Na Sang-ho (27-FC Seoul) plays for the fans.
Seoul has been a disappointment this season. At the start of the season, under former coach Ahn Ik-soo, they were on fire, scoring 21 goals in 10 games. That’s more than defending champions Ulsan Hyundai scored in the same period. However, the mid-season slump began. From mid-July, the team went six games without a win, and the atmosphere sagged further when Ahn resigned. Eventually, the team faced the grim reality of Final B (7th-12th place) for the fourth consecutive year.
Seoul fans, or “guardian spirits,” expressed their anger from the first game after the team’s Final B exit. At the home game of the 34th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at Seoul World Cup Stadium on the 22nd, the Suho Shin hung hangers everywhere. The messages were angry about the team’s poor performance this season and the team’s lethargy, such as “The number one average attendance, and the reward is four consecutive sub-splits?”, “Do you see and feel the messages of disappointment and despair?”, and “Don’t turn the cheers of the Guardians who filled the stadium into screams”.
Nasangho responded to the fans. After a frustrating first half, Seoul took the lead in the eighth minute of the second half on a free kick by Na Sang-ho. After finding the back of the net for the first time in 12 games, he clasped his hands together and bowed his head in front of the fans. It was a gesture of apology for his and the team’s poor performance. The game ended in a 2-1 victory for Seoul, with Na Sang-ho scoring the first goal and Ji Dong-won adding the final goal.굿모닝토토 도메인
After the game, Na Sang-ho said, “Seeing the many hangers on the pitch made me realize how I should approach today’s game.” “We didn’t make it to Final A (1-6), and I blamed myself a lot. I thought I had to try harder for the fans, and that was my motivation.”
It’s not easy for Seoul to find motivation in the Final B. The psychological blow is even greater as they slipped through the Final A threshold. However, it is urgent to turn the hearts of disappointed fans around. As Na Sang-ho said, there is no hope for the future if the team can’t win back the fans who have turned their backs.