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Korea Youth National Soccer Team Makes Ambitious Launch for World Youth Soccer Championship

Korea Youth National Soccer Team Makes Ambitious Launch for World Youth Soccer Championship

Posted November. 14, 2003 22:57,   


“We will make the ‘semifinals miracle’ again.”

The Korean youth national soccer team (below 20) set out on their vision for the 2003 World Youth Soccer Championship, held in the United Arab Emirates on November 27.

The Korean team, led by coach Park Sung-hwa, finished its final training at the National Team Training Center (NFC) in Paju under the flag of making a “semifinals miracle,” which the team led by Park Jong-hwan had achieved in the 1983 Mexico competition, again to start ambitiously on November 17.

In this competition, 24 teams are divided into six groups of four teams each, Korea will battle “Power of Europe” Germany (November 30), “A Power of South America” Paraguay (December 3), and “A Dark Horse” the U.S. (December 6) in the preliminary matches of the F group and a perilous path is expected. The first and second place teams for each group and the four teams with the most points among the other remaining teams of all groups will advance to the final 16.

Coach Park prepared a secret plan, using a “4-4-2” formation in order to upset the “powers” based on its exhibition games against Slovakia, Australia, and Columbia at the Suwon Cup Championship early this month. He chose a four-back formation, the trend of modern soccer, instead of a three-back formation, preferred by traditional Korean soccer, to make the passing routes from defense to offense as short as possible and to guard the well-conditioned Europe and South American players’ offense and break through their defense by smooth passing.

The core axis of the “four-back” formation are Kim Chi-woo (Chungang University), Kim Chi-gon (Anyang), Kim Jin-gyu (Jeolla South Province), Park Ju-sung (Suwon) including a reserve member “J leaguer” Lim Yu-hwan (Kyoto Purple sanga). For the offense, Jung Cho-gook (Anyang) and Kim Dong-hyun (Oita) are the top two and Choi Sung-gook for a side-attacker or one top and shadow striker formation of “Jung Cho-gook and Choi Sung-gook” or “Kim Dong-hyun and Choi Sung-gook” is expected.

Coach Park will depart for Egypt, the place of training, on November 17 and will confirm the final offensive formations just before the final exhibition game against Egypt on November 22 in order to focus on putting the strategy of the set plays in order.

Coach Park promised, “I will attempt for the ‘big four legend’ in 20 years. Even if all the teams in preliminary league are strong, I will surprise you, armed with my patience and organizing ability.”

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com