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Huh Shows Confidence to Win Chile

Posted January. 30, 2008 03:29,   

한국어

“Do a show.”

The Korean national soccer team led by Huh Jung-moo will have its first tryout match with South American dark horse Chile in Seoul World Cup Stadium at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. The match will be aired live on KBS 2.

The friendly match is crucial for Huh since it is his first match as the national team coach in seven years after the 2000 Asian Cup, and he is expected to show his tactics and strategies. In particular, the national team needs to hammer out solutions to the long-standing problem of scoreless matches.

For the players, it is the first match led by Huh and decisions will be made to select outstanding players for the entry list. The new national team changed all of its players except five from the Pim Verbeek team who played during the Asian Cup in July 2007.

Huh said after the morning training at the National Football Center in Paju City, Gyeonggi Province yesterday, “The match with Chile is a first step toward the third qualifier for the 2010 South African World Cup. It is also a match to boost players’ conditions to compete against Turkmenistan on Feb. 6.” Huh did not hide his desire to win by saying, “Victory is important for all matches.”

Huh emphasized, “I will employ as many players as possible to evaluate their skills. There is no predetermined national team member. All players have to survive the competition.” He plans to test different formations with four or three in the back.

The two strikers in the 3-5-2 formation in the first half would be Jo Jin-soo (Jeju United) who joined the national team first and Jeong Jo-guk (FC Seoul) who showed excellent performance during his team’s overseas training.

Lee Gwan-woo (Suwon Samsung) will be a midfielder and captain Kim Nam-il (Vissel Kobe) and Hwang Ji-woo (Pohang Steelers) will support Lee as defensive midfielders. Kim Chi-woo (Chunnam Dragons) and Lee Jong-min (Ulsan Hyundai) will be the wing players while Kim Byeong-ji will be the national team’s goalkeeper in six years (FC Seoul).

Although Chile ranks 45 in the FIFA ranking, four ranks lower than South Korea, it is not an easy team to play against. The Chilean team is led by renowned Argentinean coach Marcelo Bielsa. He created the team with young players with the average age of 22. 5, but Chile tied its match with Japan after a fierce competition.



kimsk@donga.com