Monday, June 28, 2010

Korea-Uruguay in City Hall

Went down to City Hall to see Korea vs. Uruguay.  Missed the other games in a public, mob-setting, so I'm glad I went out to catch that one.

As game action goes, Uruguay looked really sharp on the goals they scored, and Korea will rue that goalpost free-kick in the first ten minutes. Uruguay was dumb to lay back and let Korea attack for the beginning of the second half, but the way they scored to re-take the lead made it look like they'd been toying with Korea all along. On the other hand, the Uruguayan goalie was forced to make some pretty tough stops on some very impressive setups...but he did. All in all, Korea put in a good effort, but didn't quite have the chops to top Uruguay; however, they should hold their heads high. They put forth a very respectable showing this year. The crowd was the main reason I went, though the wind went out of those sails after Uruguay's first goal; however, it's still worthwhile to get out and join tens of thousands of Korea soccer fans once every four years: the atmosphere, especially before the kickoff, is great.

And there was barely any booing of the Uruguayan National Anthem! One drunk guy near me was shouting shut up, and a few people booed in the first five seconds, and then stopped: it seemed like they got shushed by people around them who actually knew what sports are for.

The crowds, then:

The station was a madhouse, with police shepherding people to the correct exits, and blocking others.

Because it was dark, and rainy, the photos I took around city hall had longer exposures, and they have a kind of blurry, dreamy quality.  I like that.  The crowd here was awesome during the build up to the game, but as soon as Uruguay took the lead, it started kind of sucking.

These three very nice people are students at the KDI, from central-asian countries.  They invited me to watch the game with them.  I did, until the crowd behind us decided to sit, and told us to sit, which would have meant parking my but in a puddle, which sounds like the opposite of fun to me, so I took off to get more pictures of other areas.




Heres' a video of what the scene was like.

By Gwanghwamun, the cheering section was nicer, the crowds weren't so insane, and the atmosphere was generally more laid back.  In a good way.

Maybe my best crowd shot of city hall.  I didn't have my camera out as much as I'd have liked, because it was getting rained on, and I don't want my camera messed up with water damage right before my family comes to Korea, I get married, and I go on a honeymoon.  That'd, like, suck.

raindrops on the lens: looks nice, unless you're the one who paid for a camera that's getting wet.


after a while, the crowd called on people to stow their umbrellas, which made better viewing but fewer layers to the photos.  I lost my umbrella.  I lost two umbrellas this weekend, and gave a third away.

Gwanghwamun plaza wasn't too busy.

I was lucky enough to be filming when Korea scored... that reaction, and some of these other reactions to some close calls, are worth a watch as well.

Down the sides of Gwanghwamun Plaza was a big display of Korea's world cup history.

I especially liked this frame: I had no idea color film wasn't invented until after 1986.


or that giving birth to opposing players was legal during gameplay.

A lot of people were happy to pose for the cameras.

Some of them gave me  cigarette smelling hugs.  (not these ones, though)]

These next two pictures are cool: I like the way these two young people were totally rapt with the game action.


And the giant poo watched over it all.  and it was good.

Sejong and Admiral Lee weren't as into the game action as the rest.  Maybe the team could have used admiral Lee as a coach.  Except he'd have invented "Turtle cleats", and that might not have gone so well in a game of speed.

Other than city hall proper, the crowd was relatively sparse.  Rain'll do that.

Most of the world cup, uh, fashion, was covered in raincoats... but I caught a picture of this little group.


조안나 said...

I love the second picture, the one with the girl's face perfectly in focus and everything else blurry. Actually all the pictures came out quite well considering the conditions.
You're lucky you're tall. Even when I raised my camera as high as I could at the opening game two weeks ago, I was still just barely seeing over the tops of people's heads! Koreans are tall...

Anonymous said...

Great pictures. The City Hall scene was certainly a mad house in previous games as well. I saw the first goal of the first match against Greece, in the midst of the hot, sweaty, beer drenched madness... then escaped to the comforts of a/c for the remainder.