The friendly match between the K-league All-Stars and Juventus got off to an unexpectedly rocky start.
The game was supposed to kick off at 8 PM,… but the Italian side had their flight from China delayed and arrived at the stadium just after 8.
The kick-off got underway more than 50 minutes later than originally scheduled.
Boos rang out from South Korean fans who were inside a packed stadium on the rainy night,… but many fans still waited patiently to greet the star players representing the Italian giants.
Less than 10 minutes into the game,… Spanish midfielder Osmar Barba of FC Seoul quickly gave the K-League All-Stars a one-nil lead.
However, Juventus answered with an equalizer just two minutes later.
In the dying minutes of the first half,… team K-League re-took the lead with an intricately flowing move resulting in a neat finish from Cesinha.
The Brazilian ran off in joy,… imitating the Cristiano Ronaldo's iconic celebration.
Anticipation started to build when the first half ended, with fans and even the players expecting superstar Ronaldo to be subbed into the match.
"I was very impressed with the performance by K-league players in the first half, and I am very excited to see Ronaldo's play in the second half."
But when the second half began,… the anticipation quickly turned to bewilderment, as the 34-year old Portuguese remained glued to the bench.
Every time Ronaldo was caught on camera, people started chanting his name, eager to see him on the pitch.
In the meantime, one goal from the All-Stars, and two goals from Juventus in the second-half made the game 3-3.
But for the gathered fans, the scoreline was the least of their concerns.
Some fans started leaving the stadium during the second half,… and the final whistle was met with a chorus of loud boos, with some even chanting "Messi Messi," in reference to Ronaldo's rival.
"I can imagine the frustration. The game itself had been delayed a lot, and the spectators were all waiting to see Ronaldo on the pitch."
Some fans even asked for a refund on their tickets, citing an agreement between the match organizers and the Italian club that guaranteed an appearance by Ronaldo during the match.
Frustration and anger has boiled over, not only over the absence of Ronaldo on the pitch, but also his no-show at a fan event held just before the match, pouring cold water over what was supposed to be a marquee event.
Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News.