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Ahn, Cha Battling for World Cup Spots

Posted May. 08, 2006 07:08,   


As the final entry of 23 players who will play in the 2006 Germany World Cup draws national attention, Team Korea head coach Pim Verbeek maintained that a player’s potential is more important than the fact that he plays for a big league team when considering his possible inclusion on the active roster. Commenting on the ongoing debate among soccer fans regarding the possible inclusion of Ahn Jung-hwan (30, Duisburg) and Cha Du-ri (26, Frankfurt) on the Word Cup squad, Verbeek said, “If they were playing in K-League, they would certainly be on the active roster. Both showed fantastic performances in 2002,” hinting that there is a good chance of picking them for the World Cup team.

As if reading such thoughts, Ahn and Cha silenced the murmurs of their possible rejection by suddenly kicking their scoring gear into action in the German Bundesliga. Ahn, in Saturday’s game against Bielefeld, scored a goal off Mihai Tararache’s pass 15 minutes into the second half. The game ended in a 2-0 victory for Duisburg. Ahn had previously scored a goal on May 4 against Werder Bremen.

Cha Du-ri, playing fulltime against Borussia Dortmund on the same day, scored the first goal for his side nine minutes into the second half from a ball deflected off an opposing defender. It was his third goal of the season. The last goal he scored was nearly seven months ago in FC Cologne match. Saturday’s game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com