Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Parramatta: A late strike from Go Yo-han secured Korea Republic’s FC Seoul a valuable 1-1 draw against defending champions Western Sydney Wanderers in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
Western Sydney striker Kerem Bulut had given the home side a deserved lead inside the first 15 minutes only for FC Seoul to claim the equaliser with just over 20 minutes remaining through Go.
The draw leaves the pair level on points in second place in Group H with two games remaining, although with table-topping Guangzhou Evergrande losing 2-1 in Japan to Kashima Antlers, Western Sydney and 2013 finalists FC Seoul are now just four points adrift of the former champions from China.
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Popovic rues Western Sydney misses as Seoul grab draw
Bulut gave Western Sydney an ideal start after sweeping home from the edge of the penalty area after FC Seoul defender Kim Jin-kyu failed to deal with a raking long ball from Iacopo La Rocca.
Buoyed by the goal, the home side were on the front foot throughout the early exchanges with La Rocca, Bulut and Romeo Castelen linking up well on multiple occasions.
But despite the territorial dominance, the home side were proving profligate in front of goal with Labinot Haliti spurning two terrific chances just after the half-hour mark.
The striker was first found by Bulut, who had earlier robbed the FC Seoul defence of possession, but with the goal gaping could only fire off target.
And barely four minutes later Haliti again failed to find the target after pushing his header wide after being found by an inch-perfect Antony Golec cross.
Led by right back Cha Du-ri, FC Seoul found a foothold in the contest late in the first half and created chances through Koh Myong-jin and Everton Santos, although neither forced Western Sydney goalkeeper Ante Covic into a save.
The momentum continued to swing in favour of the away side after the break and after 53 minutes Mauricio Molina came within a coat of paint of finding an equaliser after hitting the crossbar with a piledriver from 25 yards that left Covic clutching at thin air.
Led by midfield maestro Molina, FC Seoul were dominant in an open second half and finally scored after 72 minutes when Cha burst down the right flank and sent in a low cross that Go finished with glee.
The goal re-invigorated Western Sydney who returned as an attacking force with goalscorer Bulut forcing Kim Yong-dae into numerous saves inside the final quarter of an hour.
But with opposite number Covic also coming out on top during an intense end to the contest, neither side was able to find a breakthrough.