The Klinsmanns got over the hump with their first win in six games. However, there is still work to be done on both offense and defense.
The South Korean men’s national soccer team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann, won 1-0 against Saudi Arabia at 1:30 a.m. ET on Sept. 13 at St. James’ Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, in the second of two September A matches. It was the first win in six matches since Klinsmann took over in February.
After surviving a number of early scares, South Korea struck first. In the 32nd minute, Son Heung-min collected a loose pass from Lee Jae-sung in front of the Saudi box after Hwang In-beom stumbled into the box. The pass bounced off a Saudi defender and into the air, where Cho Kyu-sung was quick to pounce and slot the ball into the left corner of the goal. South Korea took a 1-0 lead. South Korea held on to the goal to record their first win under Klinsmann.
While Klinsmann’s first win came with a clean sheet, it was by no means a game to celebrate. It’s safe to say that South Korea were lucky not to concede a goal, but the crisis they faced on the day could have been devastating.
After an even start to the game, South Korea found themselves in a defensive crisis. In the seventh minute of the first half, center back Jung Seung-hyun failed to communicate with goalkeeper Kim Seung-kyu and gave away a backpass, which Kim didn’t anticipate and almost gave the ball to the opposing striker. Fortunately, he was able to save the ensuing corner kick after a goal-line out.
Korea’s woes continued. In the 18th minute, a cross from the left was met by Saudi Abdullah Al Hamdan in the box with a right-footed one-bound volley. Luckily, the shot went just wide of the post and didn’t result in a goal.
South Korea continued to be anxious at the back. In the 27th minute, a Saudi counterattack developed when Hwang In-Beom lost the ball near the center circle. With three attackers and three defenders, Saudi striker Salem Al-Dosari received the pass and took a right-footed shot from the left side of the box. Kim Seung-gyu narrowed his angle well and came out to block the shot, saving another goal.
South Korea was fortunate to survive all of the crises and score the final goal, but the moments they conceded in the first half were eerie, especially as they were the result of poor communication at the back and inability to deal with the opponent’s forward pressure and penetration. 바카라사이트
Of course, the starting attacking lineup of Son Heung-min, Cho Kyu-sung, Lee Jae-sung, and Hwang Hee-chan created plenty of threatening chances, with Cho Kyu-sung’s concentration and quick thinking eventually leading to a lucky goal. However, they were unable to capitalize on numerous other scoring chances and were disappointed to have to withstand a late Saudi onslaught from a precarious 1-0 lead.
It’s good to see the team get their first win, albeit belatedly, with the Asian Cup just over four months away. However, the relief of the first win should be outweighed by the warning of what could have been.