Go to contents

S. Korean national soccer squad on lookout for Cha Doo-ri`s successor

S. Korean national soccer squad on lookout for Cha Doo-ri`s successor

Posted March. 27, 2015 07:20,   


The South Korean national soccer team will have an evaluation match against Uzbekistan at 8:00 p.m. on Friday at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium.

The 72nd FIFA ranked team Uzbekistan is evaluated as being a level lower than the 56th-ranked South Korean team, which is ahead of the Central Asian country with nine victories, two ties and one loss in total. South Korea also defeated Uzbekistan 2-0 at a semi-quarterfinal in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup held in Australia two months ago. The Uzbek squad has generally the same players as it did at the Asian Cup.

South Korea has to find a replacement for veteran defender Cha Doo-ri (FC Seoul), who will retire after the friendly with New Zealand scheduled for March 31, leaving only Kim Chang-soo (Kashiwa Reysol) in defense on the right field. The national team has to find Cha`s replacement before the second-round qualifying matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in June. South Korea coach Uli Stielike said he wanted to have an "experiment" with Cha`s position.

South Korea`s current national team has five central defenders -- Jeong Dong-ho (Ulsan Hyundai), Kim Young-gwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Kwak Tae-hwi (Al-Hilal), Kim Kee-hee (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors) and Kim Ju-young (Shanghai SIPG). Therefore, some of the central defenders will likely play in the right wing at the upcoming friendly with Uzbekistan. Kim Kee-hee and Jeong Dong-ho have experiences as right-wing defenders. Stielike refused to say who would be the subject of his "experiment," but said he would have sufficient discussions with them.

Ji Dong-won (FC Augsburg) and Lee Jung-hyup (Sangju Sangmu) are likely to take turns as a one-top striker. If Ji fails to recover his condition, Lee could play as a one-top striker, with Ji backing him up from behind.