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[Soccer] Park JS Seen as Well-rested for Iran Qualifier

Posted February. 10, 2009 09:23,   


Did Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson care for his midfielder Park Ji-sung, who will play in Korea’s World Cup qualifier against Iran tomorrow?

United played at West Ham yesterday, and Park played just four minutes late in the game that his team won 1-0.

This could be good news for the Korean soccer team, however, ahead of the qualifier.

Park left London immediately after the game for Heathrow Airport, and arrived in Teheran via Dubai. It took him 12 hours to get there, including almost seven hours in flight.

Had Park played for 90 minutes as usual, he would have been exhausted given the time difference of three and a half hours between Britain and Iran.

Park is considered Korea’s best player and the playmaker to lead younger players. To inject energy into the team, Korea coach Huh Jung-moo has designated Park captain since the second match of the qualifying round against the United Arab Emirates in Oct. 15 last year.

As captain, Park led Korea to two consecutive victories, including a 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia, the team’s first in 19 years against the Arab country.

Huh says he is glad Park joined the team without being exhausted.

Iran plans to make full use of its home-field advantage. If Park overcomes the time difference quickly and regains his condition, he could raise confidence among his teammates.

“The match against Iran in the qualifying round will be the most challenging and most important game. We always need three points, but no team can easily beat Iran in Iran. But I don’t want to lose,” he said.