If this is your first visit to the Tavern today – I recommend checking out Jae’s 2 posts, one on Hong Myong-Bo’s first official press conference as the new manager of the Taeguk Warriors, the second is his analysis in observing Japan’s NT in the Confederations Cup.
The old Tavern owner is publishing this (fashionably) late, but in case you haven’t seen the highlights of Monday’s match between Portugal and Korea in the U20 World Cup, you’ve come to the right place. In short, Korea came back twice to earn a draw with Portugal in a pivotal Group B match, including this long distance rocket of a strike by Ryu Seung-Woo right before half to equalize in the first half:
A familiar storyline: yet another early goal conceded by the Korean defense, this time in the 3rd minute off of Portugal’s first corner kick. And again, keeper Lee Chang-Geun came off his line, misjudged the ball and…just like that, into the net for the early goal. Portugal controlled the game for swaths of the 1st half, but Korea had several counterattacks just miss the target. Approaching the halftime whistle, a long goal kick found Ryu Seung-Woo just outside the area, who ripped that incredible half volley past the keeper and on into the net – a wunderstrike that sent scouts salivating over who Ryu was exactly. Sloppy defending in the second half by Korea gave Portugal too many opportunities, and Bruma punished Korea’s inability to properly clear the ball by shooting past Lee Chang-Geun for what they hoped was the game wining goal. Minutes later, Portugal’s Mica nearly put the game out of reach, but his shot slammed into the crossbar instead. In the 75th minute, an confident buildup by Koreans resulted in Han Sun-Kyu linking up with Shim Sang-Min, who worked brilliantly to feed Kim Hyun in the middle to tap in the equalizing goal. For FIFA’s video highlight of the match go here.
BSK poster JSK14 put up a summary of the match here as well as player ratings, all of which seemed pretty fair…
Lee Chang-Geun: 5 – Had some excellent saves in particular the one late to preserve the draw. Still needs to work on his game in the air on corners.
Shim Sang-Min: 6 – Poor decision making in the back when playing the ball out. Better defensive positioning and assisted on the goal.
Song Joo-Hoon: 5 – Decent but can do better. Poor marking on the set piece goal. Slow to react on the Bruma shot.
Woo Joo-Sung: 7 – Did well to step in for injured Yeon Je-Min. Very tidy in the back.
Kim Yong-Hwan: 6 – Good positioning throughout and composure not to foul tricky players in the box. Didn’t get as forward this game due to Portugal’s threat.
Lee Chang-Min: 5 – Better distribution but poor set pieces. Needs to work on his vision and anticipate players runs faster.
Kim Sun-Woo: 6 – Was the muscle in the middle despite his size today. Constantly broke up plays and dangerous situations. Picked up that yellow though.
Jo Jae-Suk: 5 – Worked hard and provided width. Has trouble in his linkup play though.
Ryu Seung-Woo: 7 – Vital goal before the break. Looked much more comfortable playing in the middle than out wide.
Kang Sang-Woo: 5 – Good work getting forward and helping out at the back. Fizzled out near the end.
Kim Hyun: 8 – Could have had more goals but needs to work on placing his shots. Was important in winning balls in the attacking half and involving teammates. All our best chances happened when he was involved.
Han Sung-Gyu: 6 – Provided the much needed energy and work near the end of the match. Played a role in the goal buildup and was barely offside on a later chance.
Lee Kwang-Hoon – Not enough time
South Korea will play their last group match against Nigeria on Thursday at 10 am US EST and 11 pm Korea time. The winner of that game is set to advance to the quarterfinals.
Any chance Ryu is gonna go to Europe after his performance in this place?
It’s too early to say for sure, but Ryu has impressed those who have watched both of Korea’s group games so far. Scouts are watching – who knows how they are assessing him. It’s safe to say this squad can capitalize on goal scoring opportunities, a good sign for the future.