Hannam University stands at the top of the Baekdu Daeganggi after last year.
안전놀이터Hannam University, coached by Park Kyu-sun, won the title after a penalty shootout against Ajou University, coached by Ha Seok-joo, in the final of the 18th Baekdu Intercollegiate Football Tournament for first- and second-year students at Taebaek Sports Complex in Taebaek, Gangwon Province, on Saturday. After finishing 2-2 after extra time, Hannam and AJU were evenly matched in the penalty shootout. Ha, who was sent off in the semi-final against Sangji University, had to watch the defeat from the stands.
It was Hannam’s second consecutive victory in the tournament, having defeated Korea University last year to reach the top of the podium. Hannam, which boasted a formidable firepower from the group stage, scored three or more goals in three consecutive matches from the round of 16 to the quarter-finals. Fans at the final chanted “Hannam, the strongest,” and Hannam proved it perfectly. After winning the title for the first time in 10 years in 2013, Ajou University lost the trophy right in front of their eyes.
Defending champions Hannam dominated the first half. Hannam attacked with short passes, while Azudae crouched at the back looking for a shot.
Hannam opened the scoring in the seventh minute when striker Kim Min-ki found the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside. Hannam kept possession of the ball and tried to find an opening, but their final passes and shots in the attacking area lacked accuracy.
Despite Ajou University’s stingy defence, Hannam threatened the goal with sharp shots, but it was not to be. Oh Seo-jin in the 22nd minute and Kim Dong-jin six minutes later both hit the post. Ajou University also had one crucial counterattack opportunity in the 38th minute, but Han Bin’s shot sailed over the bar.
Focusing on defence, Azudae made four changes at the start of the second half. Hannam only made one change.
The tide turned in the second half. Azudae pushed forward with more time on the ball, and in the third minute of the second half, Jang Yun-sik had a shot from the right side of the penalty box that went just wide of the far post. Ajou University also pushed forward, but lacked decisiveness, and in the 21st minute, Ajou University brought on Sung Ki-wan, who had scored in three consecutive games since the Round of 16, apart from Jang Yun-sik.
Hannam University (red) and Ajou University in the Baekdu Daeganggi final.(Photo by Kim Hee-woong)
Azu University (blue top) players celebrate after scoring a dramatic equaliser.(Photo by Kim Hee-woong)
The game intensified towards the end of regulation time. Hannam turned the tide in the 32nd minute when Kim Min-jae’s header from a corner kick found the top corner of the net. Hannam opened the scoring in the 38th minute with a ‘goal kick’. A long kick from goalkeeper Kim Yong-beom found Lee Ho-young on the right flank. Shortly after, Lee’s cross was blocked by a defender, but the onrushing Kim Min-jae slotted it home to break the deadlock.
Azu University scored a dramatic equaliser in stoppage time. In the second half of extra time, Park Young-joon curled a shot from near the arc to split the Hannam goal.
Hannam players celebrate after Jung Seung-bae’s goal in the first half of overtime (Photo by Kim Hee-woong)
The overtime period was also a battle without any concessions. In the ninth minute of overtime, Hannam took the lead again. Jung Seung-bae received a cross from Choi Won-seok and slotted the ball home with his right foot after beating the goalkeeper. Ajou University levelled the scores in the fourth minute of the second half of extra time when Cho Sang-hyuk’s header bounced off the crossbar after being blocked by the goalkeeper.
With the momentum in their favour, Azudae pushed forward in the remaining time, but the teams were evenly matched in the penalty shootout. Hannam defeated Ajou University 3-2 in the penalty shootout to take the top spot for the second consecutive year.
◇ 18th 1st and 2nd Grade College Football Tournament Baekdu Daeganggi Final
Hannam University 2(3PSO2)2 Ajou University
Taebaek Kim Hee-woong Reporter