FC Seoul seeks to beat odds in Guangzhou
Updated: 2013-11-09 10:56
GUANGZHOU, China - Seen as underdogs in Saturday's second leg of the AFC Champions League final at Guangzhou Evergrande's home stadium, FC Seoul refused to underestimate themselves as coach Choi Yong-soo said Friday that they're here to beat the odds.
"We traveled thousands of miles to Guangzhou aiming to make history," said the 40-year-old South Korean at a pre-game press conference at Tianhe Stadium here on Friday.
"We have a batch of great players who are confident, experienced and teamworkers. I think tomorrow we can beat the odds and the Evergrande, and come out the AFC champions."
After the 2-2 first leg draw on October 26, the well-heeled Chinese champions, led by World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi, have seen themselves put one hand on the continental trophy despite their defensive frailties.
Posters flying over the South Chinese metropolitan are even posed to hint that Guangzhou could become the country's first continental champions with a 3-0 victory at home, and a grand ceremony for post-game celebration is in preparation.
However, FC Seoul's Montenegrin player Dejan Damjanovic, who did the damage with a late equalizer in the 83rd minute to peg Guangzhou back to 2-2 and gave FC Seoul hope for the second leg, underlined the danger posed by the South Korean champs when he struck twice in their come-from-behind 2-1 win against Suwon Bluewings in K-League.
"The Evergrande is a very good team, but it's too early to prepare for celebration," Choi said. "A game is a game. No one can tell what's happening in a soccer game."
He declined to answer any question about their preparations for the second leg of the final, saying, "Don't ask me that. I won't tell any details, rather than telling my players to go all out and to win the match as well as the championship."
China's last success at this level was Liaoning's 1990 victory in the former Asian Club Championship, while the reigning South Korean League champions can become the Champions League's fifth South Korean winners since its inception in 2003.