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Korea Scores Three in Win Over Galaxy

Posted February. 10, 2006 07:01,   


The Korean national soccer team broke its 17-year-old “Los Angeles jinx” in a match strewn with goals yesterday.

In its game against the U.S Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, Lee Dong-guk (Pohang), Kim Du-hyeon (Seongnam), and Lee Chun-su (Ulsan) each scored a goal, sealing Korea’s 3-0 victory over the U.S.

The win is Korea’s first victory over a U.S. team since the 1989 Marlboro Cup. Before yesterday’s game, Korea’s match record against U.S. teams was eight draws and five losses.

Korea’s first goal came from Lee Dong-guk 21 minutes into the first half. After receiving a pass from Lee Chun-su outside the penalty zone, Lee Dong-guk shot a 21-meter left footer into the goal.

Shaking off the burden of uncertainty with his first score on the team’s overseas training trip, Lee said, “I was always ready to score. It’s just that I haven’t had a chance until now. One regrettable thing is that none of our goals today came off cross passes. That is what we will need against European teams.”

Offensive midfielder Kim Du-hyeon kicked in a rebound off the crossbar 31 minutes in the second half for Korea’s second goal. Lee Chun-su scored the third after a one-on-one confrontation with the opposing goalie 33 minutes into the second half.

“Manager Advocaat praised me after the game. He always puts me in the same group with Dong-guk so we can develop better teamwork,” said Lee.

But while the team’s offense got a passing grade in yesterday’s match, its defense left something to be desired.

Critics pointed out that Kim Nam-il (Suwon) and Yi Ho (Ulsan), defensive midfielders, gave too much space to their opponents, and that Korea’s four-back line was visibly shaky.

Korean players showed poor teamwork in the beginning of the first half, perhaps from the awareness that the team’s overseas training is coming to an end and that the starting roster will soon be announced.

Korea will face Costa Rica in an evaluation match at Oakland Stadium on February 12.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com