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Survival Race of Strikers

Posted April. 22, 2002 09:24,   


The Korean national soccer team’s Cha Doo-Ri (Korea Univ.) and Lee Dong-Kuk (Pohang Steelers), who are in a `survival competition` for the striker position, are going through mixed feelings.

As Cha did well in the Costa Rican match, which took place at Daegu World Cup Stadium on the 21st, with 1 goal and 1 assist, he expressed joy by saying, “My father (former national coach Cha Bum-Kun) will be most happy. I couldn’t talk to him before, because I was sorry, but I want to deliver this good news to him in Germany today.”

Cha now has a better advantage in the race for the final entry in the World Cup. Also, he was able to settle different arguments around him. Until now, he had to go through distress due to rumors saying that he is not even good enough for the youth team, his father has an influence, and also that he could impress upon Hiddink with fluency in German.

On the other hand, Lee had no opportunity.

While Cha was scoring a goal in the Costa Rican match on the day, he sat at the bench only waiting for Hiddink’s call.

Although other players like Hyun Young-Min, Choi Jin-Chul, Lee Chun-Su, and Choi Sung-Yong were put in the game, Lee could not step on the ground after all. Therefore, Lee is uncertain of his participation in the evaluation match with China, in which foreign-based players are to join. To the question of why Lee was not in the game, Hiddink answered, “Why would I not give a position to players when they prove that they have international capability in real or practice games.”

Although Hiddink did leave an aftertaste that “competition is to continue still”, Lee’s actual chance is quite uncertain.