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Greek Media Critical of S. Korea’s Loss to Belarus

Posted June. 01, 2010 12:24,   


Georgios Moras, a reporter for the Greek newspaper Sports Day, seemed to possess high intelligence and familiarity with the affiliations, strengths and weaknesses of key South Korean soccer players.

The first thing he said after South Korea’s 1-0 exhibition loss against Belarus Sunday was, “If you look at individual games, South Korea lags behind North Korea in playing capacity.”

The North rallied for a 2-2 draw against Greece Wednesday last week. North Korean striker Jong Tae Se, dubbed the “People’s Wayne Rooney,” scored two picturesque goals in perhaps his best performance as an international.

Moras said, “North Korean strikers were faster and more precise than South Korea’s. Their fullbacks were also great in squeezing tactics,” adding, “Jong Tae Se’s play was so impressive that he looked as if he could play in a European league right away. There seems to be no such a striker as powerful as Jong for South Korea.”

Theodore Soutzos, a reporter for the Greek daily Exedra ton Spor, gave a failing grade to South Korea in its loss to Belarus. He said South Korean strikers could not elbow their way past stronger Belarusian defenders, often got perplexed, and easily allowed room for swift counterattacks.

He did praise striker Lee Chung-yong, however. “No. 11 (Lee Chung-yong) was impressive as he penetrated the sides. He has a strong ability to keep the ball and good individual skills,” he said, warning Greece to watch out for him.

Another Greek journalist said, “I’ve watched more than five videos of South Korea’s matches. The match I watched today (Belarus) was the worst,” adding, “The team’s unique rhythm and precision in midfield that it displayed against Japan was gone.”

“I’m not sure whether the team failed to adapt to the local environment or the ground conditions were to blame, but South Korea cannot beat Greece under coach Otto Rehhagel with the kind of play it showed against Belarus.”