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The Survival Game of Six Strikers Has Just Begun

Posted May. 30, 2005 03:33,   


It is a war of the strikers.

The competition of egos among strikers to capture the eyes of Korean National Soccer Team coach Johannes Bonfrere (59) is intense. Until now, the strikers of Bonfrere’s team were Ahn Jung-hwan (29, Yokohama) and Lee Dong-gook (26, Pohang). However, with “soccer prodigy” Park Joo-young (20, FC Seoul) and “young goal-getter” Kim Jin-yong (23, Ulsan) joining the team, they have all entered into a war of survival.

With two road-games left in the Asian qualifying round for the 2006 German World Cup, against Uzbekistan (to be played on June 3) and Kuwait (to be played on June 9), the competition for the striker position in the two friendly matches against Kyunghee University, played on May 26 and 28 and won by the national team 3-0 and 5-0, was quite visible.

Ahn scored goals in both games, and held his pride as a senior player, and Lee, although missing the second game due to a slight injury, scored a goal in the first game, pleasing Bonfrere.

The competition of the youngsters was also strong. In particular, Park scored a goal and an assist, and scored two goals in the second game, showing off his explosiveness. Being called to the national team on May 24, and scoring a goal in a training match in the afternoon of the same day, Park grabbed Bonfrere’s attention for sure by scoring in two consecutive games. Kim also made his presence known by scoring a magnificent goal in the second game.

Currently there are six strikers aboard the national team. They are Ahn Jung-hwan, Lee Dong-gook, Kim Jin-yong, Cha Doo-ri (Frankfurt) and Chung Kyung-ho (Kwangju). However, in the game, if it is a three-top formation, only three strikers will be put up in the roster.

So the question is, who will be chosen as Bonfrere’s striker among strikers?

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com