Hoping Jung will bring victory for Seongnam

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Hoping Jung will bring victory for Seongnam

Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma is considered a major underdog against Inter Milan, and in attempting to topple one of the world’s best clubs, it will depend heavily on its goalkeeper, Jung Sung-ryong.

And Seongnam itself will have to be ready to play against the famous Internaziale Milano of Italy’s Serie A in the FIFA Club World Cup semifinals at the Zayed Sports Stadium in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., tomorrow.

Despite winning the AFC Champions League, there is a strong possibility that Inter Milan will dictate the flow of the game and press Seongnam throughout the entire match. This means Seongnam and Jung, the national football team starting goalkeeper, will likely be tested early and often tomorrow.

“It will be a different match from our quarterfinals match against Al Wahda,” said Jung. “But we’re the Asian champions and we’re preparing for the game with the mentality that we can pull off an upset. We’ve already played a game and that can work to our advantage.”

Jung can make all the difference in the game tomorrow and with several big saves, he can help turn the momentum of the game. Having started all four games for Korea at the 2010 South Africa World Cup, Jung does not lack any international experience.

“Inter Milan has its share of world class players,” said Jung. “As a football player, I have respect for them. Samuel Eto’o, Diego Milito and Wesley Sneijder are all dangerous players but the problem is they have other elite players on the squad.

“We are expecting them to control the ball much of the game. I need to focus and be at my best. I need to make as many saves as possible in order to instill confidence in my teammates.”

Despite logging many games this year - international and K-League - Jung said he is rested for the game.

“I’ve played in a lot of games this year but I’m in good physical condition,” said Jung. “We want to put on an entertaining game against a world-class team.”

By Kim Jong-ryeok [jason@joongang.co.kr]
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