So, Jeremy was going to do the ratings, but he had some computer problems and asked me to cover. Happy to do it, so off we go!
Kim Jin-hyeon 5.5 – Made a nice one-on-one save early, but was culpable for Venezuela’s goal. His clearance was poor and hit the Venezuela player, who chipped it (albeit quite nicely) over the stranded Kim.
Kim Min-woo 6.5 – Not outstanding as a left back, but his set piece delivery, particularly on corners, were quite good. Provided the assist for Lee Dong-gook’s first goal.
Kim Young-gwon 6.5 – Decent night with no real high or low lights.
Kim Ju-young 6.5 – Same as Kim Young-gwon. Decent, but not great. Had to leave early do to a heavy head-to-body challenge that left him bloodied.
Cha Du-ri 7.0 – The old man still has it. Bombed up and down the right flank all game. Even showed his fiery passion after a reckless challenge by Fedor on Kim Jin-hyeon late.
Ki Sung-yueng 7.0 – Calm and composed. Largely what we’ve come to expect from Ki. Controlled things from a slightly deeper than usual position.
Lee Myeong-joo 7.0 – Scored the opener and it was a beauty. Curled finished around the keeper. Played some nice passes too. Quieter second half though.
Lee Chung-yong 6.5 – Some nice touches here and there, and showed off his quality in flashes. Didn’t look completely comfortable in his more central role.
Son Heung-min 7.0 – Was brilliant in the first half, all over the pitch and was constantly a thorn in the Venezuela’s defenses’ side. Quieter in the second half and got roughed up quite a bit. Liked that he had a freer attacking role.
Cho Young-cheol 5.5 – Fairly disappointing (but not completely surprising). Played the first half only, but really didn’t do anything.
Lee Dong-gook 7.5 – A brace on his 100th cap – and my man of the match award! 축하드립니다! His first goal, a header from a Kim Min-woo header was wonderful (were you watching Kim Shin-wook?), and his second a perfectly placed volley (were you watching Park Chu-young?). Lee gets a lot of stick for his terrible time in Europe and his NT misses, but the plaudits that have come his way lately have been fully deserved.
Han Kook-young 6.0 – Decent half of work for Han. Venezuela didn’t threaten often, but when they did Han looked a bit overmatched.
Lim Chae-min 6.5 – A decent debut for Lim. Made a (potentially) crucial block on a late Venezuela shot.
Park Jong-woo 6.0 – All-action as always. Somehow managed to avoid picking up his customary booking despite flying into a couple challenges.
Lee Keun-ho 6.0 – Fairly quiet late show for the Qatar-bound player. Almost netted a lovely goal late, but couldn’t get it on target (get your lack of finishing jokes in here).
Kim Chang-soo s.v. – Late sub for Kim Min-woo didn’t have time to do anything.
Han Kyo-won s.v. – Late sub for Lee Chung-yong didn’t have time to do anything.
Shin Tae-Yong 6.5 – Nothing really brilliant from Shin, but I acknowledge that he put a more attacking team out there and got rewarded for it. That being said I was disappointed that A) Lee Bum-young didn’t play (he better play on Monday), and that B) Shin didn’t take more steps to protect Son Heung-min in the second half. Pulling a player because they’re getting fouled a lot isn’t a good idea in theory, but in a pointless friendly Shin could easily have subbed off Son instead of Kim Min-woo or Lee Chung-yong late. Venezuela were getting a lot of little fouls in on Son (kicks to the back of the legs, hits to the back, etc) and there’s no point in letting him suffer that in this kind of match.
Team 7.0 – A solid performance, but not without it’s flaws. The team still needs to work on creating more ‘real’ chances and cut the pointless mistakes. But, ultimately it (probably) achieved what it needed to – at least until Monday’s match against Uruguay. That being, a game that restores some of the positive feelings around the team. From a personal perspective, as a K League fan, I’m happy that three of the better players: Lee Dong-gook, Lee Myeong-joo, and Cha Du-ri are all playing (or were recently playing) in the K League. Showing that the domestic boys can still hang with their European-based counterparts.
So, agree with my ratings? Probably not, so share yours in the comments below!