‘Golden hair’ exploded, ‘captain’ flashed, and Korean soccer smiled.
The national soccer team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann (GER), won a 1-0 friendly against Saudi Arabia at St. James’ Park in Newcastle, England, on Sept. 13 (KST). Striker Cho Kyu-sung (25-Mitwillan) scored the game-winning goal with a header in the 32nd minute. The head-to-head record against Saudi Arabia is now 5 wins, 7 draws, and 6 losses.
‘Five games to six’. The ‘Klinsmanns’, who dropped anchor in March this year with a view to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Qatar early next year and the 2026 North and Central American World Cup, had not won in their previous five A matches. After drawing with Colombia (2-2) and El Salvador (1-1) in March and losing to Uruguay (1-2) and Peru (0-1) in June, South Korea were also held to a 0-0 draw away to Wales in their first A-Match in September.
The five-match winless streak is the longest since the Korea Football Association implemented a full-time national team coach in 1992. The pressure of the Saudi game was exacerbated by the fact that the coach has been criticized for breaking his promise to stay in Korea, spending most of his time at his home in California, U.S.A., and focusing on overseas broadcasts and attending international events rather than the national team’s unique task of identifying and managing players. Despite Klinsmann’s dismissive attitude toward the disagreements over participation in the event match and the fact that he personally packed an opposing player’s jersey for his son, a soccer player, during the away trip, the atmosphere was serious enough that the phrase “guillotine match” appeared.
In any case, Klinsmann took a breather. In a 4-4-1-1 formation, the attacking duo was the team’s ‘window’. Captain Son Heung-min (31, Tottenham), who played a ‘free-roll’ role as both the first and second top, showed flashes of brilliance despite his less than perfect physical condition.
The pattern play was impressive, with Son creating space by disrupting and destroying the opposing defense from the bottom to the front, while Cho Kyu-sung actively attacked. In particular, Cho Kyu-sung gave Klinsmann his first win with his seventh A-match goal in 10 months after becoming the first player in Korean football history to score multiple goals in a single World Cup match in the second group game of the 2022 Qatar World Cup against Ghana last November.
But there was more to come. The frustration was evident in the lackluster performance. The team attempted 18 shots on the day, nine of which were on target, and harassed the Saudis, but their finishing was woefully lacking. It was by no means a passable performance.
In their six games under Klinsmann, they have not scored more than three goals. The only time they scored two was against Colombia in March. No one has yet seen the “attacking soccer” that Klinsmann called “4-3 is better than 1-0”.카지노사이트
In the meantime, Japan, which has scored 18 goals in four A matches since June, has reported four consecutive wins, and the news that Paulo Bento (Portugal), who managed South Korea until the World Cup in Qatar, thrashed Costa Rica 4-1 upon taking charge of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), makes Korean soccer look even more shabby.