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Experts Say National Team Improving

Posted November. 14, 2005 03:07,   


The Korean National team has changed. The continued fumbling of the national team ever since the euphoria of the 2002 World Cup is no more.

In a friendly match against world soccer power Sweden on November 12 at Seoul World Cup Stadium, the Korean national team gave its fans a great game. Even though the game ended in a 2-2 tie, experts praised the Korean team’s improvement.

KBS commentator and University of Sejong professor Yi Yong-su said, “The offense has certainly improved. Forwards Park Ju-yong, Ahn Jung-hwan, and Seol Ki-hyun, midfielder Park Ji-sung, and side attackers Yi Yong-pyo and Cho Won-hee showed off a variety of offensive skills. They no longer rely heavily on the simple pattern of penetrating from sides and a long pass to the center. They displayed various methods of attack, such as short passes in the center and two-to-one passes. They were able to find various offensive routes.”

But experts also pointed out that the defense needs more improvement. SBS commentator Shin Moon-sun said, “The defense line was not exactly perfect. There were a lot of serious mistakes. Panicked by counterattacks, they became unstable, and flocked together when the ball come flying across. These things should have been avoided.”

Team manager Dick Advocaat says the team will spend time strengthening its defense in training camp early next year.

“Sweden has a strong team work ethic. I am satisfied with the players’ effort to find space throughout the game,” said Advocaat. “Things are much better than when we played against Iran. But I would have liked to have seen communications between defenders go a little smoother.”

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com