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Soccer Team to Exploit Sides in Greece Game

Posted June. 09, 2010 14:33,   


“Right and left-side penetration followed by crosses and set pieces.”

These are the keywords of the national soccer team’s strategy for its first World Cup Group B match against Greece slated for Saturday evening Korean Standard Time.

Korea coach Huh Jung-moo conducted a tactical drill in a scrimmage Monday after setting up training camp in Rustenburg, South Africa. He devised strategies to beat the Greeks, who are tall but slow in motion.

○ Fast foot skills of the two Parks

Attacking midfielder Ki Sung-yueng (Celtic) and defending midfielder Kim Jung-woo (Gwangju United) passed the ball to Park Ji-sung (Manchester United) on the left wing and Lee Chung-yong (Bolton) on the right whenever they caught the ball.

Park and Lee swiftly penetrated the sides, used feints on fullbacks, and crossed the ball. Striker Park Chu-young (AS Monaco) and Yeom Gi-hun (Suwon Samsung) kicked shots in front of the goal post.

When Park Ji-sung and Lee were blocked by defenders, the ball was passed to Ki and Kim, who were penetrating the central section, before being passed to a striker in the center.

The tall Greek defense includes Vangelis Moras (196 centimeters or 6-feet-5), Sotirios Kyrgiakos (193 centimeters or 6-feet-4), and Loukas Vyntra (184 centimeters or 6-feet-0). They are stronger in headers but lack speed.

To overcome the Greek defense, Korea will employ a cross attack tactic through penetration of the sides.

○ Free kicks by Park Chu-young, Yeom and Ki

Ki exclusively controlled free kicks that went far from the penalty area. He sent the ball either high or low toward the goal area, while tall defenders Lee Jung-soo (Kashima Antlers) and Kang Min-soo (Suwon Samsung), who joined the offense for set pieces, zeroed in on the ball, along with strikers Park Chu-young and Yeom.

Park Chu-young and Yeom shot free kicks near the penalty area with their right or left foot. The exercise was based on Huh’s strategy to score goals through a set piece if Korea fails to effectively outwit the Greek defense.

Park Chu-young’s free kicks shot from the arch box struck the side of the net and goal post. The ball kicked over the defense wall was so intimidating that second-string goalie Jung Sung-ryong (Seongnam Ilhwa) had to jump to block.

○ Starting 11 emerging

The tactical drill also gave signs on who will start against Greece. If Korea uses the 4-2-2 formation, Park Chu-young and Yeom are expected to start as the two forwards up front while Park Ji-sung, Ki, Kim and Lee will play in the midfield.

The defense will likely include Lee Young-pyo (Al-Hilal), Lee Jung-soo, Cho Yong-hyung (Jeju United) and Oh Beom-seok (Ulsan Hyundai).

Cho missed the drill due to an infection but chances are high that he will start because he is central defender.

Huh also tested the 4-2-3-1 formation in which his players shifted positions, with Park Chu-young playing the lone striker at the top, Yeom on the left wing, Park Ji-sung as a midfielder, and Ki as a defending midfielder.