E-1 Championship – Korea 4, Japan 1 — Player Ratings

South Korea have repeated as champions of the East Asian Cup with a 4-1 win over Japan in Tokyo, breaking a 7 year jinx!

You’re not dreaming — 4-1!

The Tavern will put up a comprehensive recap of the game later in the day, but for now, some player ratings:

Cho Hyunwoo – 8 – Though kept unbusy for large swathes of the match, made a couple really good reaction saves including a fantastic one near the end from close. Vaulted himself into the World Cup squad in my view.

Kim Jinsu – 8 – Excellent assist to Kim Shinwook for the first goal, combative, fiery, fluid, mobile… he played his role well.

Jang Hyunsoo – 6.5 – Conceded a stupid penalty and looked very shaken at the beginning. Recovered well but was still shakier than would have liked.

Yoon Youngseon – 7.5 – Didn’t stand out per se but did a good quiet job on his debut. Picked up a yellow for jumping in the way of a goal kick, haha.

Ko Yohan – 7.5 – Less stellar than Kim but stood out nonetheless. Both fullbacks did their jobs, providing width and menace.

Joo Sejong – 7.5 – Korea was solid in midfield, and Joo did keep the side flowing, didn’t get too many passes wrong against a Japanese team full of holes.

Jung Wooyoung – 9  – Got to be the best performance in a KNT shirt from Jung that we’ve seen in a long time. Cracking free kick – did you see the swerve on that thing? Confident, assured, controlled, even had a couple good pops from distance that looks dangerous.

Kim Minwoo – 7.5 – Admittedly didn’t notice him too much but like the rest of the offence, team flowed well and so did Kim. Seems to have gained the trust of the gaffer.

Lee Jaesung – 9 – What a player he is. Too good for the K League, sorry. Superb dribble to create the third goal for Kim Shinwook. Speaking of which…

Kim Shinwook – 9 – Too generous? Sure, but it’s a Haniljeon. Held up the ball well, won more aerial duels than usual, super stuff for the first goal (a classic header) and thumping finish for the third. Held up the ball very well.

Lee Keunho – 8 – Bit quieter than Kim but he was the player’s player today. Tireless veteran keeping things linked together.

SUBS

Yeom Kihun – 7.5 – Really lucky with the goal, but saw a weakness on the near post (he just went for it from a free kick, low and hard at the bottom corner since everyone was a expecting a floated delivery) and exploited it. Veteran’s stuff, you know?

Jung Seunghyeon – NB

Jin Seongwook – NB

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The maple syrup guzzling kimchijjigae craving Korean-Canadian, eh?

1 Comment

  1. First thing’s first… gotta be realistic. This was a shitty Japan side vs a slightly less shitty Korean side. It was our 1st stringdefense vs their 2nd string offense (and our 2nd string offense vs their 2nd string defense). Watching highlights, it sounds like Japan got the first goal and since they were going for a draw anyway they just sat back. Big mistake strategically.

    BUT

    What a fucking result nonetheless!! This at the very least shows the potential that our guys can have with the right mindset and right teamwork. When Korea plays a team like China and NK (or, ahem… Algeria, Morocco, Qatar, etc), it seems like they know they should win and really just don’t try that hard and can just fall to pieces.

    When Korea plays with a balls-to-the-wall attitude, an underdog mentality, and team unity and pride, not only can they win, but they can play in a GREAT way and get a fantastic result.

    Not saying this means we’re ready for the World Cup… far from it. But it is a great stepping stone and we can at least draw positives from this.

    And I’m just being honest here… this is one of the best results I’ve seen from Korea (over 23) in a few years.
    No European players… ahem…
    Don’t underestimate the strength, toughness, and team unity that Koreans have when they feel a common brotherhood with each other.
    Son Heung Min is hands down the best player from SK, and Ki is next. But the reports from 2014 qualification were of a locker room divide (if I’m remembering correctly) between the European players and K League players. I have sometimes felt that this could hold the KLeague guys back because they perhaps feel like they’re just not good enough to go to Europe when playing alongside Son, Ki, Koo, etc.

    If they are just with the cream of the crop from KLeague, there are no egos, and they at least have unity and commonality.

    Is this too much of a reach?

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