Well, we won.
That’s pretty much where the positives end.
I’ll try to make a good match report out of this instead of ranting. It’s going to be hard.
Korea’s XI was as follows:
Kim Seung-Gyu; Kim Jin-Su, Jang Hyun-Soo, Kim Young-Gwon, Cha Du-Ri; Park Joo-Ho, Ki Sung-Yueng; Kim Min-Woo, Nam Tae-Hee, Lee Myung-Joo; Lee Keun-Ho.
The team had a couple surprise selections. Despite stating during the weekend that he was not going to change the goalie, Stielike, er… did. Kim Seung-Gyu came for Kim Jin-Hyeon. The flu virus could have been at fault as the bench was comprised of only 7 players instead of 12. Stielike stuck with the double-pivot of Park-Ki and Son missed out due to illness with Kim Min-Woo coming in.
Kuwait fielded a very defensive set-up, opting to leave striker Bader Al-Mutawa on the bench as he tends to be a lazy defender.
THE FIRST HALF
The first half was once again an extremely disappointing one. There was no cohesion whatsoever with the attacking players, and the quality of the half overall was pretty damn poor. Kuwait were making things a little uncomfortable for Korea by pressing a little higher up the pitch and it seemed the only person who could make a pass was Ki Sung-Yueng. Stielike was furious on the sidelines, screaming in disgust.
Jang Hyun-Soo began his awful day with 3 fouls in the space of 15 minutes, earning him a booking, while Kim Young-Gwon wasn’t distributing the ball as well as the should. There were too many long balls to the wings, especially to Nam Tae-Hee, who lost the aerial contests and possession was given away cheaply as it was if the Koreans tried to pass their way up the pitch.
Lee Keun-Ho came close with a run into the box and a nice pass from one of the CMs, but he finished in classic Lee Keun-Ho style, aka, not finishing at all.
The goal was a product of Cha Du-Ri, and Cha Du-Ri only. He picked up the ball in the opposition half and simply sprinted down his side, crossed it in to the box where Nam Tae-Hee was waiting to nod it home.
That said, the first half was very disappointing and much like against Oman, the goal was rather undeserving.
Second half began with the introduction of Cho Young-Cheol on the wing for Lee Myung-Joo. Most KNT managers have this one player who they oddly adore and play whenever possible (ie Lee Gwang-Jong and Lee Yong-Jae) so as poor of a player Cho is, I wasn’t too surprised to see him come on, considering the manager.
And after the first twenty minutes or so saw some promising passing patterns, the Kuwaitis had Korea on the ropes again with the introduction of Bader Al-Mutawa. Suddenly, their counters became more effective and they finished the game with long spells of possession in our half. Despite this, they couldn’t force Kim Seung-Gyu into a difficult save and their sole clear-cut chance their almost finished was one that hit the post earlier in the 2nd half.
As the game wore on the more it was evident how out of place Jang Hyun-Soo and Kim Young-Gwon were. They were simply unable to cope with their man and there was several heart-in-mouth moments that made you thank the heavens it wasn’t Honda or Ghoochannejad or Cahill playing against us. We cannot play the way we did defensively against stronger teams. We are lucky these two poor performances have been against Oman and Kuwait.
This isn’t much of a match report this early into the morning, I apologize. Let’s just finish off with my thoughts/ratings on some of the players. Feel free to poke holes and complain if I get them 0.5 off.
6 is average.
Kim Seung-Gyu – 6 – I would have wanted him to use his hands to grab the ball instead of going all Jung Sung-Ryong on us and punch everything, but it was rather slippery and raining. Don’t recall him getting beat other than the post, which wasn’t his fault.
Cha Du-Ri – 7 – He was impressive once more as fullback, not afraid to try and beat his man, fantastic cross which led to goal. Our oldest player seemed to be the only one out there playing.
Jang Hyun-Soo – 4 – I don’t know what score to give him, because they didn’t concede.. but I could just as easily give him a 1. Perhaps one of the worst CB performances this tournament. Always beaten by his man, never there when he needed to be… Stielike, drop him.
Kim Young-Gwon – 4.5 – Our “ball-playing Center back” just hoofed it long in desperation all day, and was squarely beaten by his man several times as well. Hardly a good game from Kim.
Kim Jin-Su – 4.5 – He’s so timid for the KNT! Go out there, take chances, show us what you have been doing in the Bundesliga. His passing was awful today as well.
Park Joo-Ho – 5.5 – I’m a fan of Park as Defensive Mid, I like how he actually covers for our fullbacks. That said, his distribution wasn’t that great at all, but he was busy covering for Kim Jin-Su EVERY FUCKING TIME.
Ki Sung-Yueng – 6.5 – Ki put in his regular shift, and he actually completed passes. Wow! What a feat!
Lee Myung-Joo – 5 – Did he DO anything?
Kim Min-Woo – 5 – He played longer than LMJ, but really didn’t have an impact. Couldn’t pass or keep the ball.
Nam Tae-Hee – 6 – Scored the goal but couldn’t really do much else, with how poorly his teammates were performing.
Lee Keun-Ho – 5.5 – Meh. He had a few good runs but lived up to my expectation of being pretty useless.
Cho Young-Cheol – 5 – Did HE do anything?!
Lee Jung-Hyub – 5 – I don’t recall him doing anything either. Either my memory is terrible or these players genuinely did not do anything useful other than lose the ball. Which actually isn’t useful. See, got to sleep.
Han Kook-Young – N/A – Didn’t do anything but was defensive sub for last couple minutes.
As I type these words, Australia lead 3-0 against Oman after the first half. This means Korea will qualify for the knockout stages for the 5th consecutive year, but will need to beat Australia to get into the 1st place spot and avoid going on the Japan-semi-final side of the bracket. Provided we get through the quarters…
So, let’s hear your rants in the comment section below. Good night from the TSC…