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.
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