There’s no denying the importance of goal scoring in soccer. Whoever scores the first goal can completely change the course of the game.
Klinsmann’s men, who will be looking to win their first title in 64 years at the 2023 Asian Cup in Qatar, will be hard-pressed to get a perfect score here. Despite being one of the strongest teams in Asia, the team has a history of falling behind to inferior opponents, 카지노사이트 only to come back from behind.
Such was the case in the round of 16 match against Saudi Arabia on July 31 (1-1 draw, 4-2 win on penalties), where Korea punched their ticket to the quarterfinals with a hard-fought victory. The difference in performance between the first and second halves was stark. The first half was a disappointment. Jürgen Klinsmann (60), the national team’s head coach, said the team was lethargic. “I think we started slow in the first half. I think we started slow in the first half,” he admitted.
Klinsmann’s switch to a three-back defense with “captain” Son Heung-min (Tottenham) up front didn’t work. The idea was to keep three defenders at the back and not give up space, but they struggled to control the Saudis, whose attack was based on short, short passes. It was understandable, as the only time South Korea had experimented with a three-back in a live match was in an exhibition against Peru last June.
South Korea conceded a goal on the counterattack to substitute Abdullah Haji Radif (Alta One) just a minute into the second half. It wasn’t just the defense that was a mess; the attack from the flanks wasn’t sharp either. The wingbacks on both sides took turns in attacking situations, but too few of their attempts connected with the front line (28%).
The good news was that Klinsmann recognized the deficit and switched to a back four. The return to the old tactics paid off in the 19th minute of the second half when frontline striker Cho Kyu-sung (Meatwillan) and midfielder Park Yong-woo (Al Ain) came on as substitutes. South Korea took control of the game and went on the offensive, with Cho scoring a dramatic equalizer just before the end of the half.
The difference in performance between the first and second halves was also evident in the number of touches South Korea had in the Saudi penalty area. According to sports statistics company Opta, Korea had 4 touches in the first half (6 for Saudi Arabia) and 25 in the second half (5 for Saudi Arabia), an unbelievable difference. Even taking into account the fact that the Saudis reverted to defensive soccer in the second half, it’s enough to make you wonder if this is a different team altogether.
It’s unfortunate that this pattern of South Korea playing a sloppy first half and then rallying around a late substitute has been repeated throughout the tournament. In the second group game against Jordan, South Korea had five touches in the opponent’s penalty area in the first half and 26 in the second. Game 3 against Malaysia (13 in the first half and 32 in the second half) was no different, with only a slight difference. It’s hard to tell if Korea has suddenly become a “slow starter” with the DNA of an upset in this tournament, or if Klinsmann’s tactics have been failing.
At this rate, it’s hard to see Klinsmann winning the tournament. In fact, Opta gives South Korea a 33.7% chance of winning their quarterfinal match against Australia on February 3 at 0:30.