Player Ratings: Korea vs Venezuela

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!

About Jae Chee 339 Articles
A football fan who got bit by the writing bug.


  1. Not a fan of Lee Dong Gook but he did well today. His 1st goal was great header but the 2nd, while it was a nice volley.. he should thank Venezulean defender for poor clearance that kindly fell into his path. Anyways, I actually like him more than Kim Shin Wook (player I just cannot warm up to due to his awkward movement & balance).

    As for Lee Chung Yong, I’m actually disappointed (I do have high expectation of him). I’ll need to re-watch the game but while flashes of quality or nice touches are good, he’s lacking that end product. His position in KNT should be questioned in my opinion. Just how useful is an attacking player without consistent end product to his game?

    • He was lucky with the second, but he was in the right place at the right time (something you can’t always say about strikers) and he still needed to finish it with the keeper and two defenders between him and the goal. Lee Dong-Gook is a nice middle between Kim Shin-wook and Park Chu-young (when on form). He can hold up the ball and help create, but also can finish with his feet and head.

      Indeed, Lee’s position certainly shouldn’t be untouchable, and that’s (hopefully) part of the thinking in hiring Stielike. An outside who doesn’t already have bias towards certain players in the group. Lee does need to find that end product, whether it’s creating or scoring.

      • 1. Hmm, Lee Dong Guk’s 2nd goal wasn’t a volley after re-watching the game on HD. After a poor clearance by the Venezuelan defense (decent cross by LMJ & one forwards should be attacking it instead of waiting for a rebound imo), it fell onto Lee Dong Guk’s path and he had plenty of time & space to finish it (one GK and one defender.. the defender on the left wasn’t much of an issue).

        As for Lee Dong Guk being a cross between PCY and Kim Shin Wook? Hmm.. I can’t say I agree with the statement since Lee Dong Guk is incredibly slow. I also hate the fact his work rate is piss poor in general. If a team is based on collective pressing, forwards from the top should be aggressive with good work-rate.. of which, something Lee Dong Guk does not possess or do consistently.

        2. LCY was really disappointing. I honestly think he should have been rated the lowest in the ratings. As much as I like him, there’s absolutely no end product with him lately.

        3. LMJ vs Koo Ja Cheol – This should be interesting battle if LMJ can sustain his level of play in middle-east. Similar players, two solid box to box type of midfielders imo (neither are true #10 types). A midfield trio of Ki, LMJ, and Koo wouldn’t be so bad either if Uli Stielike were to continue with 4-3-3 as base formation.

        4. LDG was good pick for MOTM. He scored two goals after-all, however, mine would have been Ki. His calmness is just too difficult to ignore & he is set or willing to take on extra responsibility.

        • 1. Him being a cross is probably not the most accurate statement. What I was going for is that PCY is more of a pure finisher while KSW can only really get his head to long balls. LDG can do both (but not as well as either), so he’s somewhere in the middle of PCY and KSW. His work rate isn’t great, but he’s 35 (closing on 36) so to expect him to have high energy levels is a bit unrealistic. I don’t think any of them really have a great work rate though. I also don’t really feel that Korea is really playing the collective pressing from the front game. If they are it’s so uncoordinated and sporadic it’s hugely ineffective.

          2. That’s possibly the side-effect of being in the Championship for so long. He’s just become a battler. Perhaps he should have scored lower, but I guess I gave him a little bit of a pass since he’s playing a “new” position.

          3. LMJ definitely seems more of an 8 to me. Honestly I don’t know what Koo is. This may be the best, or most recent, chance to see which is better. To be in Europe, even if just on the bench, or to play regularly for a smaller league team in Asia. Personally I think that Ki-Koo-Lee trio would be a bit lightweight. It may work against smaller teams, but stronger teams would just overpower it.

          4. I was tempted by Ki, but I felt Lee’s contributions and goals were too big to ignore given the circumstances. 100th cap, low confidence, really poor performances by the forwards over the last year plus. So to come in after being in the “international wilderness” and score twice was big.

          • 1. Yea, I didn’t see such collective pressing starting from the top. It’s odd considering collective pressing as a well drilled unit used to be strength of Korea. With Uli Stielike being German, I’d have to imagine Korea will return to such system (not to mention, he was based in Madrid).

            2. Lightweight due to Ki as the DM at the bottom of the midfield trio? LMJ and Koo certainly have the energy and work-rate (i’m unsure about their positional/tactical awareness though). I certainly agree on Koo. I can’t figure out his best position but atm, he certainly feels like #8 to me over #10 or winger.

            As for Ki, I’m intrigued as to how Swansea and Ki handle Chelsea. It will be good indication as to how lightweight or potentially a solid midfield trio of Ki, LMJ, and Koo can be imo. Ki .. obviously holds the “key”

          • 1. I’d like to see it (assuming we can find a hard-working and disciplined forward) happen as it seems like the best way to counter Korea’s continuous defensive weakness.

            2. Lightweight in the sense that none of them are really defensive by nature. Ki doesn’t run hard enough to cover the back four by himself and his positional sense isn’t at Busquet’s level where he can cut attacks off without having to hustle and tackle. LMJ and KJC do have work-rate and energy, but I don’t feel either is positionally aware enough to get back and help Ki (particularly Koo) without sacrificing too much in attack, in which case we may as well just field a more defensive player. I agree that Koo seems like more of an 8, but his defensive side is too weak for me to consider him a decent 8.

            3. Chelsea will be a very good test for Ki defensively since he’ll have to control (to an extent) Oscar and Fabregas.

  2. I agree with your ratings, but I’m sure LBY will start on Monday, so I wouldn’t be upset about that.

    Here’s a good question – is this the return of the Lion King?

    • Depends on what you mean by “return”. I think he’ll continue to play for the NT a bit, but I think the Asian Cup would be as far as he goes. I can’t see Stielike making a serious “investment” in Lee DG considering his age.

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