Korea ends poor show with a lossThe national soccer squad’s loss to Japan in a home game in the 2005 East Asian Football Federation Cup last Sunday came as a shock to local fans. In the last match of the event held in the Daegu World Cup Stadium, Korea lost 1-0.
The winner of the previous competition, Korea ended up with two draws and one loss, which placed it firmly at the bottom of the four-nation rankings table. China won the Federation Cup with two draws and one win after beating North Korea 2-0.
In the 40th minute of the second half of the game, with five minutes left to play, Yuji Nakazawa connected with a corner kick from Mitsuo Ogaswara in front of the goal. The ball fired through Korean goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae’s legs and hit the back of the net.
Forwards Lee Dong-gook, Lee Chun-soo and Chung Kyung-ho led the 3-5-2 formation and applied pressure on Japan from the beginning. Midfielders Baek Ji-hoon and Kim Do-heon, who showed superb passing skills in the past, made team Korea’s attack more versatile than in the previous two games. However, in the first half both Lee Chun-soo and Lee Dong-gook missed critical chances, and in the second half Kim’s long-range shots bounced off the goal post or were blocked by the Japanese goalkeeper.
Korea sent young hopeful Park Chu-young on to the field in the 28th minute of the second half but collapsed in the face of Japan’s set play.
In the game between China and North Korea, forward Xie Hui scored his first goal with a penalty in the first half and another in the second half. North Korea had one win, one loss and one draw, placing third behind second-place Japan.
by Jeong Young-jae
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