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National Team’s Next Opponent: Greece

Posted January. 21, 2006 03:01,   


Dick Advocaat’s head may be hurting as he prepares the Korean national team for its upcoming match against Greece on January 21, at 10:40 p.m. (Korea time) at Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faizal Bin Fahd Stadium.

Not only does he have to come up with a must-win strategy after the team’s shocking loss to the United Arab Emirates, he also needs to test as many players as possible in early stages of the team’s overseas training.

Advocaat is worried that a second defeat might hurt his team’s morale and ruin its entire training camp.

Kim Du-hyeon (Suwon) and Yi ho (Ulsan) relayed what Advocaat said after the recovery exercise to the press, saying, “Training or not, we still feel bad about losing. Let us do our best not to feel this way again.”

Advocaat will strengthen a defense that was porous in the United Arab Emirates game. Kim Nam-il (Suwon) will play as defensive midfielder, and Kim Young-cheol (Seongnam) will play as central defender.

The defense will consist of Kim Jin-gyu (Iwata), Choi Jin-cheol (Jeonbuk), and Kim Young-cheol. Kim Dong-jin (Seoul) will replace left midfielder Jang Hak-yeong (Seongnam).

Kim Du-hyeon is considered a central offensive midfielder, and defensive midfielder Kim Jeong-wu (Ulsan) will join Kim Nam-il in strengthening the defense. The offense will again consist of a three-top system featuring Park Ju-yeong (Seoul), Lee Dong-gook (Pohang), and Lee Chun-su (Ulsan).

FIFA ranks Greece as the 16th best team in the world. Led by manager Oto Rehagel (68), Greece won the European soccer championship in 2004.

Greece’s playing style resembles Switzerland’s, whom Korea will face in the main round of the World Cup this summer.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com