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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group B - South Korea

Nickname – Taegeuk Jeonsa (Taegeuk Warriors) , Tigers of Asia, Red Devils

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

Rivalry between both Koreas saw them finishing top, undefeated, of the first phase. South Korea was top because they scored +3 GA than North Korea, even though feels like emphatic the absence of goals conceded by North Korea.

Advancing to the final round with some of the strongest teams of the Asian Football Confederation, we had to settle for the masterpiece work of undefeated South Korea that out of 8 games won 4 and drew 4. Automatically qualified North Korea finished second place on level points with Saudi Arabia that crashed-out against Bahrain that was defeated in the last playoff with world cup inclusive New Zealand.

H2H

Jun 12 Pt Elizabeth South Korea v Greece - Having only played against each other in friendly matches, the once European champion Greece never managed to defeat the Asians. South Korea won their 2 last encounters and drew another one.

Jun 17 Johannesburg Argentina v South Korea - Here’s another one that pulls the favoritism on the south American outfit. 3 matches and all of them won by Argentina. Warning – The results have been decreasing 3-1, 1-2, 0-1.

Jun 22 Durban Nigeria v South Korea - Having played twice in 2001 in a space of 2 days. The South Koreans took the best of it getting a 2-2 draw and three days after winning against the Super Eagles by the lowest of margins 2-1. Still, that was a prelude to what South Korea would deliver in the 2002 World Cup.

Goalkeepers: Kim Young-kwang (Ulsan), Lee Woon-jae (Suwon), Jung Sung-ryong (Seongnam)

Defenders: Kim Dong-jin (Ulsan), Kim Hyung-il (Pohang), Oh Beom-seok (Ulsan), Lee Young-pyo (Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia), Lee Jung-soo (Kashima, Japan), Cha Doo-ri (Freiburg, Germany) Cho Yong-hyung (Jeju), Kang Min-soo (Suwon)

Midfielders: Ki Sung-yong (Celtic, Scotland), Kim Bo-kyung (Oita, Japan), Kim Nam-il (Tomsk, Russia), Kim Jae-sung (Pohang), Kim Jung-woo (Gwangju), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton, England), Park Ji-sung (Manchester United, England)

Strikers: Park Chu-young (Monaco, France), Ahn Jung-hwan (Dalian, China), Lee Seung-ryul (Seoul), Yeom Ki-hun (Suwon), Lee Dong-gook (Jeonbuk)

FORMATION

Huh-Jung Moo plays in a mix of 3-5-2 with 4-4-2 formation. That is an approach that he changes quite often throughout the match.

Lee Woon-Jae; Du-Ri Cha, Lee Young-Pyo, Cho Young-Hyung, Lee Jung-Soo; Park Ji-Sung, Kim Jung-Woo, Lee Chung-Yong, Park Chu-Young; Lee Dong-Guk & Lee Seung-Ryul.

BEST PLAYERS

Park Ji-Sung played an interesting season with Manchester United scoring 5 goals out of 29 games. He is crucial for the development of the South Korea’s game as he his all-rounded player with fantastic work-rate levels. Furthermore, he is the engine of the squad, meaning if he underperforms that’s the end of the line for the current successful Tigers of Asia.

Lee Chung-yong, the 21 year old midfielder from Bolton Wanderers is a copiously gifted player that uses his irresistible dribbling and confident one-on-one challenging to upset the opposition. Chung-yong stand for Blue Dragon and when he is on fire, he is unstoppable. This season 48 matches with 5 goals and 5 assists. He scored one goal against Ecuador on their 2-0 victory in this month’s warm up match to the world cup.

Park Chu-Young plays for Monaco and he is the Thierry Henry of the South Korean football as he matches the French remarkable agility and pace, for instance, running 100m in 11 seconds (world record is 9,58 by Usain Bolt). Even though he plays up front, he has the characteristics of a dazzling midfielder such as being clinical in dead ball situations and his booming passing ability. He is the player that you will see assisting and taking the free kicks. Pay close attention to this player. Season record sees him having 9 goals in 22 matches and to be named Monaco player of the season’s half.

SURPRISE

The surprise omission is Seoul Ki Hyeon, but it happened due to the player’s health recovey.

STATEMENTS

"This will be the last chapter in my football life. I will put in all my energy to achieve good results in the World Cup," Korea Republic coach Huh Jung-Moo

- Jung-moo Huh –

Career made of 71 matches with 49% Win, 35% Draw, 15% Loss, GS 1,61 GA 0,72

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strength – From the last 7 matches played against opposition sides from Ivory Coast to Japan, they have won 6 and lost 1, scoring 15 goals and conceding 4.

Most of the starting XI play in a fast paced competitive European environment which will bring edge to their game that still has traces from Guus Hiddink’s coaching.

Their fast attacking line-up including Lee Chung-yong, Park Chu-Young and the transitions of Manchester United’s Park Ji-Sung.

Weaknesses – The way Huh Jung-Moo displays his defensive game and often criticizing his own players in press conferences.

Opportunities – 2nd place. Such place will be played between South Korea and Nigeria. So the last game of the group stage will decide whether if history prevails or not. Greece’s ultra-defensive approach.

Threats – Moral levels after Argentina’s match as Tigers of Asia’s coach is not much of a motivational individual. A potential draw against Greece in the opening match pilling up the pressure for delivering results against Nigeria in the last day of the group stages.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS

South Korea is placed in the unimpressive 47th position. Only South Africa, New Zealand are world cup teams behind them.

ACHIEVEMENTS

2 AFC Asian Cup

CASTROL INDEX

LAST 10 MATCHES

Denmark 0 0 South Korea

Serbia 1 0 South Korea

South Korea 2 4 Zambia

Finland 0 2 South Korea

Latvia 0 1 South Korea

South Korea 5 0 Hong Kong

China 3 0 South Korea

Japan 1 3 South Korea

Ivory Coast 0 2 South Korea

South Korea 2 0 Ecuador

Japan 0 2 South Korea

South Korea 0 1 Belarus

Spain 1 0 South Korea


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