Qatar 3:2 Korea – Porous defense puts World Cup dreams in limbo

Another away game, another shock defeat. Korea’s gradual regression under Uli Stielike continues, with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Qatar. Korea fail to extend their lead over Uzbekistan and the gap between the two nations for the final direct qualifying spot remains at 1 point. Despite a starting lineup light on physicality and high on fan favorites (Hwang Heechan starting up top with Lee Jaesung playing as a central midfielder), Stielike’s defensive picks were woeful once more, and it seems very likely that Uli Stielike will be sacked by the end of the week by the KFA.

Jinseok Yang will be here later to recap the encounter properly, but for now, content yourselves with these highlights:


About Tim Lee 321 Articles
The maple syrup guzzling kimchijjigae craving Korean-Canadian, eh?


  1. wow smh. i am disappointed.

    Our match against Uzbekistan is an away game too. we lost our away games against China, Iran and now Qatar. we drew with Syria at the away game. And we will likely lose to Iran at home. sigh…

    Korea good luck…

      • I actually think some people that pay attention to the KMNT are secretly hoping they flame out & miss out on the WC. It might be the only way the KFA would be forced to look at what ails their program, why they can’t produce good scorers/defenders/def mids, what they really need to do to be competitive against good or top teams. Why do I say that? Because since 2002, the KMNT have been very lucky in being drawn into 3 fairly easy groups the last 3 WCs. They only advanced to the R16 in 2010, by the skin of their teeth. In those WCs they only won against Togo in 2006 (where players were threatening their own FA the entire tournament because of lack of bonus compensation) & Greece in 2010 who were awful. Making the last 3 WCs has been a total mirage for what this program is. It’s an average program, you could make a case it’s below average. Australia, for example, deserve a mulligan because they got absolutely shafted in 2010/2014 by being seeded into 2 groups of death in 2 straight world cups. Can you imagine the current KMNT in a group of death? They might allow 4 or more goals per game, judging from last night’s performance. Qualifying by thinnest of margins against Uzbekistan, China or whatever will do not do much IMO to developing a globally respected & competitive program. Falling hard on their ass may provide an opportunity to truly reflect.

          • That’s a good post Jae, and I agree that blowing it up does not necessarily guarantee anything, but it’s clear the status quo is actually putting the KMNT more behind competitive or elite programs. It would take time, but it would be worth the risk to shake things up & be open to new ideas. Really examining the 2 year military requirement, what on earth can be done to develop capable CBs & holding MFs to give the team a chance to keep the ball out of the net? I don’t know if it’s culturally possible to develop highly technical players like they do in Europe or S.America. A more realistic approach could be the way Atletico Madrid play, concentrate on closing passing and shooting lanes, block shots & defense first? Something has to give, things have to change as you wrote.

          • I am a fan of the national team of Russia and Ukraine, two teams that lose almost all the time and have often missed qualifications. What I can tell you is that failure to qualify does nothing but demolish confidence. If the team does not bounce back after the failure, people will just believe that the team has become weak. This is what happened after the fall of the Soviet Union. Russia in the 1990s was strong but it has always failed in its competitions. Instead of reacting as it should have, the federation did nothing but accept that Russia was no longer a strong team. So Russia continued to be a nil team with this new thought anchored. What I mean is that it is not always by failing that your federation will react correctly. The consequences can be disastrous if your team does not rectify the results afterwards. If Korea qualifie, it means that they remain one of the best teams in Asia ! This is what you shouldn’t forget. I wish you not to lose that best Asian team status forever as Russia and Ukraine did by agreeing to evolve into mediocrity after having been strong teams!

            I’m sorry for my bad english.

          • No worries, I understand what you’re saying perfectly. Yes, what you describe very much could happen. Fans/media/people in the business must ask themselves what they really want from the KNT. Is WC qualification the aim? Just get in and it’s okay if we get smashed and go home after group stage like in 2014. Right now, the answer to that question seems to be “yes”. And if so, okay then. We’ll keep on going the way we are. If the answer is “no”, and people want more, then it’s time to start thinking what real steps will be taken to get there.

        • It was super disappointing to lose like that against Qatar. Players just didn’t perform in the 1st half. I think LKH was our best player today. He brought energy and physicality and made a good cross for the HHC goal. This match shows that we need experienced veterans who don’t get overwhelmed when losing 0-1. KSY aside from the goal was pretty ineffective. Expected more from him as captain. Also he’s pretty slow pace. I know there isn’t anyone better than him in that position, but he sometimes stifles the progression. Kwak Tae-Hwi shouldn’t start in the future. Had a horrible game. KNT needs a new CB pairing asap. HKY bench as well. I hope Lee Chong-Yung returns to the K League and gets in better form. Ji Dong-Won was invisible and is definitely not the answer. HHC scored a good goal but shows his inexperience and is inconsistent at finishing. I hope next manager brings in experienced veterans like Park Chu-Young or Lee Dong-Gook to be a locker room influence to the forwards. Also maybe it’s time for Paik Seung-Ho.

  2. I think Stielike will be fired. All over korean news and netizens are pretty furious. If so, who is the next coach? Choi Yong-Soo just got fired from Jiangsu so he’s available. Shin Tae-Yong maybe, but do you really want to risk his promising career like HMB if he struggles at WC2018 with less than 1 year to prepare? Hwang Sun-Hong? Really don’t want another HMB situation happen to a young promising coach. Time and patience is necessary to build a good team.

    • No doubt. I wouldn’t hire STY for the job just yet. He should stay as the u20 and olympics team manager for a few years and then be considered. I wonder if Jurgen Klinsmann is available after leaving the US national team.

  3. Stielike needs to go….I say bring in foreign coach with experience, someone who doesn’t give an F, and someone who will have the players trust/respect.

    Good luck.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Reports: Uli Stielike to be sacked – Tavern of the Taeguk Warriors

Join in the Tavern's conversations -Leave a comment...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.