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For Unification, But Still A Game

Posted September. 06, 2002 23:10,   


Game is game, friendship is friendship.

It is about the 2002 North-South Unification Soccer Match scheduled at 7 p.m. on September 7, held at Seoul World Cup Stadium.

This is the first match between the two Koreas in 12 years. On October 23, 1990, teams from the two met for the last time at Chamsil Stadium at the second match of North-South Unification Soccer Match. The current match is a festival of North and South soccer, expected to drum up the zeal for peace and harmony on the Korean Peninsula. In the ’90’s match, the North first beat the South 2-1, and the South won 1-0.

But in this match, which is held only one time, heated competition is expected on the ground.

Park Hang-suh, coach of South Korean team, showed confidence by saying, “I will do my best in the first match as coach of the national team. The number of our defense will vary from 1 to 3 in accordance with North offense system.”

▽Goal Keeper: Lee Woon-jae v. Jang Jung-hyuk

The rivalry between Lee Woon-jae (29, Suwon Samsung) and Jang Jung-hyuk (22, Pyong Yang City) draws attention. Lee is a goalkeeper renowned worldwide. He competed with German Oliva Kahn for Yashin Award in the last 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup. Jang, on the other hand, brought their team victory in the final against Kuwait in last year’s Samsung Cup due to his excellent performance in penalty shoot-out. Lee has recently regained his perfect conditions from the left-thumb injury. Jang, who is the only son of IOC member Jang Woong, said, “Lee has an excellent ability in making decision and never-yielding fighting spirits. But I have my own merits. I will show excellent performance this time.”

▽Defense: Choi Jin-chul v. Lee Man-chul

The defense lines of North and South will be built centered around Lee Man-chul (28) and Choi Jin-chul, respectively. Choi has already proved his waterproof defense in the 2002 World Cup. On the other hand, Lee has a lot of experience in A matches.

▽ Offense: Lee Dong-kook v. Jun Chol

On the front lines, new-generation strikers will fight for scores. Lee Dong-kook (23, Pohang Steelers), who is emerging as the number one striker despite his failure to play in the 2002 World Cup, will team up with Lee Chun-soo and Choi Tae-wook, and attack North. Jun Chun (20), who has taken the place of North’s number one striker Lee Keun-chul, seems to lead the North’s offense with his swift speed and techniques.

stt77@donga.com swon@donga.com