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Korean Soccer Team Aims to Win More Games on the Road

Posted June. 14, 2007 07:26,   


The Korean national soccer team will play against Bahrain, Syria, and Uzbekistan in the B group of the men’s Olympic soccer qualifying games. An expert said, “It is the best combination, considering the teams Korea will face. But still, games on-the-road will not be easy.”

KBS sports commentator Han Joon-hui said, “It is satisfying that Korea avoided difficult rivals such as Australia and Saudi Arabia. Bahrain is a little behind other Middle Eastern countries in power along with Lebanon. And Syria and Uzbekistan are not strong enough to worry about.”

He predicted, “Since only one team per group will advance to Olympic matches, it is called the “group of death” when two strong teams are in a group. Therefore, intense matches are expected in the C group with Saudi Arabia and Japan and in the A group with Australia, Iraq, and “dark horse” – North Korea.”

Korean Soccer Research Institute researcher Shin Mun-seon said, “Since the other three teams are Central Asian countries, our players are likely to have difficulty in controlling the physical conditions due to differences in time, climate and food. It may become a ‘course of hell.’”

He added, “Bahrain has beaten the strongest Middle Eastern teams based on individual skill. Syria also has good physical power. We cannot take our games on-the-road lightly.”

He also advised, “There are few players in the current Korean Olympic soccer team experienced in matches with the Middle Eastern teams. The team needs to use Park Chu-young (FC Seoul), who played well in past matches against these teams, to compensate for its weakness of having no reliable striker.”

Head Coach Pim Verbeek said, “To be number one in the group, we should win all the home matches and at least one game on-the-road. With information on Syria and Bahrain lacking, I will start preparing for the games by concentrating on collecting information.”