The KFA’s lead candidate to be South Korea’s next Men’s National Soccer (Football) Team Manager, Bert Van Marwijk, will not take the reins. The Dutchman and the Korean Football Association were unable to reach an agreement on salary, among other issues.
The manager boasts a strong international record as well as club record, having led the Netherlands to a 2nd place finish at the 2010 World Cup, and also having managed Feyenoord, Borussia Dortmund and Hamburger SV in his club managerial career. The KFA had singled him out as their top candidate for the National Team job, with Lee Yong-Soo even flying out to Amsterdam to begin negotiations with the 62 year old.
However, it wasn’t to be, with the KFA and Van Marwijk eventually failing to narrow their differences on a few issues, including salary. Lee Yong-Soo announced this in a press conference, adding that he “still thinks he [Van Marwijk] is a good manager” and hopes that the Dutchman and the KFA will cross paths again some time.
Reports indicate that the decorated manager was offered a contract of close to 2 million US Dollars, but there were issues with taxes and also concerns that his staying mostly in Europe ideology would be viewed by the public and domestic players as downright lazy.
As a result of no manager, the friendlies in September for the Korean National Team, to be played against Venezuela and Uruguay minus a certain cannibal, will be managed by a three man managerial squad. Not sure how to describe it. Shin Tae-Yong, Park Gun-Ha and Kim Bong-Soo will manage by committee for the friendlies as the KFA aims for a new foreign target. It is unclear who Lee Yong-Soo wants next, however, the last time Lee Yong-Soo didn’t get his first pick for manager, he appointed Guus Hiddink in 2002.
If you know what I mean.
Korean U-20 Women Fall Short
Quickly turning my attention to the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, where the U-20 Korean Women did battle with a dominant French side. The game was a little predictable – Korea struggling to make use of their little possession, France powering through, always pushing it out wide, where two or three Korean defenders would slide tackle and muscle the French women on the flanks, putting it out for a corner, into touch, or the cross dealt with by the defense.
Chances were hard to come by, and that’s why Lee So-Dam’s penalty miss early in the second half frustrated me – it was the Koreans first shot on goal – they managed onto two in the entire game. It went to penalties, where both Jang Sel-Gi and Namgung Ye-Ji skied their shots, and despite a France miss (off the crossbar, potentially across the line and out), the Taeguk Warriors see their run in Canada come to an end.
Ki Key For Swansea
Sorry for pun. It’s over-used.
This won’t be the KPA update, but I do have to mention Ki Sung-Yueng’s goal against Manchester United on Saturday, buoying the Swans to a 2-1 win at Old Trafford in Louis Van Gaal’s EPL managerial debut. I don’t always appreciate my club losing, but if a Korean contributes in that, it makes up for it. Ki had a low hard shot to open the EPL scoring books for the new season.
Now on to a domestic wrapup, where there were some key (not a pun attempt) fixtures in the top tier. Let’s have a look.
Jeju 1-0 Ulsan
Seoul 5-1 Incheon
Pohang 0-2 Jeonbuk
Jeonnam 3-1 Suwon
Sangju 1-3 Gyeongnam
Seongnam 2-4 Busan
The Islanders needed a goal from Hwang Il-Soo in Seogwipo in a fixture that sees Jeju snap a three game winless streak;
Seoul were hitting on all cylinders, putting 5 past Incheon in a 5-1 rout, with Yun Illok and Mauricio Molina picking up goals;
Lee Dong-Gook and Lee Seung-Ki were key (pun intended) to Jeonbuk’s win over Pohang. Led by the manager-who-must-never-be-named, Jeonbuk stretch their lead atop the league to four points;
Jeonnam snapped a 4 game losing streak to prevail against the Suwon Bluewings, with Ahn Yong-Woo netting a brace for the Dragons;
The Army side fell to Serbia Gyeongnam. Despite a Lee Keun-Ho goal, it was Sretenovic and Stojanovic who brought all three points home for basement dwellers Gyeongnam;
Busan scored 22% of the goals they’ve scored all year in the K-League with a win to move the I’Park out of relegation territory for now. Lim Sang-Hyub had a brace and a missed spotkick. I’m sure Jae will be delighted that Busan have actually showed up.
Over to the K-League Challenge…
Bucheon 1-2 Anyang
Gwangju 0-0 Chungju
Goyang 0-0 Gangwon
Suwon City 2-4 Daegu
Daejeon PPD-PPD Ansan Police
Anyang continue their strong push for a second place finish with a 2-1 triumph away to basement dwellers Bucheon 1995.
Not Gwangju, nor Chungju, or Goyang, or Gangwon could find the back of the net in two goalless draws.
In an exciting match, Suwon City took the early lead through Kim Chang-Hun, but Daegu scored twice on both sides of the interval to take the lead. After Suwon equalised, Kim Dae-Yeol left it late to put the former K-League Classic team ahead.
And for a reason which I do not fully comprehend, Daejeon’s game against Ansan just didn’t happen. Soccerway says it was postponed just yesterday, but the K-League site has not even a trace about the fixture. I am not a happy customer after waking up early for the game that didn’t happen. Weird.
Suwon City 25
Not everyone in the second tier has played the same amount of games, due to lots of games being rescheduled during the Sewol tragedy. Daejeon, Anyang and Goyang have 21 games played – Ansan Police, on the other hand, have 19. Everyone else has 22.
Midweek AFC CL action
On Wednesday it’s an all-Korea matchup with FC Seoul traveling to Pohang for the first of two legs in the AFC Champions League Quarter-Final action. The winner of the two games on aggregate will go on to face either Western Sydney Wanderers or defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande. The first leg is at 6:30am EDT, 7:30pm KST back in the motherland.
In the other ties, Kwak Tae-Hwi’s Al-Hilal plays Lee Jung-Soo’s Al-Sadd, while Al-Ittihad squares off against UAE side Al-Ain, which boasts Ghanaian star Asamoah Gyan, and Korean Lee Myung-Joo. Although I do think that the latter is cup-tied, I’m not sure what the rules are on that.
You can expect a KPA Recap by one of our writers sooner or later, but it is time for me to leave to Tavern tonight. Jalgayo from Tavern Studio Quebec!