South Korea vs Greece: Player Ratings

Roy has already put up a nice review of the match details, so I won’t repeat that, and I’ll save my more detailed thoughts for the upcoming Google Hangout. So, for now just player ratings.


Jung Sung-Ryong 5.5 – An as expected showing by Jung, average and a little panicky at times. If he could, Jung should buy the goalpost a drink as it made more saves than he did.

Lee Yong 6.5 – A solid night for the right back who held his own against Samaras. His crossing still disappoints me though, as he always seems to just knock it in there rather than look for someone.

Hong Jeong-Ho 7.0 – Kept Mitroglou firmly in his pocket and didn’t allow the dangerous striker any space.

Kim Young-Gwon 7.0 – A good night for Kim as well who was busy sweeping up after Kim Jin-Su.

Kim Jin-Su 6.0 – A disappointing first half for Kim who left far too much space behind him. Almost all of Greece’s attacks early came from his side. Did better in the second half though.

Han Kook-Young 6.5 – A decent night for Han who, as usual, snapped and kicked at anything that came near. In hindsight though, given Greece’s poor offensive showing, could a more balanced midfielder helped the team more?

Ki Sung-Yueng 6.5 – Solid from Ki. Did well under considerable Greek pressure to retain possession and keep things going.

Lee Chung-Yong 6.0 – Mixed for Lee Chung-Yong, who seems to be developing a “chippier” attitude lately (getting in little kicks, arguing). Missed a great one-on-one chance early, but ran, did the dirty work, and showed his class on the ball.

Koo Ja-Cheol 6.0 – Provided the assist for Son’s goal, but left the winger with a bit to do (ball was too heavy). Koo frustrated me a little as he ran and worked a lot, but there seemed to be little production from it. Koo at times seems to embody the slightly reckless, head first way the team plays at times.

Son Heung-Min 7.0 – I actually wasn’t thrilled with Son’s performance, but a goal and assist are big. Thought he was largely anonymous in the first half, and too often dribbled into traffic when better passing options were available. I think there are still questions about his role in the team.

Park Chu-Young 6.5 – While I’m thrilled and delighted for Park, I’ll have to rain on the parade a bit here. The goal was well taken, and I doubt any other player (save Son and perhaps Koo) would have been able to finish first time like he did. BUT other than that and the layoff for Lee’s chance, Park disappeared. His movement was good, and he showed signs of life, but for a 45 minute half I’d say he only showed up for about 10.


Kim Shin-Wook 5.5 – Played the second half and the team looked more like it has looked in recent months. A bit sluggish and thin up top. Kim often came too deep for my liking, and was unable to recover in time to get in threatening positions.

Kim Bo-Kyung 6.0 – A short appearance, but Kim failed to really make any impression on the game. Returned to his left wing position for this one. I worry that Kim’s performances are suffering due to the constant shifting of his role for club and country.

Lee Keun-Ho 6.0 – Typical Lee Keun-Ho. Energetic and got into good positions, but a heavy touch and second-slow decision making makes him a bit frustrating.

Ha Dae-Sung s.v. – Late appearance for Ha, who didn’t have enough time to put his mark on the game.


Hong Myeong-Bo 7.0 – I don’t agree with all of Hong’s tactical decisions, but it’s hard to argue with the result. I was also disappointed with Hong sticking with the regular, starting XI for most of the game. Surely after the second goal that would have been the time to check out the likes of Park Joo-Ho, Nam Tae-Hee, Ji Dong-Won, etc. no?

Overall 7.0

A solid showing, but on a different day the score could (and probably should) have ended 2-2. Nevertheless the team will feel good about itself, and deservedly so. The attack showed signs of fluency, and while I wanted more, Park Chu-Young showed that he is the most capable forward we have at the moment. There are certainly still questions and concerns about the defense and goalkeeping position, but those will hopefully be ironed out as the Asian leagues get into swing and the players round into form.

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


  1. Im not sure I agree with your assessment on Hong. I think test time is over. The starters need to gel as much as possible at this point.

    Im barely familiar with our current wingback situation but that Kim JS made some unforgivable mistakes last night. Clearly had the earmarks of a converted offensive player who was shifted for a more defensive role for reasons Im not entirely clear of.

    That one greek cross that faded towards another greecian before he totally missed a sitter was ludicrous. Kim JS can be seen realizing he was left behind and tries way too late to recover.

    The funny thing is that you almost never see such ridiculous crosses. But they happen. To Korea. The last one was probably the match against Uruguay where Forlan did the same thing from their left flank. It was equally amazing and comical at the same time. Jung surely had goosepump deja vu shivers after tonights.

    Does Cha play left back? I forget. If so lets make that change right away.

    Nice ratings overall.

      • haha…I mustve been drunk last night…as if Cha wasn’t a converted offensive player himself. lol
        I hate to see our players get burned like that. i like him purely for athletics and the laughs he provides

        sorry for the dramatics

    • I disagree with the need to check out some others. When we were 2-0 up and Greece clearly had thrown in the towel there was no need to continue with players like Lee Chung-Yong and Ki Sung-Yueng who are known quantities and have played together for a long time. I believe Hong should have taken some time to see how others can come in and integrate with the Europe-based players, particularly in midfield.

  2. I’ve barely seen Kim Seung Gyu play, but I have a hard time believing he’s any worse than Jung. Our goalie situation is so frustrating…

    I agree with the assessment of Park Chu Young. He really disappeared other than the goal.

    The attacking trio of Son-Koo-Lee played decently but there just seems to be something missing there. I feel like their movements are very predictable and tactically rigid. I’d really love it if Son and Lee CY switched flanks once in a while (which requires a familiarity between the two which may not exist yet) or were more inclined to cut inside. The lack of lateral movement amongst the trio is making them much more easier to defend.

    • If you saw my 1st preview, the Kim vs Jung debate is largely talent vs experience. Kim SG is younger, but seems to have more natural ability. He’s faster, more athletic, better reflexes than Jung. But last season was his first as a top level keeper (with Ulsan) and he still makes some mistakes with his positioning and decision making (too aggressive). Jung on the other hand is experienced, he’s been to the WC he’s played top flight football for years, etc. Hong seems to be leaning on the older, more experienced hand as of late.

      Watch the 2nd half of the Korea-Mali game if you can. Particularly the 20ish minute period between the 50-70 minutes. When Korea had the attacking four of Lee KH, Son HM, Kim BK, and Lee CY, it was the best I’ve seen in terms of movement and attacking play from Korea in a long time. The four just seamlessly rotated and moved beautifully.

  3. I think Jae’s commentary on each player is good overall, but I think his ratings aren’t nearly as accurate, especially when comparing player relative to another player. Kimichi is right about Kim Jinsu. He was horrible, and on more than one occasion. He should have the lowest rating, not Jung. I wrote in the comments section of the previous blog entry why I think people are going to rate Jung worse than he actually played. He was average, but positioning was usually decent and simply looked panicky and made himself look worse than he actually played. Jae rated the defensive unit the highest, which makes little sense to me, since they were by far the worst unit. Hong Jeongho also did not play well. Aside from Kim Youngkwon, it really didn’t look good. The midfield was probably the best of the units, and I would probably rate Ki as having had the best match. HKY didn’t impress me. He got away with a lot of junk play and fouls in my opinion. I like his tenacity and he does seem to just be everywhere, but he plays on the undisciplined/reckless side. If he can be a little more disciplined while still getting everywhere, he would be outstanding. Jae’s assessment of the offensive players was pretty spot on, so I can’t say much in that regards. They all seemed to fade in and out. I agree with the comment on Koo, but I would argue that that his head first reckless style is his style. Sometimes it works and at other times it doesn’t. In terms of PJY, I wonder if he relaxed after getting his goal. Or maybe he’s not in game shape?

    • I don’t rate relative to each other. It’s based purely on each player. Kim JS was higher because he improved his performance in the second half. Jung was not required to make any real save, and when Greece did threaten he largely was saved by poor Greek finishing or the post. We’ll agree to disagree on Hong JH, as I thought he did very well with Mitroglou. Admittedly some of the ratings would be a tad higher/lower, but I do ratings in .5 increments (why? I don’t know). Maybe next time I’ll change it and do it in .1 increments. Maybe more accurate.

      I would argue that the defensive looked shaky partially because the midfield did not do a great job defensively (although there were defensive issues as well, but more systemic rather than individual). Hong said Park was still suffering from his knee injury which is why he got subbed. Maybe it affected him?

      • maybe it was his infamous goal celebration. he really needs to stop that. you can pray standing up. i’ve done it. my knees thanked me afterwards, too.

      • also, your point regarding systemic defense is noted. generally speaking, i’ve heard it said that whether a defensive unit is good or bad largely tends to be their communication and coordination, which are systems issues. however, players make up that system, and jinsu has been consistently bad. also, i wasn’t intending to say hong did a terrible job overall. he was decent, but he made a couple big mistakes, one of which was in the video. admittedly that made me criticize his larger performance perhaps more harshly. the back 4 though as a unit are definitely subpar. while i agree with the whole systems theory, they’ve been together long enough that i think the players are the ones we need to start looking at as underperforming.

        • By my count, the Greece game was only the fourth time we’ve had Lee Yong-Hong JH-Kim YG-Kim JS together (Brazil, Mali, Swiss, Greece). Other times one or two of them have been changed. Together they have 57 caps, Lee Keun-Ho has more on his own (62). Granted mistakes are mistakes, and they need to be remedied, but if you want to look at them as a unit they are very young and inexperienced, and there isn’t a senior head there to lead or teach them.

          • you can’t just count the number of times they’ve played matches. they’ve trained together for a while. they’ve had basically the same 4 for enough time to judge. in the international game, it’s rare that one unit can play together for a ton of matches. can you remind me which 4 matches they played together? i’m pretty sure one of them was brazil, and they can make anyone look foolish, so i can grant that. experience matters, for sure, but i don’t have any problems just pointing out the obvious that the talent is just not there on defense as in years past. if you think they’ll develop, that’s great. i hope so. i can see that for hong and kim youngkwon. am i overreacting, though? is kim jinsu even going to be the starter? i mean yoon sukhyung and park joo ho are also left backs, right? i know yoon’s not playing much, but what would be the reason for jooho not making the team or starting? if it’s a question that’s been answered, sorry for re-asking.

          • I disagree. The number of matches is relevant because it shows that they are not hugely experienced at the top level, and expecting them, individually or as a group, to be a shut down defense is asking too much imo. The four matches were Brazil, Mali, Switzerland, and Greece. Training together is fine, but it’s completely different from playing in an international match. The other thing that must be considered is that those four matches took place over six months. Between then they all went to different club teams in different countries. By comparison, the likes of Park CY, Lee CY, Koo JC, and Ki SY have been playing together (with the NT) for a few years. It takes time for these units to really gel and develop chemistry.

            Park Joo-Ho doesn’t play because Hong doesn’t rate him as a defender. He never has and I don’t imagine he ever will. He made it to this squad because Yoon disappeared again, and Park has been making headlines (for his offense). If there was any flicker of hope for Yoon in terms of playing at the club level, Hong would bring him back like he did with Park CY. And, as of now, yes, Kim JS will be the starter.

          • I’d like to see comparisons over time. kim jinsu and kim youngkwon have played together even if not on the national team. sure, it matters, but my point is that 1) most teams go through changes so it’s not a good excuse and 2) i don’t think that’s the factor that’s the biggest issue with this defensive unit anyway. of course, we have no choice but to wait and see. besides, even if having more experienced leaders is the issue, you’re not going to really get it on this team. even if you bring cha duri, it’s not like he’ll be playing alongside them to teach. not to mention, you already have a hall of fame defender as a coach, and we keep seeing these mistakes. but, if you’re right, then maybe it’s just nerves. if so, they better settle quick.

          • It does matter because it’s a confluence of things that can result in a bad performance (as a unit). Yes, all teams go through changes, but they can be masked/overcome if there are players that are experienced/played at a high level for their club team. Conversely, a cohesive back four that understands each other can overcome lower individual quality. That back four, apart from Lee Yong, are all under 25 (Kim Jin-Su is just 21). Only Hong JH has played in Europe, and even then he is only a reserve. My point is that this group is both developing individually as defenders and as a unit.

            As to the game: I’ll be a little clearer about my ratings. All players start on a 6, and I move them in .5 increments. Kim Jin-Su got a 6 which for me is not good, not bad. He got is because he had a poor first half and a better second half, so it evened out. If I did smaller increments I may have given him a 5.8 or so. Lee Yong got a 6.5 because there were less threats coming down his side, but he didn’t add much to the attack. So, his solid defensive effort got him a slightly above average rate. Kim Young-Gwon got a 7 because he did well to cover both his area and Kim Jin-Su’s. Hong Jeong-Ho got a 7 because he did well to contain his marker, and there were no (as I saw) glaring errors from him. Were either spectacular? No, but they were better than average. Now, admittedly when the game ended, it was 4AM here in Korea and I had been up for 22 hours so maybe I missed something. I plan to watch it again before my more detailed review/analysis next week, so my thoughts may change. But, they may not too.

          • While yes I do agree that jooho should’ve been given a look against Greece and I do like jooho especially on Mainz these days, but he is also pretty well known for being unspectacular and getting burned bad at least once a game. So if we are going to bash on Kim jinsu for getting burned, I don’t think that anyone should be proclaiming park jooho as some sort of savior for the defense

    • Want to make small correction in this debate. While I have no idea how PJH is covered in Korea, he isn’t getting the headlines in Germany for his offense. He’s getting the headlines for being steady, ability to shield/retain possession but also, his contribution in defense in Tuchel’s system/tactic.

      As for Kim Jin-Su, he’s a young LB who goes hot and cold in J-League. He’s a typical J-league full-back in my opinion. Great in overlap but average in defense. Btw, while Kim Jin-Su lost track of players behind him, Lee Yong was consistently beaten in the flanks by pacy players. You saw it against Brazil, Croatia, and against Greece. For Greece’s 1st chance on goal, Kim Jin-Su lost track of his player but Lee Yong was poor in dealing with Holebas who provided the cross. He was guilty of cheaply losing possession in KNT’s own half and as Jae have mentioned, his crossing ability reminds me of Antonio Valencia (I also hate it when his 1st instinct is to cross when there are better options).

      • I see… That’s very interesting. I appreciate your nugget of info.

        Also, sorry to all for talking so much on this particular post! too much of my comments and not enough of others. my bad.

  4. By the way, the uniforms don’t look quite as bad when actually worn. I’d still want a better one, but at least it’s not as bad as I thought.

  5. Jae, I’ll give you an example of a glaring error by Hong. I don’t have the match tape to look through it all to pick on every error. However, you can take a look at 3:40 minute mark in the highlight video that was put up in the previous post. If that’s not a bad individual mistake, I don’t know what is. Again, generally, he did his job, but you have to admit that that was a pretty bad mistake in a dangerous part of the field. As for Jinsu, yea, he did better in the second half, but he did also give up another dangerous opportunity in the second half at the 4:12 min mark in that video. I understand your ratings at face value aren’t saying that they were great. I think without your explanation of you rated, it didn’t make sense. It makes a little more now, even though I’d still disagree with a couple players’ ratings based on your own criteria, particularly Jinsu. But, to each their own. As long as Korea’s getting better, that’s fine. If the back line needs more time together, I hope they play more than just Tunisia leading up to the World Cup.

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