2015 EAFF Cup: South Korea 2:0 China

Stielike’s first match in the EAFF tournament ends in a 2-0 W over the China Men’s National Team. Although the game had a slow start, the KNT came out of their slumber to set up Kim Seung-Dae with a goal before half-time. With the momentum of the fans and players shifted, the KNT scored their second in the 54th minute. It was a brilliant team effort and a fine solo effort from Lee Jong-Ho. China was the more aggressive of the two sides, however, they could not overcome an opposition which seemed to be more awake. In the end, North Korea and South Korea both have their first wins and Stielike will have already have an idea of what to expect vs. Japan.

FIRST HALF

Korea kept possession well but the first half of the game was a slow start for both teams. By the 40th minute, there were no shots on goal from either side.

There were several instances from the Chinese players that suggested that they were not the fittest of the match. They were also more physical and had drawn more fowls. There was some worry when Hong Chul had to come off the field with bleeding near the eye area.  Other than the fouling, I felt both teams wanted to play it safe and had trouble getting to the final third of the pitch. The Taeguk Warriors seemed to get better as the minutes went by because more opportunities were being created. The buildup to Kim Seung-Dae’s goal was quite impressive. The triangle was set up and the players had much more movement than ever. A thorough ball was made and Kim-Seung Dae was on the other end of it. He kept his composure well to roll the ball in the end just in time for the break.

 

SECOND HALF

Looks like Stielike’s half-time talk payed off for his team. At first, Lee Jong-Ho had a great opportunity to score but could not get the ball past the goalkeeper. This perhaps was alluding to what was to come in the 54’ minute. Korea took advantages of a weakening opposition to set up goal number two. Lee Jong-Ho displayed some wonderful skill by flicking the ball past the goalkeeper to pretty much set the game’s result in stone and make amends for his earlier miss. There was some trouble in the Korea’s defense when China kicked the ball into the penalty area but the player on the other side of it could not take advantage of a completely open opportunity. In the end, it’s a 2-0 win for Korea.

THOUGHTS

A solid performance from the Taeguk Warriors. It’s possible that the Chinese were less physically prepared coming into this match and that it helped with today’s win. The game started off slowly and I wish Stielike’s side would have focused more on moving into the final third rather than making passes that seemed pointless. A positive from this match is how Korea became more and more fluid as time went by. There was more space opened up by the KNT to confuse its opposition during the buildup to the first goal. Although this tournament isn’t over, it looks like that some progress has already been made and that the team’s performance is increasing in small increments.

 

 

About Jeremy Paek 33 Articles
Korean footy fan/lover of life based in Los Angeles.