World Cup 2014: Korea vs. Algeria Player Ratings

Wow. That was depressing as f***. A far from decent performance from Korea today. Algeria was better on the pitch in almost every way possible. Therefore, we have granted them their first win since 1982, and the biggest win by any African team on the World Cup scene. Here are my personal player ratings, feel free to write what you thought about today’s match in the comments section.

Starting XI

Jung Sung-Ryong (4) – A couple of good saves, but letting in four goals is outrageous. Although he was let down by the defense, he should have done better with his positioning.

Lee Yong (4) – Looked jittery whenever Algeria poised to attack. Sloppy challenging. Wanted to cry.

Hong Jeong-Ho (4) – Looked jittery with the Algerian offense.

Kim Young-Gwon (5) – Hardest worker on defense. Was fortunate not to have conceded a penalty for Algeria.

Yun-Suk Young (5) – Could have been more present.

Lee Chung-Yong (6) – Average performance from him, could have done better with better support.

Han-Kook Young (4) – Sloppy with his challenges and passing.

Ki Sung Yueng (8) – The most consistent player on the pitch. Completed almost, if not all of his passes.

Son Heung-Min (9) – Really shined in the match. Need more of it from him vs. Belgium. He’ll undoubtedly play a huge role in the KNT’s future. Great learning experience for him.

Koo Jacheol (7) – Improved performance from the captain. Wish we could have seen it in those previous friendlies.

Park Chu-Young (5) – Could have gotten more involved like Son Heung-Min, but overall, the service he received from his teammates was terrible.


Lee-Keun Ho (6) – Brought some energy onto the pitch when subbed for PCY.

Ji-Dong Won (6) – See LKH.

Kim-Shin Wook (6) – See LKH.


Hong Myung-Bo (3) – Losing my faith in him. He’s arguably the best coach Korea has the moment, and I still have mad respect for him, but this match has shown that his tactics have not worked for a reason.

During the Korea national anthem, did anyone see the Korean flag made up of pictures of the victims of the Sewol tragedy? That put tears in my eyes. 

Stay tuned…







About Jeremy Paek 33 Articles
Korean footy fan/lover of life based in Los Angeles.


  1. Very disappointed in Coach Hong, the team was outcoached and out played. He played the same formation without any changes to Algeria. This game is about adjustments and playing Park Chu Young is not working. Perhaps starting Lee Keun Ho or Ji Dong Won would be far better in the next match.

    And one more time, change the goalie…

    • Agreed, Hong hasn’t been what I’d hoped. He hasn’t had too much time w/ the NT, & his previous track record gets him a bit more grace period, but so far his choices & judgement have been underwhelming.

      I’ll still wait & c a bit more b4 i completely give up on him, but I’m disappointed so far, no question

      • Right on! Hong was outcoached. Wish that Hong finally figure out that defense sucked and need to change rosters for the match against Belgium. If he plays same 11 to starts, Hong needs to go. He shouldn’t blame the defense. It’s him who is the problem!!! Put some body on the opponent and change players if they can’t execute!!!

          • Past is done!
            Insanity is doing the same thing and expectng different results.

            Please don’t make excuses for Hong! He was great player, but he is an unproven coach.

            No B/S with favoritism or other reasons in picking the XI…. It’s really lame! Don’t expect soccer to improve if you are unwilling to make difficult changes from the top!

            My recommendations:
            Change the goal keeper and the 2 defenders! The 3 mustkateers did way too much damage already. I will be harsh… Replace them and let’s take our chances. Also don’t start PJY. We could utilize him later in the 2nd half if needed.

          • I’ll put forth my recommended changes when my post goes up later today/tomorrow. I’m not making excuses for Hong, he got it wrong, and maybe he’s not ready for the full international level.

            Change the GK, okay. I’m fine with that. But, who do you want at CB? Kwak Tae-Hwi and Hwang Seok-Ho? Those are your two back ups here. Hwang SH is decent, but he’s not better than Hong/Kim, and looked very shaky in his short appearance against Russia. Kwak is good in the air, but is extremely slow and clumsy (at times).

  2. What exactly needs to happen for Korea to advance? What happens if Algeria and Russia tie but Korea beats Belgium?

    • If Russia beats Algeria 1-0 and Korea beats Belgium 2-0, Korea and Belgium will advance. IF Russia and Algeria tie, Korea will need to overcome ALGERIA’s goal difference with +1 while Korea currently has -2.

    • Korea MUST beat Belgium and they must hope that Russia either wins or draws and in either case they must also overturn the goal difference between Russia (if Russia wins, currently at +1 for Russia) or Algeria (if they draw, currently at +3).

  3. Sad but true….I am not getting any younger and as Detectives Riggs would say, “I’m getting too old for this S***!”

  4. Most of that defense & GK, they have to go. If SK wants to really get anywhere, replacements Must b found, these guys can’t b anything more than “just good enuff” on their BEST day.

    Where o where to find these replacements, tho? That defender who was hurt 4 the WC but just got signed by a bundesliga team, Kim sumthin, how good is he? I still have hope 4 Lee Seung Woo (as well as other Barca & la liga youth kids), potentially scary double threat w/ Son in 4 yrs (& it gets rid of the PCY conundrum). Provided they get a rapport going, so get them sum playtime together as soon as possible!

    & I remember hearing good things bout Nam Tae Hee in attacking midfield, whatever happened to him? But Oh, that defense & GK, what can b done about them?! Sum1, any1, have u heard about good young upcoming guys @ those positions?

    • We play with any players who are hungary and willing to play hard! If we don’t have defenders, play midfielders and offense minded players. After all, the final match against Belgium would require for Korea to keep Belgium scoressless while scoring least 3 goals.

      Prediction: Korea 3:0 Belgium

      Go Dae Han Min Gook Warriors !!!!!!
      GO KOREA !!!!!

  5. We need a international coach with and more aggressive defenders. These guys are too nice and soft. Jung needs to be more assertive and command that back line.

  6. Im a bit concerned about our program honestly. This does nothing for our talent abroad and scouting traffic will be underwhelming. Kleague is only losing money. KFA will have their heads up their asses for years to come.

    That makes me want to cry honestly.

    Hong dropped the ball in a major way. Playing ultra conservative mind you and he still dropped the ball. If this is what he intends for the future of KNT, lets cut ties now. Archaic possession ball with mindless resets and ping/pong passing as if no one wants the ball is so hard on the eyes.

    Half the kids on this team do not deserve to play NT ball. If this is what we have, I have to say we are in trouble.

    • Hong is going to really hear it from the Korean press. Can you guys cover this aspect more in the coming days? I think the fallout is going to be significant and the media may be shaping things to come.

      thank you

    • actually i don’t think his tactics were as conservative as people are making it out to be. the problem in the beginning was not the conservatism, but rather the utter failure to have any sort of possession. they coughed the ball up repeated and seemed to panic at the aggressiveness of algeria’s midfield. that was much more the problem than ‘conservative’ tactics. i mean, the turnover was so frequent, there literally was no ‘tactic’ evident that we could even judge.

  7. *sigh* what a day. US mere seconds, SECONDS from qualifying 4/16, & Port equalizes. Soccer is a cruel cruel sport. I think I’ll stick w/ baseball, football, professional fishing, anything but soccer, omg o.O

    • But MAN does US have grit. Group of Death, no chance given, but they’ve acquitted themselves like a Baws. SK, arguably easiest group, can barely do squat. Yeah, soccer…

  8. If someone had told me before that they thought Algeria would win, I would’ve been skeptical but also have accepted that it was well within the realm of possibility.

    I would never have believed that they would have been up 3-0 by HT and 4-2 by FT. I’m honestly heartbroken.

  9. I couldn’t agree more on Hong MB. He’s just not ready yet at this level. It’s also time we finally drop Park Chu-young from the team. So sick and tired of people still defending him by praising his “off the ball movement.” Hasn’t done us squat as far as I can tell. Strikers are judged by one measure: their ability to score goals, and anything else is just making excuses.
    That said, I do think this team is going to peak in 2018. We got great midfielders, Song HM is just a pleasure to watch, and I suspect the CB pair of Kim YG and Hong JH will mature. And if history is any guide, we tend to have a good world cup followed by a bad one. 1994 (despite the group stage exit), 2002 and 2010 were good, but we had to endure 1998, 2006, and now 2014.

  10. I would agree with all the ratings except for Kim Shin Wook. I thought he created a lot of offensive opportunities. Much greater impact that JDW or LKH.

  11. Can any of the contributors describe Korea’s youth academy system? Is there anything close to the professionalism of, say, Ajax and Barcelona’s youth programs? The US is only now waking up to the importance of youth professionalism; I suspect Korea is much farther behind. If so, that’s an virtually insurmountable barrier to future WC success.

    • Youth systems are still in their infancy (as far as the whole league is concerned). The K League still has a draft system (like the US, although it is being phased out). I’d say Korea is relying more on young talented players going to Europe and developing there (ala Son Heung-Min).

      • Seems like the K-league is putting a tremendous burden on individual players by forcing them to go abroad to receive world-class instruction in technique and tactics (at advanced ages, too; most European stars are training intensively from 6-7).

        This is a crap shoot that severely limits the potential player pool. From what you say, Korea is indeed lagging even MLS, where the academy system is already is bearing fruit. Given that, I’d say Korea has actually overperformed historically vs. UEFA teams in friendlies and other competitions.

        I’d really look forward to a future post on the state of Korean youth training.

  12. Firstly, it’s great to see all these people at the Tavern.
    Secondly, why couldn’t we be here to celebrate?

    I really felt our defense let us down. No they’re not the sole problem, of course, but a better defensive display would have let us escape the first half a goal down at the worst.

    First goal I really felt was CB error. They were caught playing to high and were beaten by pace, and when you are, just tackle him, push him off. Do enough to stop the attack but make it look non-red cardable.

    Second goal was set piece fail. No one jumped on the corner, Jung was in wrong spot and shouldn’t have come out.

    Third goal was defensive mix-up, inability to cope with the longball, Kim Young Gwon was balls there. As in really really pathetic.

    Fourth goal I don’t remember at 11pm nor do I ever want to remember it happened.

    Jung has to save at least one of these. Sorry, but he really does.

    Let’s say Jung saves goal 4, players jump on goal 2, already, we’ve drawn the game.
    The team effort could have prevented our first half debacle, but even then, we had chances to stop the goals on a more individual basis (with the exception of second goal).

    I was largely impressed by Korea’s attacking movement in 2nd half. I’m afraid this is how we’re going to have to treat Belgium. Just fuck all and go for it.

    I’d take out PJY and put in KSW or LKH for starters. I’d love to have KSG in there but I doubt it. Ji can be one of our first subs.

  13. Korea has 2% chance of advancing according to Nate Silver… on the bright side, Japan has only 4% and they’ve looked far far better than KNT. KSH and SHM are the future, need to build around them, I’m okay with revamping everything else including replacing the coach.

  14. The Korean defense is so passive these guys need to be more aggressive and physical. When they get scored on the attitude is just “oh shit”, where the hell is the fire, rage, and emotion. I watched other teams and these guys are all scrappy and fighters. I wonder if culture has anything to do with the lack of fire and passion in the back line. Watching Jung is so painful he basically does nothing to forge a strong defensive hold.

    • not sure what you mean by culture. for a while, korea’s defense was very formidable in the early 2000’s. you are right about jung. my biggest criticism has always been and still is even after today’s match that he has no defensive grit or leadership. his positioning is acceptable and he had just one real mistake in my opinion, which was the header. i agree he needs to make at least one of those goals a save, but i don’t see many goalies make saves on those other 3 opportunities that algeria had. still, i don’t think anyone really trusted the backup goalies so it’s not like you can jettison a guy for someone who’s worse than jung. but, i’m also with everyone in desiring much better between the sticks. i hope someone develops soon.

      • I think his positioning was completely off most of the times especially while h’es beein in this rutt. Or maybe its just the look on his face that gives it away from me.

        Uniless its a penalty shot where his guess is as good as any, That dude is lost when w havoc is coming his way. He was soooo off on that header today, he missed the ball completely pretty much.

        No more please.

        • sorry, kimchi, but you’re way off. his positioning was not as good as he usually is against algeria, but generally the positioning is not that bad and there were only a couple instances where i saw his positioning to be inadequate and only one of those ended up in a goal. even against ghana, tunisia, and greece, his positioning was not the problem. the problem has consistently been the defense in front of him and jung’s inability to even make a lucky save, let a lone a spectacular one. his reflexes and anticipation seem poor, not his positioning. however, positioning is always the most important, cuz that prevents more goals than reflexes, which is why i think he’s been able to stay the #1 for korea for so long despite his other shortcomings. so, kimchi, even though your analysis is pretty inaccurate in my opinion, i do look forward to a better goalie; one that inspires more confidence. i also agree with your comment about the look on his face. it’s sort of a, ‘i want to whine about something, but i have so little confidence in myself or my defense that i don’t have even a clue what i should be whining about’ look. i’m looking forward to a new era of a goalie, provided it’s someone good, not just change for change’s sake.

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