Korea’s goal drought continues in 0-3 loss against Brazil

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Korea’s goal drought continues in 0-3 loss against Brazil


Son Heung-min, in red, dribbles the ball during Korea’s friendly match against Brazil at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday. [NEWS1]

Korea was blanked by Brazil 3-0 in its men’s football friendly match in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday, suffering its biggest loss of the year while failing to score for the third straight contest.

Lucas Paqueta, Philippe Coutinho and Danilo each had a goal apiece at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, as Brazil, world No. 3, snapped their five-match winless streak at the expense of 39th-ranked Korea.

Korea now has five losses and one win against Brazil.

This was only Korea’s second loss of 2019 and marked the first time it allowed more than two goals since a 3-1 loss to Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 1, 2018.

Brazil broke the ice in the ninth minute while putting on a passing clinic. From just outside the box, Coutinho danced his way past Ju Se-jong and found Renan Lodi charging down the left side. Lodi then sent a cross for Paqueta, who scored on a diving header that beat goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo.

Son Heung-min tried to respond for Korea in the 15th minute, though his left-footed strike from the middle bounced right into the arms of Alisson in the Brazilian net.

That was about the only open look in the first half for Son, who was often double- or triple-teamed whenever he had the ball.

Coutinho doubled Brazil’s lead with a brilliant free kick from just outside the left edge of the box in the 36th minute. Jo never had a chance against the bending shot that sailed just over the Korean wall and into the top-left corner.

About six minutes later, Coutinho nearly put one into his own net. Alisson stopped Jung Woo-young’s free kick, and the rebound went directly back to Coutinho, whose initial clearing attempt rattled the left post. The ball bounced right back to Coutinho, and he kicked the ball out of harm’s way on his second try.

Korea had some promising moments early in the second half, but at the hour mark, defender Danilo made it 3-0 for Brazil.

Lodi’s pass from the left wing hit a Korean defender on its way to the middle of the arc, and Danilo came sprinting in to strike one past Jo for his first international goal.

Korea tested the Brazilian defense midway through the second half but Alisson stood his ground. In the 72nd, Kim Jin-su stripped Paqueta of the ball just outside the box and drove a hard shot that Alisson turned aside. Then three minutes later, Son tried to curve one in from top of the box, but Alisson barely had to move from his spot in the middle of the net as he punched the ball out of play.

Korean sub Kwon Chang-hoon saw his shot also go right to Alisson in the 83rd, as Korea failed to get on the board for the third straight match.

“Obviously, no coach likes losing, but I think the match was pretty competitive despite the result,” Bento said after the match at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. “Brazil was able to finish its chances efficiently, and that had an adverse effect on our performance.”

Son also pointed out that the match was a good learning opportunity for Team Korea.

“We should think of this as, ‘We learned a lot from Brazil,’ and not, ‘We lost to Brazil,’” Son said after the match against the world No. 3 at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium. “This is a team that could win any tournament it plays. And don’t forget that we had our share of opportunities.”

Son, an attacking ace for Tottenham Hotspur, said Korea tried to stick it to Brazil rather than sit back and play passively.

“We talked a lot about how we wanted to go out there and attack,” Son said. “We even made a few steals in their zone. I think we executed much of what we’d planned to.”

Starting center back Kim Min-jae acknowledged he did learn a lot after facing Brazil for the first time. Kim, who plays club football with Beijing Sinobo Guoan in the Chinese Super League, said he has played against some Brazilian players there, but Brazilians on their national team, most of whom are based in top European leagues, were “on a higher level.”

“This was a far different team than anyone else I’ve played so far,” Kim said. “Brazilian attackers didn’t even attempt to make plays that they felt were risky, and it seemed like they knew how to toy with me.”

Kim, a 23-year-old defensive standout with a high upside, held his own on the back line while making some sharp passes to help set up teammates.

“We could have lost this match without even realizing what hit us,” he said. “I think we battled hard until the end.”

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