“It was really hard”…Baek Jong-beom on the emotional weight of being a ‘guardian spirit’ in penalty shootout

Baek Jong-beom, who has become the real-life “guardian spirit” of FC Seoul, was humbled by his performance.

Seoul advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2024 Hana Bank Korea Cup with a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Gangwon FC after a scoreless extra-time thriller in the round of 16 at Seoul World Cup Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Monday. Their quarterfinal opponents are the Pohang Steelers.

Baek Jong-beom was the guardian of victory. In a game that was dominated by Seoul throughout, Baek Jong-beom didn’t have to do much at the back, but he was steady. In the penalty shootout, where goalkeeping was crucial, Baek saved Kangwon’s No. 5 kicker 온라인카지노 Ryu Kwang-hyun’s shot to send Seoul to the quarterfinals.

After the game, Baek Jong-beom said, “We had a long losing streak at home, so I’m glad we broke it. I’m grateful to the players who played hard for 120 minutes up front,” he said, giving credit to his teammates.

Seoul played a dominant game, barely touching the ball at the back. Seoul head coach Kim Ki-dong also criticized his team’s finishing, but praised their performance. Baek Jong-beom, who watched the game from the back, had his own assessment.

“In the first half, we dominated to the point where we didn’t concede a shot. It’s rare for me to play 120 minutes and not have a shot on goal. It was a perfect game without a goal,” he said, praising the players on the field.

As for how he prepared for the penalty shootout, the goalkeeper said, “We practiced the penalty shootout yesterday, but we didn’t have a lot of information because we didn’t take many penalty kicks. I thought the last kick was going to go there, but I jumped there and blocked it. I was lucky,” he said modestly.

This season, Seoul has been making a lot of mistakes on defense, including Baek Jong-beom. However, in this match, there were no mistakes at the back that led to goals or breakdowns. The game against Gangwon could be a chance for a turnaround as they snapped their losing streak at home.

Baek Jong-beom said, “First of all, it was hard for two months. I prepared really hard while playing soccer, but I also made mistakes that I shouldn’t have. I was able to come out because the coach believed in me. The team’s performance is improving, and we want to show better at home starting today,” he said.

On playing with the likes of Sulaka after a long absence, he added: “He’s a good player, but he didn’t get his chance. He saved a goal that should have been a goal. Hwang Hyun-su also had a good game. I think we can have a good effect in the future,” he said.

Finally, Baek Jong-beom thanked the Seoul supporters, saying, “I was grateful for their support until the end when we were losing. We went into the penalty shootout thinking that we would repay them. I’m glad I was able to make them happy,” he said.

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