November 18, 2012
No shortage of drama as the U-19 Taeguk Warriors defeated Iraq in the final match of the AFC U19 Championship in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday. They were down 1-0 for most of the match to a surprisingly deft Iraqi side, hungry for a tournament win. As Iraq was preparing a grand celebration, with only seconds left in stoppage time Moon Chang-Jin made the most of a lob from substitute Oh Yeong-Jun and blasted it past the Iraqi keeper to force overtime. 30 minutes of heart stopping overtime featuring some entertaining dynamic football from both sides, it all came down to penalty kicks.
Nerves a twitching, South Korea went to bat first and Sim Sang-min was dead on target to put Korea on the scoresheet. Ahmed Abbas blasted an unstoppable shot into the upper right corner for Iraq. Woo Ju-Sung came up next for the Taeguk Warriors; keeper Hameed guessed the correct side to dive towards but the shot sailed just above his hands and into the net. Saif Salman stepped up and fired a quick shot -just wide to the left. Kim Sun-Woo confidently chipped his penalty shot in, followed by the first goal scorer of the match, Mohanad Abdulraheem. He sized up netminder Lee Chang-Guen before winding up for his kick. Lee sprung to his left and knocked the ball away from the net. South Korea celebrated for a moment, and with Ryu Seung-Woo‘s final converted PK, the entire squad erupted into pandemonium and sheer joy. South Korea has won this title for the 12th time. The Tavern is looking forward to watching coach Lee Kwong-Jong and this edition of future Taeguk Warriors in next years FIFA U-20 World Cup.
UPDATE: A busy and productive day for Koreans in Europe this Saturday. Let’s go to Germany first.
Koo Ja-Cheol entered the scoreline in the Augsburg v Eintracht Frankfurt match -scoring for the first time this season with a rocket shot from the edge of the 18 yard line. A corner kick that bounced off Frankfurt’s defenders came right to Koo. Frankfurt was ahead 2-1 by half, but Koo’s goal kept Augsburg within striking distance. After the dust of the 2nd half settled, Augsburg lost 4-2. Koo played his second 90 minute game since coming back from an ankle tendon injury that kept him out of the lineup for close to 2 months. Here’s a short clip of the goal:
Meanwhile Son Heung-Min scored his 6th goal of the season, and in the end, it was the only goal the match that mattered: Hamburg wins 1-0 at home against Mainz. In the 67th minute with the game looking glumly like another scoreless draw for Hamburg, Beister sent a dangerous ball across goal that caught several defenders by surprise. Son rushed forward from his 18 yard perch and easily knocked the ball in past the outstretched arms of the Mainz keeper. Mainz protested in vain, arguing Son was offsides. Looking at the replays, as soon as Biester sends in the ball, Son is clearly onsides as evidenced by his position to not one, but two Mainz defenders. Take a look:
Son is still your Asian leading goalscorer in the Bundesliga.
In the English Championship Division, Kim Bo-Kyung put in a decent 90 minute performance for Cardiff. It was a grinder of a match with Middlesbrough, but Cardiff prevailed 1-0. Cardiff knocks off Middlesbrough from their 2nd place position in the table and takes over 2nd place for themselves.
Still staying with the N Power Championship, Lee Chung-Yong came on for David Ngog in the 2nd half and put in a 21 minute shift. In the end, Bolton drew the match with Barnsley 1-1.
Ki Sung-Yeung and Park Ji-Sung were both injured and not in the 18 man roster for Swansea and QPR respectively. Swansea earned an away victory at Newcastle 1-2, while QPR lost yet again, this time 1-3 at Loftus Road to fellow bottom dweller Southampton. QPR is looking more and more unlikely to escape relegation as the season is wearing on.
Stay tuned, we might get to see a revamped Cha Du-Ri in an attack role for Fortuna Dusseldorf Sunday against Werder Bremen at 9:30 am EST. Meanwhile over in Spain – manager Paco Herrera hints at the possibility of Park Chu-Young getting another crack as a starting forward for Celta Vigo. They face off against Mallorca Sunday at 10 am EST. Ji Dong-Won probably will not be in the 18 man roster for Sunderland when they go against Fulham, but with the horrid performances from the Blackcats as of late, you never know what might be up Martin O’Neil’s sleeves.