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Park Ju-young Central to National Team’s Game Plan

Posted June. 08, 2005 06:44,   


With seven points, even if the Korean national team only ties with Kuwait (four points), it will be able to win a ticket to the 2006 World Cup as at least the second ranking team in the group. However if the team happens to lose due to unfavorable conditions such as the sweltering heat above 45 degrees, it is not guaranteed a spot in the World Cup. Thus, Korean National Team head coach Johannes Bonfrere and the players are strongly determined to win with the mindset that “we cannot afford to lose.”

Bonfrere says, “Our goal is to clinch a ticket to Germany by gaining points in this match.” He is urging players to “reduce unnecessary back passes and win by using fast forward passes.”

Bonfrere is planning to put Park Ju-young, Ahn Jung-hwan (Yokohama), and Cha Du-ri (Frankfurt) as his three forwards in a 3-4-3 formation. Park Ju-young, the hero of the Uzbekistan match on June 3, will be the left forward. The center will be Ahn Jung-hwan in his best condition, and he is later expected to be replaced by Lee Dong-guk (Pohang) to form a 3-5-2 formation with two forwards, Lee and Park Ju-young.

Thus, Park Ju-young is key to Bonfrere’s gameplan. As the June weather in Kuwait, even in the afternoon when the game will take place, gets as hot as 37 degrees Celsius, the performance of Park Ju-young, a major scorer, will be critical to the game results.

KBS commentator Lee Yong-soo says, “As all the tactics of the team have been exposed, Park Ju-young is the only factor that can alter the tactical equation. He is good in all positions and at scoring, so we must make good use of him.”

Park Ju-young is determined to score a goal once again, saying, “I will do everything in my power to play a role in the team’s victory.” Lee Dong-guk, who is highly likely to play in the second half, said, “As the weather is hot, concentration on scoring when the chance comes is more necessary than ever. We will win a ticket to the World Cup in this match.”

Kim Jung-woo (Ulsan) or Kim Doo-hyun (Suwon) is likely to replace Yoo Sang-chul (Ulsan) as a defensive midfielder, and Kim Jin-gyu (Iwata) is likely to replace Park Dong-hyuk (Jeonbuk). Other positions will remain more or less the same as the Uzbekistan match.

Meanwhile, North Korea in Group B will have a match with Japan at Supachalasai National Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on June 8 at 7:35 p.m. without spectators. North Korea has lost four games, ranking last in the group while Japan is second in the group with three wins and one defeat.

Jong-KooYang yjongk@donga.com