Team K-League’s Lee Soon-min celebrates after scoring the winning goal during the first leg of the 2023 Coupang Play Series match between Team K-League and Atletico Madrid at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Mapo-gu, Seoul, on July 27.
Team K-League defeated Spanish La Liga giants Atletico Madrid thanks to a late goal from Lee Soon-min (Gwangju) in stoppage time.
Team K League won 3-2 in a friendly match against AT Madrid in the first leg of the Coupang Play Series at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Sunday. Team K League, which is composed of 22 players, including 11 fan-voted and 11 manager-selected players, reported its first win in two matches after losing 3-6 to Tottenham (England) in the first Coupang Play Series match last year. Last season, former Jeonbuk head coach Kim Sang-sik took the helm of Team K League, and this year, Ulsan head coach Hong Myung-bo took over the reins.
AT Madrid is a strong team that finished third in La Liga last season with 77 points, behind Barcelona (88) and Real Madrid (78). Since Argentine coach Diego Simeone (53) took over in December 2011, the club has never finished lower than third in the league from the 2012-2013 season through last season. On two occasions during that time (2013-2014 and 2020-2021), the club won the league title, beating Barcelona and Real. AT Madrid have won 11 La Liga titles, the third most in their history behind Real (35) and Barcelona (27). In the summer transfer window, the club signed Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), who had been playing for Mallorca (Spain) until last season.
In the first half, AT Madrid showed off their superiority over Team K League with a number of key players. From the start of the game, they pushed Team K-League relentlessly. With Antoine Griezmann, Koke, and other key players, AT Madrid wowed the crowd several times with short passes, kill passes that broke down the defense, and dazzling individual shots. Simeone was also diligent on both sides of the technical area, calling on his players to complete plays, counterattacks, and more.
The first goal came in the 13th minute. After Griezmann’s shot from the right side of the penalty area was saved by Team K League goalkeeper Lee Chang-geun (Daejeon) during a counterattack by AT Madrid, Toma Lemar, who was in the second line, cracked the net with a left-footed shot. If not for Lee’s “super saves” (four) and the referee’s flag being raised after AT Madrid crossed the line (offside – three times), there could have been more goals.
At the start of the second half, AT Madrid replaced all 11 starters who played in the first half, and Team K League, which only had domestic players in its starting lineup, introduced five foreign players, including Sejingya (Daegu) and Zeca (Pohang). The game became more even than the first half. In the fifth minute of the second half, Team K League struck back when Sejingya (Daegu) floated a ball from the left side of the penalty area on a set play and Anton (Daejeon) headed it in front of the goal to equalize. With the substitutions of Palosevic (Seoul) in the ninth minute of the second half and Hayes (Gwangju) in the 19th minute of the second half, Team K League became a team with seven out of 10 field players who were foreigners. The game was like a European showdown.
AT Madrid took a 2-1 lead in the 40th minute with a goal from Carlos Martin, but Team K League equalized two minutes later when Gerso (Incheon) was fouled inside the AT Madrid penalty area and Palocevic converted the penalty kick in the 44th minute. In stoppage time, Lee Soon-min (Gwangju) scored the winning goal with a right-footed mid-range shot from in front of the penalty arc. A total of 58,903 fans attended the match at Seoul World Cup Stadium to cheer on both teams.
AT Madrid will play Manchester City (England), who won the “treble” last season, at the same venue on the 30th. City, who played friendlies against Yokohama Mariners (Japan) and Bayern Munich (Germany) in Japan, 스포츠토토 arrived at Incheon Airport on the 27th.