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Evaluation Matches With Strong Teams, Gain or Loss?

Posted May. 17, 2002 09:18,   


The Korean national soccer team is to hold evaluation matches with England on the 21st and France on the 25th, continuing on from the Scottish match.

Domestic fans may be excited about having a chance to watch the Korean players competing with international veteran players, who will not possibly be met in the actual World Cup finals, but World Cup authorities like the organization committee and Korea Football Association are concerned about the outcomes. As it brought big disappointment after losing to France by 0-5 in the opening match of the Confederation Cup last year, a bad outcome may cool the World Cup fever.

It may also cause a negative effect for the national team’s spirit. Defeat by more than 3 goals will discontinue the national team’s recent outstanding record in the past evaluation matches, and lead to a decline in confidence. “2 goal-defeat will be a good experience about heavy pressure and quick progression, and it won’t affect the team spirit,” said media-supervisor Hur Jin.

The evaluation matches, which can be an obstacle against stimulation for the World Cup’s success and the players’ spirit, were already scheduled since a year ago. It was due to manager Guus Hiddink’s request for opportunities to play with Europe’s top-class teams. “It is particularly important for the Korean players, who lack experiences against European top-players, to play games with them in the process of preparation for the finals,” explained Hiddink then.

After announcing the final entry of the team, Hiddink gathered with the players in Seoguipo, Jeju, to explain, “Poland and U.S.A. will be much easier after experiencing heavy pressure and quick progression while playing with the French and English.”

He emphasized, “It’d be good to win, but we shouldn’t panic at unexpected results. Just like we played good against Mexico right after losing to France in the Confederations Cup last year, finals is all that matters even if disappointing outcomes come from the matches with strong teams”