The Korean national football team, led by coach Paulo Bento (53), gained confidence in being able to break the opponent’s dense defense through Turkish training.
Korea Republic won the friendly match against Moldova 4-0 at Mardan Stadium in Antalya, Turkey on the 21st (Korean time).
After defeating Iceland 5-1 at the same venue on the 15th, he succeeded in scoring in the second consecutive game. As many as 5 players scored their debut goal in match A in 2 matches, gaining confidence.
Coach Bento had no choice but to make the 27 entries without Europeans in this Turkish field training. As it was not the official FIFA A Match Day, only players playing in the K League and J League were able to call.
Heung-min Son (30, Tottenham Hotspur), Ui-jo Hwang (30, Bordeaux), Hee-chan Hwang (26, Wolverhampton), Jae-seong Lee (30, Mainz), In-beom Hwang (26, Rubin Kazan), Min-jae Kim (26, Fenerbahce) are missing. Interest is focused on what kind of performance he will show in the middle.
Once both the content and the result were able to give a passing score. Iceland and Moldova were clearly lower than us, who are ranked 62nd and 181st in the FIFA rankings, ranked 33rd, but the fact that they managed to win multiple goals by breaking through the dense defense is a clear achievement.
Forefront striker Jo Kyu-seong (24, Sangmu Kim), who has been being used by Bento since last year, shakes the opponent’s defense line with active movements, and second-line resources with excellent link play ability and shooting ability constantly create opportunities.
In a situation where it is expected that Son Heung-min will be unable to join the final qualifier due to an injury, domestic players have laid the foundation for ‘Plan B’.
Now, the eyes are on Lebanon on the 27th and Syria on the 1st of next month for the 7th and 8th matches of the Qatar World Cup final qualifiers. If Korea gets at least 1 win and 1 draw in these two matches, it will be confirmed to qualify for the World Cup for the 10th consecutive time on its own. If they win the match against Lebanon, they can virtually confirm their place in the finals.
The problem is Lebanon’s close defense strategy. Since Bento took over as manager, they have an advantage over Lebanon with 2 wins and 1 draw, but all three matches were not satisfactory.
The away game in the second qualifying round of the World Cup in November 2019 drew 0-0 after a close match, and the home match in the second qualifying round in June last year was 2-1, and the home match in the final qualifying round in November was won 1-0. The reason was that it could not easily break through the defense of Lebanon, which came out with an overt counterattack strategy.
The solution is to score early in the end. As with Iceland and Moldova, the first goal within 20 minutes of the first half and taking the lead can make the game easier.
As he has recharged his confidence with hot offensive football against European teams, it seems that maintaining a good flow against Lebanon will be the key.
[김지수 MK스포츠 기자]
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