[Asian Cup 2015] Game 2: Korea 1, Kuwait 0 – (shambles of a) Match Report

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 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…

About Tim Lee 321 Articles
The maple syrup guzzling kimchijjigae craving Korean-Canadian, eh?


  1. That was just plain scary. What’s the final verdict on LCY by the way? I’ve been hearing mixed stories here and there. Is he for sure out of the entire tournament?

  2. LCY out of the tournament it seems. Stielike has no game plan – contrast that with postecoglu. Ange has his teams (brisbane and melb victory and now australia) playing the same type of football. Stielike seems like he’s still trying to find out the right formula. The defence is just so crap…I’m scared every time the ball goes near the penalty box. Miracle we haven’t conceded.

    • its like he himself said no? how else is a defense going to look when your middies and attackers are constantly turning the ball over?

  3. My goodness, Stelicke was pissed after the game….I like what he is trying to do and I hope he stays as coach.
    This is not the way to win the Asian Cup….

  4. I feel like he is trying to get the team to play as a unit, pass better, and attack. When you watch korea play, there is no attacking, poor passing, and everyone stands around “hoping not to mess up.”

    Due to illness, he had to put some reserves in.

    We need to stick with this coach. When you look at most countries, Japan’s coach was there for 4 years. We change coachs like underwear…..this has go to stop.

    • Well, sticking with him is the only way this plan works out. There’s no sign of his ideas really taking hold yet, so I think there will be plenty of suffering over the next year or two.

      The problem is that international football (at the senior level) is very much a results thing. Team playing style/identity is often very much defined by the clubs or one or two very important players. Stielike may have big ideas for how he wants the team to play, but the reality is he has very little time to really implement them. A few days a month and maybe a couple weeks when there’s a big tournament.

          • Well Germany aren’t flawless either, but perhaps – a theory – the fact that most (if not all) German players play on the Bundesliga and play the German way.

          • It’s more that Germany could rely on a strong core of Bayern players (Neuer, Lahm, Muller, Kroos, Schweinsteiger, Boateng) like Spain did the cycle before with Barcelona (Xavi, Iniesta, Pique, Puyol, Pedro, Busquets) and Italy has done historically with Juventus/Milan. The team already has a high degree of identity/cohesion b/c of their club play. By contrast Argentina and the Netherlands fielded players from 9 different clubs in the finals.

            IMO teams broadly go for one of two options at the int’l level: A) rely on a core of players from one club team or B) rely on the individual talent of key players to carry them. Germany, Spain, Italy are examples of the former. Argentina, Brazil, England are examples of the latter.

  5. leg fracture? a friggen broken leg? somebody please tell me this was an overzealous writer talking shit? grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    • ??? I really don’t understand when people say this. We’ve got some pretty good players…relatively speaking but this is the weakest team I can remember in a while.

      Koo…vastly overrated
      Son…typicallly plays better for club than NT
      LCY…great but he’s gone
      Ki…great but is limited
      Nam…showing signs very recently of resurgence

      being midfield heavy.doesnt really do us much favor.

      i agree with your bony comment….swansea is screwed without him and a VERY tragic lost but your post seems to infer blaming stilecki who hasn’t been given that long of a chance. he needs to be given a lot more time.

      and his comments about not being good enough to beat Australia right now are bare bones truth meant to light a match under the players asses. he appears to be a passionate manager. maybe he’ll talk more detail about his plans with the team.

  6. “It also casts serious doubt over his chances of leaving Wanderers in the current transfer window.”

    Ive never used an emoticon before but I wish this site had them. LCY cannot catch a break.

    Im shredded over this. He was supposed to be finally on to bigger and better things.

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