players in the current K League. Team K League consisted of the Fan Eleven, selected by fans, and the Pick Eleven, selected by the coaching staff. The Fan Eleven included Lee Seung-woo (Suwon FC), Na Sang-ho (Seoul), Lee Min-gyu (Ulsan), Sejing-ya (Daegu), Baek Seung-ho (Jeonbuk), Bae Jun-ho (Daejeon), Anton (Daejeon), Seol Young-woo (Ulsan), Jung Tae-wook (Jeonbuk), Kim Young-kwon (Ulsan), and Lee Chang-geun (Daejeon).
The Pick Eleven includes Gerso (Incheon), Zeca (Pohang), Hayes (Jeju), Lee Soon-min (Gwangju), Palosevic (Seoul), Han Young (Gangwon), Grant (Pohang), Lee Ki-je (Suwon), Timo (Gwangju), Hwang Jae-won (Daegu), and Cho Hyun-woo (Ulsan). In total, 22 prominent players represented the K League against Atletico.
When the game started, Atletico played a solid first half with tight defensive spacing. Team K-League’s forwards were passing the ball around and looking for openings, but the Atletico defense kept a steady distance and refused to give them any space. Eventually, Atletico took the lead in the 13th minute of the first half when Toma Lema scored on a counterattack.
However, Team K-League did not give up. In the second half, Team K League started to come alive. In the 15th minute of the second half, Anton tied the game with a header off a free kick from Sejingya. Atletico went back in front. In the 40th minute, Carlos Martin slotted home a pass from Angel Correa to give Atletico the lead.
It looked like Atletico would win the game, but Team K-League fought back. In the 42nd minute, Palocevic converted a penalty kick earned by Gerso, and then in stoppage time, Lee Soon-min scored a right-footed mid-range shot to give Team K League a 3-2 victory.
It was a worthy victory for Team K League. Even though it was an all-star game, Team K-League players were not deterred by Atletico’s quality and never gave up to pull off the upset.
It was a true “one team,” and coach Hong Myung-bo had a lot to do with bringing the players from 12 different teams together. In a video released on the K League’s official YouTube channel on the 29th, the coach motivated the 22 players from 12 different teams before the game. “Atletico is the best team in Europe,” Hong told the players in the locker room before kickoff. But they’re in preseason now, building up. There are a lot of people here to support you, so be more confident.” He created a “one team” and the players eventually came together to win.
The aftermath of the game was still fresh. The most valuable scene was outside the stadium. Team K League fans came together to organize a joint carnival. A carnival is a supportive culture where K League fans usually sing a medley of cheers outside the stadium when their team wins. On this day, 12 K-League 1 teams wore different uniforms and organized a carnival together.
Fans sang each team’s anthem together, no matter who they were. Seoul’s cheer “Bamo Champion” and Incheon’s “My Love Incheon FC” also appeared. Ulsan’s signature cheer, “Goodbye,” followed. The fans sang along with the chants without hesitation.
The chants also transcended rivalries. When Suwon Samsung’s “In the Heart of the Islands” rang out, all fans sang along. Even fans from Suwon’s rival Seoul joined in. Conversely, when “FC Seoul Aleale” came on, Suwon fans sang along, and a fan wearing the jersey of Seoul’s Cho Young-wook spun the blue-and-white umbrella, Suwon’s symbol.무지개벳
Everyone wears different jerseys and supports different teams, but on this day, everyone was united. It was a romantic scene that confirmed the true meaning of the All-Star Game.