Sunday October 7 2012
Preparing this report, right now I’m looking outside my window –and I see that my very pregnant wife is on the top of a ladder putting up halloween decorations. A veritable scary sight indeed, I am going to have to intervene. [15 minutes later] and I’m back after installing some ghosts hanging on the front tree. It’s been one of several family obligations that have delayed the newest edition of the Tavern Kickaround. All apologies as yesterday’s news in internet time is like ancient history and the good Budda knows there’s been a number of interesting developments yesterday with Koreans plying their trade in European football -right, so let’s get to it.
His 4th goal for the season and second game winner for Hamburg SV, Son Heung-Min does it again and comes up big at SpVgg Greuther Furth on Saturday. It just so happened to be the only goal they needed to get another 3 points, and Hamburg has now broken into the top 10 of the Bundesliga table (8th position to be exact). I’ll let ESPN FC take it over: “the game started slowly before South Korean midfielder Son put the visitors in front in style (in the 17th minute). He was able to dribble…almost 30 yards before sending a low shot past Max Grun and into the bottom corner of the net.” What they didn’t mention was Son’s beautiful technique/move that allowed him to get past 3 defenders before firing away successfully. Son nearly had another later on with a powerful shot on target, but G. Furth’s Max Grun expertly dove to his left to deny Son’s second goal.
Hamburg & Son (no relation to Mumford) was in the driver’s seat; if there was any scrutiny of the performance, it’s that they should’ve scored several more but were unable to finish properly (particularly Rudnev). Here’s a video summary of the match [courtesy of lovebundesliga, NOTE: the narrator mistakes Son for Ki in the middle of his report].
With his 4th goal, Son enters into a 5-way tie for the 2nd highest goalscorer in the Bundesliga. Additional temporary honors: he comes out in front of Takashi Inui and is now your leading Asian goalscorer in Germany [update: the Tavern Statisticians are indicating that going into this international break, Son Heung-Min and Keisuke Honda both have 4 goals in their respective leagues. Honda has an additional 1 goal in Europa League play. In comparison, Shinji Kagawa has 2 goals for Manchester United and Park Chu-Young has 1 goal for Celta Vigo].
German Bundesliga Stats: Top Goal Scorers – 2012-13
|OCTOBER 6, 2012|
|1||Mario Mandzukic||Bayern Munich||6|
|2||Alexander Meier||Eintracht Frankfurt||4|
|Marco Reus||Borussia Dortmund||4|
|Thomas Müller||Bayern Munich||4|
|Dani Schahin||Fortuna Düsseldorf||4|
|Heung-Min Son||Hamburg SV||4|
Staying with Germany for another match, defender Cha Du-Ri saw 26 minutes in Fortuna Dusseldorf’s 1-0 loss to Mainz. Axel Bellinghausen was replaced in the 64th minute for Cha. Mainz scored in the 85th minute on a corner set piece; Andreas Ivanschtiz’s cross found Nikolce Noveski who headed in the winner.
Let’s go to England for Saturday’s Swansea vs Reading match: it was supposed to be a feasting of Reading by the Swans in Liberty Stadium, but instead by the end of the half, despite an unbelievable Barca-esque 70% possession rate by Swansea – everyone -including Reading were in absolute disbelief that they were down 2-0. It was the same horror story for Swansea that’s been stuck on repeat: the defense blew it. Their first-rate goalkeeper Vorm had a howler get by him in the 31st minute. As the half was about to wrap up, a rare Reading counterattack squirted out to Noel Hunt, who buried it past Vorm and Reading was about to take away 3 points on a few squalid opportunities. All this in spite of an otherwise overtly-dominant offensive performance from the Swans. Ki Sung-Yeung for his part had a solid, if slightly cautious performance in the first half. His passing was at his usual clinically accurate rate. Boss Ladrup apparently been watching tapes of Ki with the South Korean national team as he allowed him to take most of the free and corner kicks in the match. They were all decent set pieces, only that the other villain in the first half to emerge was the sun – the angle of which apparently blinded some of the Swans from getting better handle on the incoming balls. The last villain to emerge in the half for Swansea was the finishing -or lack thereof. They had more than a few opportunities – Reading utterly gave up the midfield and allowed Swans to a wide open space to attack from. After Ladrup gave the lads a verbal lashing (or at least it’s the Tavern’s speculation that it was), they came out of the tunnel to set the record straight. Their second half performance may well prove to be a turning point in the Swans’ season as they didn’t wilt despite the 2 goal gap. Both Ki and Swansea kept tightening the offensive vise, firing shot after shot until in the 71st minute Michu finally headed in their first goal -not only in the match but their first in several games. It took only 7 minutes before Ki got the ball rolling to start a series of lightening fast passes inevitably resulting in a spectacular Wayne Routledge strike on net. Ironically, Ki started that whole sequence by personally fixing an unusual error on his part -a bad pass to Reading’s Jimmy Kebe. Just a moment after misfeeding Kebe the ball, Ki cornered him by the sideline and dispossessed him of the ball. He quickly found Routledge enroute to the left flank -Routledge passed to Luke Moore, who returned the favor back to Routledge roaring in from the left post and nailed it for the equalizer. Earlier in the 64th minute Ki was incredibly close to getting his first goal, dribbling right down the center and drilling a shot that was barely deflected away at the last moment by the Reading goalkeeper, McCarthy (a busy man, dealing with 26 shots overall). Several times in the 2nd half Ki drove the ball similarly down the center near the18 yard line – each time, Liberty Stadium would erupt, sensing something was going to happen. The same great vision, distribution and movement that’s been a hallmark of all of Ki’s previous starts with Swansea was present on Saturday, amped up even more so in the nail biting 2nd half. Swansea looked as if they would get the game winner, which they would’ve had in spades had it not been for 2 Reading handballs in the Reading penalty area that the referees never caught. In particular, near the end of regulation, the refs glaringly missed Pablo Hernandez’s shot deflect off Nicky Shorey’s arm 6 yards out from goal – this after Ki’s cross to Hernandez. The Swans protested to no avail. Lady luck was absent and 3 points slipped away from them, but Liberty Stadium appreciated the gutsy comeback performance nonetheless. Swansea 2, Reading 2. Yet another class 90 minute performance from Ki Sung-Yeung. [Note: there were some audible ohhs and ahhs in the audience when Ki executed a stylish backheel in Reading territory, part of the last series of plays in stoppage time when the Swans were hunting for that elusive winning shot. You can see that and more in a edited review of Ki’s 2nd half touches below].
In stoppage time, Park Ji-Sung got an assist in a 3-2 losing effort to West Brom. Defense again blew it, with early West Brom goals by James Morrison and Zoltan Gera. Gera’s should’ve been a standard clearance by Anton Ferdinand. Instead the ball got away from Anton and right onto the path of Gera, who blew it past Julio Cesear for another horribly conceded goal. Adel Tarrabt proved dangerous for QPR and scored in the 35th before West Brom’s Youssuf Mulumbu nailed the coffin shut with his 85th minute strike. However QPR wasn’t quite done and was knocking at the door when Ji-Sung slung an nicely timed pass to Granero one minute into stoppage time. Granero finished it off and QPR worked feverishly to get the equalizer with 3 minutes of stoppage to go. They got a few shots in before earning one last corner kick in West Brom territory; with no time remaining, the ball bounced around and landed right before Jose Bosingwa in front of the net. The great opportunity was squandered when his shot sailed high. Game over – and possibly for manager Mark Hughes as well; QPR occupies the dead last spot in the Premier League table, achieved zero wins and only 2 points to show for their efforts. Happy Birthday Kim Bo-Kyung! He celebrated 23 years on the planet on Saturday. His Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay may not have realized it however as Kim spent all 90 minutes on the bench of the N-Power 2-1 victory over Ipswich Town. There was speculation before the game that Kim, who’s been in fine form for the Bluebirds, could see his first start. For context as to why Kim didn’t get onto the pitch, let’s go to our man in Cardiff, CJay (BigSoccer Koreans Abroad poster) for the lowdown: “I believe this was due to Malky wanting to be more defensive rather than attacking (thereby) playing Cowie instead. And Ipswich is a very difficult place to go to and would be a big ask for Kim to have his first start there…”
Just how difficult of a place is it for Cardiff? For starters, with yesterday’s win, it’s merely Cardiff 2nd win in Ipswich in 66 years! CJay adds, “(Cardiff’s managed) only 1 point in 21 points before today’s game against them —So in the end it’s a remarkable result!”
And there’s more good news/stats from CJay: “So other random facts, we are unbeaten when in the red jersey (100% win at home /50% win away with the other 50% being a draw if that makes sense). Also whichever team has been top of the league at this point it the season, before the international break, has gone on to win/get promotion in the previous 4 seasons.” The red jersey, if you remember from previous Tavern musings, is a controversial issue amongst Cardiff fans, who has only known blue as their one and only color for 104 years -until Cardiff City’s new Malaysian owner decided to switch it up for overseas marketing reasons. Not to mention, their nickname is the Bluebirds -but hey, even the most diehard Cardiff fans may be willing to switch color allegiances if it’s changes their perceived luck in their campaign towards promotion. Still, it’s looking good for them…one more item to note -an absolutely atrocious handball by DJ Campbell that led to an even more outrageous allowed goal against Cardiff. ‘Hand of god 3’ from the looks of it. Take a look here:
Tavern postings on a team when they don’t play their Koreans usually doesn’t lend much space, but we’ll make an exception. Time on pitch or not, it’s Kim’s birthday – Cardiff gets a rare win at Ipswich, and it’s CJay’s Birthday today! The Tavern sends congratulations and future beer to our man in Cardiff (to be claimed whenever our paths meet). A well deserved Cheers!
Lee Chung-Yong got 2 minutes in Bolton’s 2-1 loss to Millwall. Owen Coyle’s team is in quite a bit of trouble, mired 18th in the N-Power Championship table. Perhaps more minutes for the Blue Dragon and the return of Stuart Holden may spark a Bolton resurgence?
Sunderland vs. Manchester City: Ji Dong-Won not in the 18 man roster for Sunderland Saturday. Ji scored the game winner when Sunderland last faced Manchester City. Manchester City this time manhandled Sunderland 3-0.
Today, Park Joo-Ho was in FC Basel’s 18 man roster, but didn’t play in their 3-2 win over Servette at St Jakob Park, Switzerland.
And last Friday, Park Chu-Young played 57 minutes in Celta Vigo’s 2-0 victory over Sevilla. The Tavern’s review of this LaLiga match and Park’s performance can be found here. UPDATE: with Barcelona and Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw today, all the dust has settled and Celta Vigo winds up going into the international break in 12th place in the La Liga table.
And with that we conclude the Sunday Tavern Kickaround. It’s international break time and it’ll be a few days before the Tavern kicks around again, but there’s plenty to kabitz about with the Taeguk Warrior‘s duel with Iran on October 16. That, of course, is a World Cup Qualifier, [UPDATE 11pm EST just in, the Korean FA put out a press release -new changes to the Taeguk Warrior lineup: 이란 원정 을 떠나는 대표팀 명단 에 약간 의 변동 이 생겼 습니다. 황석호 와 박원재 를 대신해 김기희 와 박주호 가 합류 하게 됐습니다. OUT: Hwang Seok-Ho and Park Won-Jae, IN: Kee-Hee Kim & Park Joo-Ho] but right now I’ve got an attention seeking 3 year old who about smush apple sauce all over the Tavern laptop. Can’t allow that to happen. Must intervene and finish the PDJOEI:NNVEK?C<FJ AIGHHHHH!!!! Where’s the Tavern janitor?! Good night!