SEOUL, South Korea — Fans turned out in huge numbers in South Korea to cheer for their team in the World Cup, though they went home disappointed after a 2-1 loss to Uruguay.
Police had estimated over 900,000 supporters would turn out Saturday in public locations across the nation. Nearly 400,000 were expected to gather at sites in Seoul. A final tally could not immediately be obtained.
Fireworks lit up downtown Seoul as South Korea scored a goal in the second half that leveled the match at 1-1. But the joy didn’t last as Uruguay scored what proved to be the winning goal soon after.
“It was a fun match to watch but I guess we didn’t have enough luck to win,” said Oh Hee-taek, a 20-year-old student who turned out on a rainy night in the capital.
Most fans wore red T-shirts and many sported plastic headbands with fluorescent horns — a trademark of the national team’s official fan organization, the Red Devils.
“We should be happy with the fact that we advanced to the round of 16,” said businessman Kim Yong-guk.
Despite the loss, drivers in southern Seoul honked in support of the team as fans trudged home, some cursing out of disappointment while others expressed anger for what they saw as unfair refereeing calls.