On Saturday afternoon i meet up with a work mate and his partner and headed into Seoul. I'd been excitedly waiting for this day for some time. After watching at a distance the beginning of the 2006-07 Premier League i was filled with the thrills of football fever. So arranging a week back to buy tickets on the internet the three of us were off to watch Korea play Iran.
I'd been to a few games here before but this was my first fully fledged international. And with almost the first string Korean team flying in, i knew it was going to be exciting for everyone concerned.
We turned up a few hours early with the intention of getting a couple of beers in before the game. That was a mission in itself, we ran in circles before finally finding a place that had to turn on the lights for us as they were just opening. It was nearly 6pm by this time. They are late starters in this part of the world.
So we had our beers and went to the ground. With good intentions we pushed our way into the extremely large and extremely overcrowded supermarket under the stadium to buy a few more beers and some snacks. Beers that were, a few moments later, taken from us as we weren't allowed to bring cans in. But our spirits were not dampened.
We qued and finally found our seats with great views of the ptich and settled in to watch a decent game of footy. Hoping for a goalfest we were instead treated to a tight match with the first goal not coming until the end of the first half. Korea went into the break grasping their lead. The second half was a repeat and after ninety minutes thought the game was done when a freak goal from Iran lobbing the keeper saw them level the score and come away with a disappointing draw. The hype we'd seen from the grown throughout the game was blown like last christmas's balloon and all made their slow way home with downward cast eyes and deflated spirits. The draw however did not detract from our own pleasures of seeing a live game of international football and to be a part of the enthusiastic experience.