Byuri Eum : Korean Society of New England Student Reporter


June 8, 2013 Byuri Eom]  Failure, failure, and failure. Korea, once the most successful Asian national soccer team, has tied to Lebanon, a country not known for being a soccer powerhouse. 2 years ago, we [Korea], with our proud captain Park Chu-Young breezed past Lebanon 6-0. But just a few days ago, we have tied, no, almost lost to Lebanon.

 This chart shows the current ranking in our World Cup Qualifier groups. We have 2 more remaining games for the Brazil World Cup 2014 Qualifiers against Iran and Uzbekistan and need at least a win to play in Brazil next year. We cannot perform like we did against Lebanon. But, how was the game like? How did such a thing happen to Korea? What can we do to beat Uzbekistan and Iran?

First, how was the game like? 

   The game was sloppy from the start. With our best players, Park Chu-Young, Koo Ja-Cheol, Ki Sung-Yueng, and Hong Jeong-Ho missing, it seemed as though our team lacked energy and confidence. Soon enough, in the 12th minute, from a corner kick, our sloppy defense allowed the Lebanese to capitalize on a chance. From then on, it was merely a boring midfield battle. After half time, we had numerous of great opportunities in which our terrible striker Lee Dong-Gook wasted. Around the 70th minute, prospect Son Heung-Min was put in but it did no good. We kept hitting the post... Then, with an added time of 7 minutes, we earned a free kick in the last minute and Kim Chi-Woo scored, although the free kick took a deflection from the Lebanese defender. It was 100% luck. We were lucky to tie against Lebanon. Indeed, it is shameful. 

   What happened? What’s the reason for this failure?

   As the Korean media states, our main problem is our coach Choi Kang-hee. Leaving out Park Chu-Young despite his lack of form, Koo Ja-Cheol and Ki Sung-Yueng was a terrible mistake made by him. Why leave out Park, our best striker, Koo, our charismatic midfielder and Ki, the player who connects all the passes? Not only that, Choi Kang-Hee plays Lee Dong-Gook, Kwak Tae-Hee and Kim Nam-Il. They are simply too old. They must be kicked off the team. With exception of Kim, Lee and Kwak has been playing under Choi for Korean National Football Team for a few years and all they bring is catastrophe. Lee and Kwak frustrates the fans too much: Lee frequently fails to score on a golden opportunity and Kwak let’s defenders go by way too easily. Lee must be replaced by Son and Kwak replaced by Hong. Also, Choi’s objective is to get us into the World Cup 2014. Because of that, he is using tactics that are only meant to be used for short-term effect and does not help develop younger players. If he doesn’t change anything, we can expect losses in the following 2 matches.

   What can we do to against Uzbekistan and Iran?


   We will play against Uzbekistan and Iran at home on June 11th and June 18th respectively. Uzbekistan is a team that excels in set up plays like corner kicks and free kicks while Iran is plainly a team we always play poorly against. Son Heung-Min, Lee Chung-Yong, Kim Bo-Kyung, and Kim Young-Kwon needs to start against these 2 teams. Also, against Uzbekistan, we need to play a fast paced counter attacking soccer because Uzbekistanis are weak against fast paced soccer and Son Heung-Min is the master of counter attacking. Against Iran, our defense must be well organized because Iranians love attacking. But if we are well organized, we can use the same tactics like in the Uzbekistan by having Son up top and counter attacking.


   This Tuesday, we have to at least get a win. If manager Choi can get us to qualify, he has done his job. 대한민국!!!!