Oct 4, 2012
Thursday Tavern Kickaround begins with new FIFA rankings, and South Korea’s Taeguk Warriors moves up 2 spots in the October update, going from 27th to 25th. Australia’s Socceroos fall back 9 spots -out of the top 30 and into 34th place. They’re still reeling from back to back losses in September (3-0 loss to Lebanon and 2-1 loss to Jordon). Japan remains unmoved in the 23rd position. See here for the full updated rankings
|RANK||October FIFA Table Rank 21-30||PTS||+/-||POS|
|28||Republic of Ireland||757||-2|
Ulsan Hyundai moves on to the SemiFinals of the AFC Asian Champions League, defeating Al Hilal earlier on Wednesday by a score of 4-0 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A brace by Brazilian forward Rafinha and goals from the Wookie (Kim Shin-Wook) and Lee Keun-Ho sealed their passage to a semifinals clash with Uzbekistan champions Bunyodkor. K-Talk got an angle of the game over on his blog here.
In a short midweek roundup for Koreans playing in Europe, Lee Chung-Yong and Kim Bo-Kyung both were in the 18 man rosters for their respective sides on Tuesday, but only Kim got onto the pitch. Kim subbed in for the last 10 minutes of a Cardiff 2-1 victory over Birmingham City, coming in for a banged up Craig Bellamy. Bellamy scored earlier and along with Mark Hudson’s first half goal, shot the Bluebirds up to the top of the N-Power Championship table.
BigSoccer Forum poster and friend of the Tavern, CJay was gracious enough to share his photos of the match and his take on Wednesday (originally posted in the BigSoccer Koreans Abroad forum):
“We are unbeaten at home, and unbeaten in red (new season kit colour)… maybe it is a lucky colour…a lot of quick runs and calling for the ball all the time. He got into a great position for a goal and could have scored -but the ball crossed/passed in was very quick. He helped a bit in defence, when under pressure he blasted the ball to safety (needed as there was one min to go). He also barged a big stocky 6ft + defender off the ball.” CJay went on to favorably compare his performance with last Saturday’s 20 minute outing for Cardiff, also a victory, 3-0 over Blackpool.
So there you go. Kim hasn’t seen the full 90 minutes yet for Cardiff, but he’s appeared in 4 out of the last 6 Cardiff matches since being officially active with the first team. Bit of a good trend there, which can’t exactly be said for Lee Chung-Yong and his Bolton Wanderers side. The team as a whole has been stuck in gear in the dregs of the N-Power Championship table. On Tuesday, Bolton had to come from behind to manage a 2-2 draw with Leeds. Lee did not see any time on the pitch. Not exactly sure what is going on with the team dynamics – but one possible scenario is perhaps Lee has fallen out of favor with manager Owen Coyle. Tavern will continue to monitor the situation with the Blue Dragon and Bolton’s struggle to promotion.
Last but not least we go back to South Korea: last Thursday Choi Kang-Hee released his roster for the upcoming World Cup Qualifier on October 16 when the Taeguk Warrior goes head to head with Iran. Let’s go to K-Talk about who South Korea will be calling up to duty: “Coach Choi’s biggest surprise was leaving off Lee Dong-Gook from the roster. In a press conference early this week, he said that he had already made up his mind about this as his former club player had been showing signs of fatigue in club and international matches. After an absence from the roster, Son Heung-Min of Hamburg returns as Kang Hee noted his ability to control the wing as well as attack the net. Son has 3 goals for his club this season.”
3 words: The Tavern Rejoices. We noted back in early September concerning Lee’s lackluster performance in the Taeguk Warriors 2-2 draw with Uzbekistan. Now that Boss Choi seems to be finally making necessary adjustments, eyes are now on Son Heung-Min, currently helping to do his part to restart Hamburg’s Bundesliga season. They’ve now won their last 2 games and looking for 3 in a row against SpVgg Greuther Furth this Saturday. Not to disrespect SpVgg Greuther Furth fans worldwide, but that really could be the name of James Bond’s next diabolical villain to tangle with. Half of the battle will depend on Bond’s abilities to successfully pronounce his adversary’s name.
What’s that whistle sound in the distance? Apparently I’ve been yellow carded for a rude display of behavior concerning said Bundesliga club. I’d best go now, but lest I forget- on your radar should be: today Park Joo-Ho and Basel FC facing off against Genk in the Europa League and the next day, Park Chu-Young + Celta Vigo friday bash at home against Sevilla. Park has only good memories of Celta Vigo’s home base since he scored at the Balaidos 2 weeks ago and became the first Korean to score in La Liga. I’ll leave you with the official roster of all the Taeguk Warriors getting called up on the Oct 16th WCQ against Iran. nite nite.
|Team Squad (For The World Cup Qualifier vs. Iran -26.09.2012)|