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Asian Cup Loss Will Not Be Repeated

Posted September. 08, 2007 06:55,   


To qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Korea’s national soccer team will play in a final preliminary match against Bahrain, led by coach Milan Machala, known as the “Korean team assassin,” at Manama National Stadium at 1 a.m. on September 9.

The Korean team led by coach Park Seong-hwa will start Park Seong-hwa, Ha Tae-gyun (Suwon Samsung), Han Dong-won (Seongnam Ilhwa), and Shin Yeong-rok (Suwon Samsung) as its main players. Kim Seung-yong (Gwangju Sangmu) and Lee Sang-ho (Ulsan Hyundai) will likely play at the wings.

Coach Machala, a Czech native, has led his team to victory whenever his team has played against Korea. Bahrain won 2-1 against Korea led by Pim Verbeek in the 2007 Asian Cup. In a preliminary match of the 2003 Asian Cup, as the head coach of Oman national team, Machala defeated the Korean team led by Humberto Coelho 3-1. Verbeek and Coelho have since left Korea.

Bahrain (four wins and two losses) will be playing against Korea as the team ranked 1st in Group A after defeating Qatar and Kuwait in the second preliminary round. It scored 17 goals but allowed 11 goals in six games, which is not a sustainable pace. John Akwani is the Bahrain team’s best player, but there is a rumor that he is not getting along with Machala, because he has not shown up for practice recently. The game will be broadcast live on MBC.