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Korea Loses, 1-0 to Costa Rica

Posted February. 13, 2006 06:26,   


Korea controlled the ball but lost its match against Costa Rica at Oakland Coliseum in California yesterday.

Costa Rica scored on a penalty kick goal from Alvaro Saborio 40 minutes into the first half.

Korea dominated the match, but lost after missing multiple goal chances and making serious mistakes on defense.

The Korean national team has a record of four wins, one draw, and three losses in its overseas training camp international matches so far.

Korea Dominates-

Dick Advocaat maintained a 4-3-3 formation in the friendly match against the Costa Ricans. But he experimented with Jeong Gyeong-ho, Jo Jae-jin, and Lee Chun-soo at forward, while playing Kim Sang-sik and Kim Jin-gyu as central defenders on the four-back line.

This new combination did not work out well.

According to SBS TV analysts, Korea had the ball 65 percent of the time, and Korea’s pass- success rate was 72 percent, higher than Costa Rica’s 66 percent. But Korea came away with nothing to show for its dominant play. Park Mun-seong, the SBS sportscaster who covered the game, said, “[Korea’s] attackers have certainly gotten better at setting up goals, but their accuracy has not improved much. And the team’s four-back defense line was penetrated too often.”

Korea used multiple angles of attack and took 18 shots on goal, none of which went into the net. Nine corner kicks and 24 free kicks also proved fruitless.

Four-Back Defense Leaky-

The team’s four-back defense line frequently allowed space for the Costa Ricans to press their attacks. Thirty-nine minutes into the first half, Jo Won-hee and Kim Sang-sik failed to block an opposing attacker who penetrated the left penalty zone. Kim Sang-sik fouled him, and a penalty kick was awarded to Saborio, whose goal gave Costa Rica the win.

The Korean national team could learn a lot from this match, according to Park. “Improving goal accuracy and defensive teamwork must be our homework. There were a lot of lessons learned today on how to play against strong teams,” he said.

Korea will end its overseas training camp with one last evaluation match against Mexico on February 16.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com