October 29, 2012
Taeguk Warriors in Europe Weekend Review October 26-28
Wind gusts are starting to approach 50 mph around here and the Tavern has battened down the hatches. Despite fierce winds howling about, my new infant daughter Amelia is sleeping soundly in her rocker. Hurricane Sandy is a bitch let me tell you. And yet, I have a measured respect for her. But before I lose my connection to the world via the interwebs, let’s take a look at how Koreans fared in European football this past weekend. [NOTE: the review for Kim Bo-Kyung’s is a bit truncated, but there’s payoff here as the Tavern’s first contributing writer, CJay, delivers this exclusive match report for Kim’s breakout starting debut for Cardiff – and quite literally it’s a winner. If you want to skip ahead to that, click over here].
Germany FC Augsburg 0 : Hamburg SV 2 Son Heung-Min does it again, scoring a brilliant goal in the 13th minute for Hamburg and propels himself as the 3rd highest goalscorer in the Bundesliga. Deep in Augsburg territory, Rafael Van der Vaart set up a cross that wound up eventually to Rudinevs, who kicked it out wide right towards Son. He delivered and broke the game wide open for Hamburg. Augsburg was not going down easily, and had controlled large swaths of the match. Lady luck and Koo Ja-Cheol weren’t around to help them out however. Later on in the 2nd half, driving the ball deep to the right, Son started a sequence of events leading to Rafael Van der Vaart’s through pass, literally through a defender’s legs, on to Rudinev’s for the finish and Hamburg’s 2nd insurance goal later. Back to Son’s goal, the look of it was nearly identical to the game winning goal he scored against Borussia Dortumund, cutting in from the right, splitting 2 defenders in half and powering past the keeper on the opposite far corner of the net. His 20 year old enthusiasm and goal could not hide some notable mistakes he made personally in the game. He had difficulty holding on to possession at times. Nevertheless, mistakes is all part of the learning process; since being recruited to Hamburg’s youth academy 4 years ago, he’s now on track to make 28 appearances thus far for the senior team. Note: recovering from an ankle tendon injury several weeks back, Koo Ja-Cheol is starting to train with his Augsburg teammates, but didn’t make it into the 18 man roster for this match. Look for him to return to action for Augsburg. Here’s a recap of Son’ goal:
Germany Fortuna Dusseldorf 1 : Wolfsburg 4 Cha Du-Ri in the 18 man roster, unused substitute in Fortuna’s lopsided loss to last place Wolfsburg
England Stoke 0 : Sunderland 0 Ji Dong-Won not in 18 man roster. He hasn’t been in Martin O’Neil’s regular squad in several matches. Coincidentally (or not) Sunderland has been downright mediocre in form. Martin O’Neil has seemingly penned himself in with a lack of attacking options; Steven Fletcher has been practically the only goalscorer for the Blackcats. Looks like transfer time is becoming imminent for Ji.
*Cardiff City 4 : Burnley 0 Boss Malky Mackay surprised the Tavern by giving Kim Bo-Kyung his debut start!! Our man in Cardiff, CJay has an exclusive match report -definitely deserving it’s own Tavern post. You find it here.
Middlesbrough 2 : Bolton 1 Lee Chung-Yong makes his first start in quite a while for Bolton – marking an already a busy day for some of our European based Taeguk Warriors. He rewarded Bolton’s new boss with his first goal of the season, a beautiful timed play in the 42nd minute that he finished, sending the ball high over the goalkeeper and on into the net. He had another golden chance 2 minutes later in very similar circumstances, but sent the ball high over the crossbar. Otherwise the Blue Dragon had a very decent display and goes the full 90 minutes. Alas, gravity’s harshness brings us back to Bolton’s present dilemma: despite the early lead, a second half brace by Middlesbrough’s Scott McDonalad exposed Bolton’s defense and doomed them to another loss in the N-Power Championship. They are now in 18th place and in the precarious relegation zone. Here’s a youtube replay:
QPR 0 : Arsenal 1 Park Ji-Sung was scratched from the lineup, the culprit being a knee injury sustained in last week’s draw with Everton. Arsenal escape from Loftus Road with a late goal from Arteta. QPR still remains mired in last place. Word on the street has it that Mark Hughes job will be on the line, pending outcome to next weeks match with Reading.
Manchester City 1 : Swansea City 0
A close one at Etihad Stadium, but no points to show for Swansea, having gone head to head with the defending EPL champions – only to lose with a Tevez strike to spoil Swansea’s party crashing. Ki Sung-Yeung had an uncharacteristic tentative start, seemed unsure of himself, and got dispossessed of the ball on a few occasions; perhaps nerves got the best of him. He shook it off and got his mojo back; in the 35th minute he started a series of quality counterattacks. 4 minutes later, Swansea nearly got on the scoreboard with the perfect through ball to Swans forward Michu, who charged Joe Hart one on one – only to get his shot get blocked – attributable to a slightly less than stellar finish. By the half, Manchester City was on the receiving end of boos from the Etihad stadium crowd for their lackluster performance. Swansea continued to press, leading to a Jonathan de Guzman cross to Michu, who headed it towards Hart. The rebound and subsequent botched clearance from Richards fell to Ki who powered a shot that was going in, save for Kompany, who deflected it out of harms way. The aforementioned Tevez goal broke the deadlock in the 61st minute. His 25 yard strike was a bit random, nevertheless was true aimed that curved past Vorm. Swansea just could not find an equalizer, despite 12+ stoppage minutes and Man City rode out the Swansea surges to grab another disjointed win. Meanwhile, Ki got some love from several football talking heads, including Richard Jolly writing for ESPN FC. “MAN OF THE MATCH: Ki Sung-Yeung. The South Korean looked composed in possession and provided a series of penetrative passes, one sending Michu clear on goal. His signing from Celtic looks an astute piece of business by Laudrup.” He went on further about Swansea’s weapons of choice: “Plenty of Swans excelled, from Chico Flores and Ashley Williams in defence to Michu, a predatory presence in attack, but two of Laudrup’s recruits, Ki and Pablo Hernandez were perhaps the most promising.”
Spain Celta Vigo 1 : Deportivo 1 Park Chu-Young had been questionable for the testy Galician derby, having lingering adductor leg issues earlier in the week. He was a surprise substitute in the 86th minute, surprising due in part to Celta’s situation being reduced to 10 men. Oddly enough, Celta’s offensive game came alive again after Cabral’s red card ejection in the 52nd minute. Instead of opting for a defender, Paco Herrera gave Park the green light to see if they could nab all 3 points. Park was raring to go, but Celta wasn’t able to get the ball over to set Park loose. His best chance came in the 86th minute, a very good through ball that found him wide open with no one able to catch up to him; however he was called offsides – but only minutely so. Game over. This Wednesday he’s expected to start in a Spanish King’s Cup match up with Almeria, a tune up perhaps for a pivotal game at Camp Nou and Barcelona. Whoa! Messi vs Park? Stay tuned.
Tavern closed for Hurricane Sandy. We’ll reopen and post again when the winds die down. Stay safe, find shelter from this storm, and we’ll see you soon.