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Korea beats Germany 2-0 … Payback for the defeat at the World Cup Semifinals

Korea beats Germany 2-0 … Payback for the defeat at the World Cup Semifinals

Posted November. 30, 2003 23:02,   


“The glory of the World Cup is before the eyes once again.”

Korea Team defeated the “Tank Squad” Germans 2-0 at the 2003 World Youth Soccer Champions (under age 20) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Little Taekuk warriors” who wanted to again realize the miracle of the semifinals that the “Park Jong-hwan squad” made at the Mexico Championship 1983, beat the Germans, the Group F powerhouse, at the preliminary opening match to wipe out the stain of the defeat which the “elder adult team” received at the 2002 World Cup semifinals. Korea will battle Paraguay in the second preliminary match on December 3.

● Key role player of the victory “Left Ho-jin, Right Jong-min”

Goals were not shared by the strikers. Playing in the midfield, left wing Lee Ho-jin (20 years old, Sungkyunkwan University) and right wing Lee Jong-min (20 years old, Suwon Samsung), both diligent defensive players and attackers, scored the opening goal and final goal, respectively.

Left wing Lee Ho-jin is called the “fighting rooster” because of his strong physical stamina and is full of combativeness. Lee Ho-jin pounced on a defensive mistake to score the winning goal in the 6th minute of second half when the ball went to the penalty area after being hit off of the defensive player’s head.

The hero of the final goal was Lee Jong-min, the everlasting right wing. He easily scored the goal with an assist from Kim Jin-kyu in the 25th minute of second half. He runs the 100 meters in 11.8 second.

● The Victory of Tactics

Korea placed a four-back defense line formation to the rear as far as possible, in order not to give up this space to the German attackers, and attempted a quick counter attack. Although the Germans threatened with a few convincing centering shots and other shots by the starters in the first half, they were well defended by the thick Korean defensive wall. Later, as German’s attacking failed to succeed, they collapsed.

Cha Bum-kun, MBC commentator evaluated the strategy saying, “The tactic of coach Park Sung-hwa to strengthen the defensive wall before anything else worked. As the Germans’ seven key players were not available, they failed to tidy up their strategy. Coach Park made use of this weak point.”

Though Korea possessed the ball for only 31 percent of the time, it never squandered mistakes by the Germans and caught a “big fish” in the end. Michael Pfeiffer reporter of German soccer magazine Kika also analyzed, “The victory was due to the organized play of the Koreans.”

● “The Memory of World Cup” in UAE

At the Al Nayan Stadium where the Korea-Germany match was held, about 500 Korean residents in UAE cheered fiercely, shouting “Dae~Han Minkook” and playing Jing and hitting a gong while dressed in “Red Devils” shirts. They were in shipshape form while rooting under the Red Devils, Yu Young-Un and Lim Hyung-jun and Lee Sung-min’s direction. With this, UAE soccer fans also shouted “Dae~Han Minkook” in harmony.

● Japan Also Stuns Powerhouse

Japan also beat European powerhouse England to come out as a hero of surprising upset in this championship along with Korea.

Daisuke Sakata scored the winning goal for Japan as they stunned powerhouse England 1-0 at the opening match of Group D held in Dubai. At the Group E, the small African country of C te d’Ivoire, also known as Ivory Coast, beats Mexico 2-1 in a surprising upset.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com