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South Korea Meets Costa Rica in Friendly Match Today

Posted April. 20, 2002 08:25,   


`Confrontation of killers.`

The friendly game between South Korea and Costa Rica to be held at 7 P.M. on April 20 at Daegu World Cup Stadium will likely highlight `goal hunting` by goal scorers of both teams, that is, between Seol Gi-Hyun of Belgium`s Anderecht (23-year-old,) and Rolando Fonseca of Mexico`s La Piedad (28-year-old).

Both Guus Hiddink, the head coach of the South Korean national team, and Alexander Guimaraes , the coach of Costa Rica, will keep upfront their teams` best attackers to prepare for aggressive football games. Especially, Hiddink showed strong desire to win this match with Costa Rica to solve the deficient goal scores that considered a big problem for Korean team.

The card that Hiddink coach presented for this occasion is `European faction` Seol Gi-Hyun. Hiddink is paying careful attention to Seol in so far as to coach him how to get goals by positioning him as forward attacker in mini games and training games after letting Seol rest for a day for adjustment when he came to Korea on April 16 from Belgium.

Seol Gi-Hyun is also determined. It seemed that he may not be included in the entry list because of his back problems, but he is recovering in great speed, and is ready to fight again as he is adjusting for not only scoring goals but also with the team tactics.

Seol had once been the object of worry of Hiddink coach, for Seol had joined the national team when the team was well into the three months` training stint in Spain, and had not adjusted well to the team play even though he was in the entry list in the match against Finland. Seol had showed poor performance and had infrequent appearance in the games, and criticized harshly by team colleagues and the local press, but Seol thinks that this game with Costa Rica is a chance for redemption.

Costa Rica national team that takes South Korea this time is determined to get a back-to-back victory against South Korea following the win at the North and Central America Gold Cup in early this year, by putting Fonseca in forward position even though the team`s star player Wanchope could not come due to his injury.

Fonseca packs powerful shot in both feet, and very fast in front of the goal gates, and high goal score probability, which is an essential condition for goal scorers. He is the No.1 target of Korean defense side. Fonseca has been under shade of famed Wanchope, but has reputation of being never far off in goal scoring power. In the qualifiers for the North and Central America for World Cup, he was the No.1 contributor for the team to get the first ticket in the region. He scored five goals at the qualifiers, which is one more than Wanchope.

In other hand, the South Korean National Team took a tactical training in Citizens` Stadium in Suseong-Gu, Daegu, in the afternoon of April 19. The Costa Rica team arrived at Daegu the previous day and held adjustment training for about an hour at World Cup Stadium of Daegu in the morning.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com