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Coach Verbeek: Expect a Gold Medal

Posted November. 25, 2006 08:10,   


Coach Pim Verbeek of the Korean national soccer team, which is going for its first Asian Games cup in 20 years, showed strong confidence.

After a 2–0 win against United Arab Emirates (UAE) in an away evaluation match on November 24, he said, “I know how high the expectations of Korean fans are about the Asian Games, and I’ve done my best to prepare the team. We weren’t able to train sufficiently due to some players who did not come, but you should be able to expect a gold medal.”

Verbeek’s team redeemed itself, finishing off its last practice game before the Asian Games with a victory after a long period of poor performance. Players that are overseas or participating in the K-League Samsung Hauzen Cup Championship including Kim Doo-hyun (Seongnam Ilhwa), Cho Won-hee and Baek Ji-hoon (Suwon Bluewings) did not join the team, leaving Verbeek only 15 players to make up his team. Of the 15, Lee Chun-soo (Ulsan Hyundai) and Jung In-hwan (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors) were not fully recovered from their injuries. This victory was achieved with only two reserve players.

Verbeek himself had little time to train the players because of the Olympic team. However, the fact that the plays that were extensively focused on the day before the game helped the team to score is a positive sign. Coach Verbeek said, “It was a very well played game. The players were a bit tired at first but I expected at least two goals. We had a good chance in the first half, and we became stronger by pressuring in the second half.”

The Verbeek team will move to Doha, Quatar on November 26 and play its first Asian Games B-division league game against Bangladesh on November 28 at 11:15 p.m. (Korean time).