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#16   Mignon

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 01:27 PM

3 Koreans named candidates for U-17 World Cup best player

Three South Korean players have been put on the list of 12 candidates for the U-17 Women’s World Cup tournament’s Golden Ball award, two days ahead of the final game between South Korea and Japan who beat North Korea.

The three Koreans are the tournament's top scorer Yeo Min-ji, captain Kim Areum and Lee Geum-min, who will vie for the award given to the best player of the tournament, the international football body FIFA said, unveiling the list Friday,

Yeo, 17, who scored eight goals in six games, including four goals in the quarterfinal match against Nigeria, is one of the top favorites.

She is also expected to receive the Golden Shoe prize, granted to the tournament's top scorer.

Midfielder Kim has led the team on the pitch and Lee is a fast-moving player credited with creating chances for Yeo.

No South Korean has ever received the best player prize in FIFA's global competitions.

Archrivals Korea, Japan set to clash in U-17 World Cup

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Archrivals Korea and Japan will put their pride on the line as they clash in the U-17 Women’s World Cup for their first ever international football title on Monday morning.

The U-17 national team has already reached a significant feat by becoming the first Korean squad - men’s or women’s - to reach the finals of a FIFA-sanctioned tournament.

U-17 women’s national team manager Choi Duck-joo and his ladies hope to do one better by defeating their rivals and bringing home Korea’s first title at an international tourney.

“Since they have several talented players, we need to pressure them,” said Choi in a post-game interview. “It’s going to be a battle. When facing Japan, it’s a unique relationship that goes beyond wins and losses. I will stress this point to my players.”

Korea has the slight edge over Japan going into the match.

The two sides met in the Asian Football Confederation qualifiers semifinals with Korea coming out on top, 1-0. Korea will look to its sniper Yeo Min-ji to deliver in the big match.

Having netted eight goals and a third assist in the tourney so far, Yeo has all but clinched the golden shoe award, but more importantly, she has provided Korea with crucial goals throughout the tourney.

Joo Soo-jin, Yeo’s partner up front was impressive against Spain in the semifinals, dribbling by three Spanish defenders and goalkeepers to score the winning goal.

In the semifinal match against Spain Wednesday morning, Amanda Sampedro opened the scoring in the 23rd minute of the match.

However, Yeo connected on a header two minutes later to draw even and then assisted on Joo’s go-ahead goal in the 39th minute to help Korea reach its first ever finals at an international football tourney.

Korea scored 15 goals and allowed 11 in five games so far. Although Korea has not been the most dominant squad, it has shown plenty of speed, strong character and determination in pulling off several come-from-behind victories.

Japan will also be gunning for their first football title. Japan is coming off a semifinal match in which it conceded the opening goal to the North Koreans but scored two consecutive goals to book a place in the finals.

“They pale a bit in comparison to other top teams in terms of scoring,” Choi said. “But that’s about the only weakness. We have Yeo, who has the ability to deliver on chances.”

If Korea has Yeo leading its fast-paced attack, Japan has its ace in Kumi Yokoyama leading a creative offense. Yokoyama is currently third in the tourney with six goals and managed to score the game-winner in the semifinals against North Korea. North Korea and Spain will play in the third-place match on the same day.

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#17   .Sly


Posted 24 September 2010 - 02:49 PM

lol what the hell is happening in that picture ?

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#18   Mignon

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 03:12 PM

It's a traditional way of greeting to older person at Korean Thanksgiving Day. That day was Korean Thanksgiving Day, so they did. :rolleyes:

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#19   .Sly


Posted 24 September 2010 - 03:51 PM

Ah.. OK. I figured it would be some sort of practice. I still find that picture odd. It looks like some guy is staring at their backs. :unsure:

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#20   Karing Korean

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 07:41 PM

oh yeah it's called chuseok (??).
happy chuseok My. :cheers:

oh and I can't believe it's going to be a Korea v Japan clash for the U17 Womens WC :o

#21   Mignon

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 03:53 AM

Happy Chuseok, Daniel! :thumbsup:

Yeah, Japan again..

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#22   Mignon

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 04:27 AM

Korea beats Japan to wins Women’s U17 WC title

South Korea won their first World Cup title on Sunday after a thrilling penalty shoot-out victory over Japan at the U17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago.

The teams were tied 3-3 after 120 minutes, and again went 4-4 in the penalty shoot-out. In an extra-round penalty, Japan’s sixth kicker rattled the crossbar, and Jang Sel-gi comfortably converted the penalty to claim the country’s first ever FIFA trophy.

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Based on previous meetings between the two East Asian sides, not to mention, the history between them, the grand finale of the U17 World Cup promised to be a tough contest with both playing in their first final of a global women’s competition.

Korea started the game brightly, taking a 1-0 lead in six minutes into the first half thanks to Lee Jung-eun’s brilliant long-range drive which billowed into the top right corner of the net.

But only five minutes later Japan bounced back with Hikaru Naomoto’s thrilling long-range shot. In the 17th minutes, Japan went 2-1 up. Yoko Tanaka unleashed a cracking shot from 30 meters into the back of the net.

However, Kim Areum leveled the score just before the end of the first half with a delicious free-kick from outside of the box which curled into the top right hand corner.

In the second half, Japan dominated the game while the Koreans were having trouble getting the ball.

The Japanese took the lead again in the 57th minute. Yoko Tanaka beat the two defenders in side the box before sliding a low cross from left corner into the net.

The best moment of the game, however, came in the 79 minute, when the substitute Lee So-dam thundered the ball from 35 meters which rocked into the back of the net past the goalie.

After the goalless extra 30 minutes, the game went into a penalty shoot-out. Japan took the advantage as Korea’s first kicker Jung-eun saw her shoot saved by the goalie. But Japan’s second kicker Wada flew the ball just wide the bar.

Japan sixth kicker Muramatsu hit the crossbar before the heroin of the night Jang Sel-gi successfully converted the penalty to edge out the arch rival on Sunday to become the champions at a FIFA-governed competition for the first time in their history.

Korea’s U-17 World Cup winning squad
GK: Kim Minah, Shim Danbi, Kim Yoojin
DF: Kim Bichna, Jang Selgi, Oh Dahye, Shin Damyeong, Joo Soojin, Baek Eunmi, Kim Soobin, Lim Hayoung
MF: Lee Jungeun, Kim Nari, Kim Areum, Lee Geum-Min, Kim Inji, Lee Sodam, Lee Yoona, Jeon Hanwool
FW: Kim Dahye, Yeo Minji[/list]

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Yeo Minji won the Golden boot and Golden ball.

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What a great job! This is our first FIFA trophy! Amazing job, ladies!! AMAZING!

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#23   Mignon

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 08:45 AM

‘Golden’ girl Yeo enters record books

Yeo Min-ji secured her place in sports history by becoming the first Korean to win both the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball while helping Korea to its first win in a FIFA-sanctioned football tourney during the U-17 Women’s World Cup.

“I don’t think I did well as an individual, and I want to accept these accolades on behalf of my teammates,” Yeo said in a post-game interview.

With Japan’s defense focusing heavily on containing Yeo, the forward failed to deliver a goal in the finals but still managed to become the top scorer in the tournament with eight.

Kyra Malinowski of Germany finished second with seven goals, while Kumi Yokoyama of Japan finished third with six.

“I was in a lot of pain today but tried to set such distractions aside and play to the best of my abilities,” Yeo said. “I want to work on my shortcomings and build on my experience at the World Cup to become a better player.”

Yeo’s feat is all the more impressive when considering she has yet to fully recuperate from knee surgery. Having torn a ligament in her right knee in middle school, the Haman Daesan High School junior reinjured the same knee this year and had surgery on it again just two months ago.

The 17-year-old forward was not in top physical shape but still managed to deliver timely goals and played a crucial part in Korea’s U-17 Women’s World Cup win in Trinidad and Tobago.

Yeo scored two goals and added an assist after entering the opening match against South Africa as a substitute in the 27th minute. Korea won the match 3-1. Yeo started the next game and scored a goal in Korea’s 4-1 rout over Mexico.

While Korea was shutout 3-0 against Germany, Yeo exploded in a four-goal performance in a thrilling 6-5 win over Nigeria in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, with Spain leading the game by a goal, Yeo hit an equalizer, helping Korea to a 2-1 win.

“My goal is a big one: I want to be the best women’s player in the world,” Yeo told FIFA.com. “I want Korea to become a major force not just in Asia but in the world.

“I sensed that this dream was beginning to come true when we scored our winning penalty kick, and it made me cry.”

U-20 squad forward Ji So-yun scored eight goals to help Korea to a third-place finish at the U-20 Women’s World Cup in August, finishing second on the list of top scorers and ending up with the Silver Boot and Silver Ball awards.

Future shines bright for Korean women’s football

From now on, when we talk about the South Korean national football team, we may have to specify exactly which team is being talked about. In the past, the national team was the senior men’s team and that was it. But it wasn’t the men who delivered Korea’s first world title over the weekend. It was the women’s U17 captain who accepted the trophy from FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Without doubt, 2009 was quite a year for Korean football. It ended with Pohang Steelers winning the Asian Champions League for a record third time before shining at the FIFA Club World Cup in December. But this year has been one of the best ever for fans in the Land of the Morning Calm.

At the weekend, the U17 women’s team became Korea’s first-ever world champion in any gender or age group by defeating Japan 5-4 in a penalty shootout after the game ended 3-3.

It earned a tribute from 2010 World Cup coach Huh Jung-moo. “It was really great and I want to congratulate them,” said the man who is now the boss of K-League team Incheon United. “They played some good football and with the young women’s teams looking good, the future is bright.”

Huh led the Taeguk Warriors to the last 16 in South Africa in June, the first time that the team had done so at an overseas tournament. That came a month before the U20 women’s team took the bronze medal in July.

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Korea U17 head coach Choi Duk-joo

As avidly watched as they were ? and the men’s World Cup is the biggest sporting event on the planet ? there can have been few more exciting Sunday mornings in Korea than the final played out between the Koreans and historical rival Japan at Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago, a match that was well-attended by locals, Asian fans and a certain David Beckham who met the teams before the game.

The match started well for South Korea and Lee Jung-eun got the opening goal after six minutes, but two long-range efforts soon had Japan ahead before a Kim A-reum free-kick just before halftime left the two teams on level terms at the break. Once again Japan took the lead only for the Koreans to equalize through Lee So-dam to take the match into extra time.

Both teams searched for the killer goal but the dreaded penalty shootout drew ever nearer. Korea missed its first penalty but hung in there for Jang Sel-gi to fire home the decisive kick.

“My team never gave up and they fought with everything all the time,” jubilant coach Choi Duk-joo ? a man who could soon find himself with a number of job offers ? told reporters. “This is the main reason for our success here in Trinidad and Tobago. I am a very proud man today. I’m in dreamland right now. We had a few injuries going into the game and it makes the prize even more special because we had to fight so hard for it.

“It is the dream of every coach to win the tournament, but I can’t take the credit. We won here because I had the pleasure of coaching such a talented and hard-working team of players. I told the players to be calm and to have confidence before taking their penalties. I am very glad that they listened!”

Japan coach Hiroshi Yoshida was left to wonder what might have been but also paid tribute to the fighting spirit of the Korean team.

“This is a very disappointing day for us because we didn’t win when we should have. When we went up 3-2 we had the chance to score even more goals but we failed to take our chances. The Koreans fought back with bravery and spirit and we let a chance to be world champions slip through our fingers. We know the Korean players very well from qualifying and we knew what kind of players to expect today.”

The star of the show was Yeo Min-ji. She may not have scored in the final but ended the tournament as top scorer and MVP.

“It’s a great feeling and it all happened with the help of my teammates,” a beaming Yeo said after the match. “Going into extra-time was really tough for us but we made it to the end.”

U-19 Championship squad announced — Ji Dong-won included

On the 27th, U-20 national team head coach Lee Kwang-jong announced his 23-man squad for the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship which will take place in Zibo, China in October.

There was heavy interest in whether the foreign-based stars would be involved in the upcoming tournament but it was revealed that Seok Hyun-joon (Ajax/NED), Nam Tae-hee (Valenciennes/FRA) and Lee Yong-jae (Nantes/FRA) were blocked by their respective club teams from participating in the youth tournament. As for sensational Hamburg forward Son Heung-min, his foot injury ruled him out of a place in the squad.

The most eye-catching name in the squad list is 2010 K-League Rookie of the Year favorite Ji Dong-won, who has scored 8 goals and 4 assists this season. It was revealed that the Chunnam forward has been training with the squad in Paju National Football Center since last week. Aside from Ji Dong-won, there are five other professional footballers in the squad.

The U-19 team is in a tough group that includes Australia, Yemen and Iran and will have a tougher time in the knock-out stages where only the top four teams will participate in next year’s 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia. The team will leave for China on the 28th and will have its first match against Iran on October 4th.

AFC U-19 Championship Squad
GK: NO Dong-geon (Korea Univ), CHO Hyun-woo (Sunmoon Univ), Kim Jin-young (Iri High School)
DF: LEE Kwang-jin (Seoul), JANG Hyun-soo (Yonsei Univ), LEE Joo-young (SungKyunKwan Univ), LEE Ki-je (Dongguk Univ), LEE Jae-moung (Gyeongnam), HWANG Do-yeon (Chunnam), KIM Jin-su (Shingal High School), KWON Jin-young (Soongsil Univ)
MF: KIM Kyung-jung (Korea Univ), KIM Young-wook (Chunnam), YUN Il-lok (Gyeongnam Youth), BAEK Sung-dong (Yonsei Univ), NAM Seung-woo (Bukyeong High School), CHOI Bong-gyun (Hanyang Univ)
FW: CHOI Sung-guen (Korea Univ), LEE Jong-ho (Chunnam Youth), JI Dong-won (Chunnam), LEE Min-soo (Hannam Univ), YOO Je-ho (Pohang Youth), JUNG Seung-yong (Seoul Youth)[/list]

Preliminary squad for Koreans abroad ahead of Japan friendly — Suk Hyun-Jun dropped

Korea national team manager Cho Kwang-Rae announced his preliminary squad, consisting of players plying their trade away from home, for the friendly against Japan. The match will take place at Seoul Sang-Am World Cup Stadium on Oct. 12.

All of Cho’s regulars have been called up as the Koreans continue their preparation for the 2011 Asian Cup in Janury. The squad includes the captain Park Ji-Sung of Manchester United along with Bolton Wanderers winger Lee Chung-Yong. Park Chu-Young, Cha Du-Ri, and Ki Sung-Yong will also head home for the match against their arch rivals.

Suk Hyun-Jun, the 19 year-old Ajax Amsterdam striker, who was called up for the Iran friendly earlier this month has been dropped from the squad.

The final squad, with additions of selected domestic players in the K-League, is scheduled to be announced in coming days.

Preliminary squad for Japan friendly
DF: Cha Du-Ri (Celtic), Lee Young-Pyo (Al Hilal), Kwak Tae-Hwi (Kyoto Sanga), Kim Young-Gwon (FC Tokyo), Cho Yong-Hyung (Al Rayyan), Lee Jung-Soo (Al Sadd)
MF: Park Ji-Sung (Manchester United), Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton Wanderers), Ki Sung-Yong (Celtic)
FW: Park Chu-Young (AS Monaco), Cho Young-Cheol (Niigata Albirex)?[/list]

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#24   .Sly


Posted 28 September 2010 - 10:07 PM

Well done to the Ladies. Incredible achievement. :thumbsup:

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#25   Alex Miguel

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 07:08 AM

Not just well done to the Korean ladies but I do believe that out of the 4 semi-finalists, 3 were from Asia so it's good to see that we are leading the way in women's football.

#26   Mignon

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 02:56 PM

U-17 World Cup squad returns to hero's welcome

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The South Korean squad that won the U-17 Women's World Cup made a glorious return Tuesday with the champion's trophy, according to news reports.

Yonhap News said the young players were crowned the world champion for the first time in South Korean football history by nudging past Japan 5-4 in a penalty shootout in the finals of the football tournament held in Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday (Korean time).

"I've never thought of being defeated during the tournament.

Our players were in a good mood," said coach Choi Duck-joo upon arrival at Incheon International Airport. "Frankly, I was worried a little bit but I trusted them."

At the head of the 21-member squad, captain Kim Areum was lifting the FIFA trophy over her head with a gold medal around her neck and a broad smile on her face.

The victory marks the first South Korean championship at a FIFA-sponsored global competition. The country has only reached the semifinals two times -- at the 2002 World Cup and the 2010 U-20 Women's World Cup.

After winning the Asian championships, the girls stormed through to the final of the World Cup.

Their 6-5 victory against Nigeria in the quarterfinals was the highlight of their unstoppable progress. They lost two goals in the first half but forced the game to extra time to win the 120-minute-long match.

In the final, they were not under pressure in the face of the penalty shootout that even made the viewers' mouthes dry up.

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David Beckham compliments Korean women’s football

As South Korea won their first World Cup title over Japan on Sunday at the U17 Women’s World Cup, David Beckham was caught on camera watching the game.

Beckham complimented the Korean women’s play in his interview with FIFA on Wednesday, saying he was pleasantly surprised and that the standard of play was very high.

“There were a lot of people in the stadium that really enjoyed the game and I was one of them,” he said.

“Some tough tackles were flying in, the passing was good. There were a few skilful players out on the pitch and a couple of absolutely cracking goals too,” he commented on the play.

He also talked about his hope of playing for England again, improvements in U.S. Major League Soccer and how he’s feeling after six months out of the game with serious injury.

Korea to host Japan in friendly Oct. 12

Korea will host its archrival Japan in an international friendly match at the Seoul World Cup Stadium Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. Tickets to the game go on sale Friday.

The friendly match is the final home game of the year for the national team and manager Cho Kwang-rae’s final tune-up match before the 2011 Asian Cup in January. The usual cast of overseas-based players like Park Ji-sung, Park Chu-young and Lee Chung-yong as well as other top players are expected to be called on for the match.

This is the second match of a home-and-away series between the two rivals this year with Korea beating Japan 2-0 in Saitama, Japan, on May 24.

Tickets can be purchased through the Korea Football Association Web site (www.kfaticket.com) or at Hana Bank branches. Prices range from 20,000 won to 70,000 won ($17 to $61).

For U-17, quick rise from no good to great

Women’s football in Korea has come a long way since the sport first formed in Korea in haste three months prior to the start of the 1990 Beijing Asian Games. In 20 years, the U-17 squad delivered Korea’s first title at a FIFA-sanctioned tourney with a win at the 2010 U-17 Women’s World Cup on Sunday.

The win came on the heels of a third-place finish for Korea at the U-20 Women’s World Cup last month.

Dust off the old footage of the original women’s national team and football fans will discover the beginning was nothing short of disastrous.

Managed by former national football team player Park Kyung-hwa, 71, the team frequently lost to boys’ elementary teams by a margin of four to five goals in practice games. Korean Olympic Committee officials considered getting rid of the team but Park and his team persevered.

Park vividly recalls the first time he laid his eyes on his players at a football field on Korea Military Academy campus in Taeneung, northern Seoul.

“When I ordered some of the players to tackle opposing forwards, one of the players shot back, asking if it wasn’t against the rules,” Park said. “I was asked to take these novice players to the Asian Games in three months. I lost a lot of sleep worrying about the team back then.”

Despite being a veteran manager, it was difficult for Park to coach female players. Park recalls how one of his starting players disappeared during a practice game in Jinhae, South Gyeongsang. It was only after he got an explanation from another player that he realized the player had been going through her menstrual cycle.

“We now have proper training programs for women, but we did not know how to handle female players back then and it led to several comedic episodes,” said Park.

An accomplished football manager who led the Korean Naval Academy to a national title in 1971 over heavyweights like Korea University, Chung-Ang University and Konkuk University, he also served as an assistant coach under Mun Jeong-sik’s men’s national team in 1976. Park has the distinction of being the first Korean to study with FIFA Coaching Courses. Despite Park’s credentials, three months was not enough time to get the ladies prepared for more experienced and skilled players.

In what went down as the first international friendly played by the Korean women’s national squad, Japan demolished the inexperienced Korean side 13-1 shortly before the 1990 Beijing Asian Games. And at the Asian Games itself, Korea ended up losing to North Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China to a total of 30-1. But the team did go on to beat Hong Kong, 1-0.

The results were near miraculous considering the team was made up of a mix of athletes from field hockey, fencing and javelin teams.

“I got the sense that we were halfway toward our goal and had hope that we could become a top contender in Asia in a short span of time,” said Park.

Although the team escaped the dangers of disbandment, Park faced another questionable decision from the hierarchy. A month after the 1990 Asian Games, a home and away women’s football series was planned between North and South Korea. Government officials pressured Park to include six well-spoken and good-looking university students on the team. Park had to make the difficult decision to drop six high school players from the 17-member Asian Games squad. Park voluntarily stepped down from his post after the series.

“I said at the time that if Korea was to win the World Cup, our women would be the first to do so.”

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#27   Mignon

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 12:50 PM

Team named for Japan clash

National football team manager Cho Kwang-rae named Monday his squad to face Japan for a home friendly on Oct.12.

The 24-man squad features 11 foreign-based players, including Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung and Lee Chung-yong of Bolton Wanderers along with 13 K-League players. Cho has called up three newcomers, Incheon United forward Yoo Byung-soo, Kim Shin-wook of Ulsan Hyundai and Choi Sung-kuk of Gwangju Sangmu, for the forward line.

The 22-year-old Yoo, the leading scorer in the K-League this season with 17 goals, and the 196cm-tall forward Kim have been summoned for the first time for the national squad. The 27-year-old midfielder Choi will also make a return to the team after spending two years away.

Speaking of the call-ups of the locally based players, the 56-year-old manager said, “I’ve seen some of their games. They are in good form.”

But the manager said next week’s friendly will be the K-League players’ last chance to impress before his final selection of the team for the Asian Cup in January 2011.

“It’s our last home friendly before the Asian Cup. So it’ll be the final test for them before I decide who can play in the tournament,” Cho said Monday during a news conference at Seoul’s KFA’s office.

Asked about his preparation for the game, he said, “Japan’s midfielders are excellent. If we want to win the game we have to have more possession in midfield.”

Cho hinted that attacking midfielder Park Ji-sung, who has admitted his performances have been disappointing this season, will take a new position next week. “I think it might be time for him to play more in the middle, probably ... play more defensively. But I’ll discuss this with him,” he said.

Korea is 1-1 since Cho took the helm in July. Many are still undecided on the former Gyeongnam FC manager, who claims to bring fast-paced attacking philosophy to the team. Next week’s game against Japan may be his last chance to prove himself before heading to Qatar.

Meanwhile, Japan’s newly appointed manager Alberto Zaccheroni, who signed a two-year contract in August, has called up nine Europe-based players, led by CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda.

Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and Yuto Nagatomo of Cesena have been included along with Lierse’s Eiji Kawashima, Schalke’s Atsuto Uchida, Leicester’s Yuki Abe, Makoto Hasebe of Wolfsburg, FC Tom Tomsk’s Daisuke Matsui and Catania’s Takayuki Morimoto.

The former AC Milan manager has spent his entire 27-year coaching career in the Italian leagues, and it is the first time he has coached a national side.

Korea and Japan play at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Oct. 12 at 8 p.m.

Korea’s 24-man squad for Japan friendly
GK: Jung Sung-Ryong (Seongnam), Kim Young-Kwang (Ulsan)
DF: Cha Du-Ri (Celtic), Lee Young-Pyo (Al Hilal), Lee Jung-Soo (Al Sadd), Cho Yong-Hyung (Al Rayyan), Kim Young-Kwon (FC Tokyo), Kwak Tae-Hwi (Tokyo Sanga), Hong Jung-Ho (Jeju United), Choi Hyo-Jin (FC Seoul), Hwang Jae-Won (Suwon)
MF: Park Ji-Sung (Manchester United), Lee Chung-Yong (Bolton), Ki Sung-Yong (Celtic), Koo Ja-Cheol (Jeju United), Shin Hyung-Min (Pohang), Yoon Bitgaram (Gyeongnam)
FW: Cho Young-Cheol (Niigata Albirex), Park Chu-Young (AS Monaco), Yoo Byung-Soo (Incheon United), Kim Shin-Wook (Ulsan), Yeom Ki-Hoon (Suwon), Lee Seung-Ryul (FC Seoul), Choi Sung-Kuk (Gwangju).[/list]

South Korea beats Iran 2-0 in U-19 AFC Championship

South Korea made a flying start in the first round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-19 Championship with a 2-0 win over Iran in Linzi, China, Monday.

The youngsters raised hopes of a 12th tournament title, the first since 2004, as top strikers Ji Dong-won and Jung Seung-yong netted a goal in each half.

The South Koreans took control of the game in the seventh minute with midfielder Kim Kyung-jung’s shot from the left of the penalty area. The squad was caught out early, allowing Iran midfielder Milad Gharibi a long-range effort that hit the crossbar.

Ji broke the deadlock in the 39th from the left of the penalty area as he turned and a shot with his left that deflected off an Iranian defender to go past the helpless goalkeeper. A candidate for rookie of the year in the K-league this season, Ji made up for compatriot Jung’s earlier attempt.

Korea seemed to break the deadlock in the 23rd minute but the referee disallowed Jung’s effort. Jung connected with midfielder Kim Young-uk’s corner kick, which was deflected after hitting the Iranian keeper’s hand, but the official ruled a Korean player to have fouled the keeper.

Korea doubled its lead in the second half with a Jung strike that was so clean there could be no doubts in the officials’ eyes this time.

Jung received a cross from Kim on the left and sent the ball right into the net with his right foot.

Korea kept putting pressure on Iran for a third goal before the whistle, with midfielder Yun Il-lok’s shot in the 87th going close.

“It was a difficult match with a strong opponent to play against as the first match and in addition, there was a lot of strong wind, which was also a factor,” South Korean manager Lee Kwan-jong was quoted as saying by the AFC website after the match.

“But overall, our players played well and we had a good result, so we’re satisfied,” he added.

The manager did not forget to praise Ji and Jung by saying “We do have two strong strikers compared to the other teams that are here in this tournament.”

The team is tied at the top of Group D with Australia with a win, as Iran and Yemen suffered losses. South Korea will take on Yemen on Wednesday and will face Australia on Friday.

A total of 20 teams are divided into four groups with the aim for the title of Asian champions this year.

South Korea is noted for winning the most titles in the tournament’s history, including a victory in the inaugural tournament in 1959 held in Malaysia.

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#28   Mignon

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 03:27 AM

Korea defeats Japan, will face North in U-19 play

With pride and a spot in the 2011 U-20 World Cup on the line, Korea defeated Japan in the AFC U-19 Championship quarterfinals match yesterday.

Korea came back from an early two-goal deficit to win the game 3-2 at Linzi Stadium in Linzi, China, to earn a date with North Korea in the semifinals.

Korea entered the game boasting one of the tournament’s top defenses, having not allowed a goal in the group stage. Uzbekistan was the only other team in the tourney not to have conceded a goal in the group phase. Japan had scored nine goals - the most in the tourney - and allowed one.

Japan lived up to its high-scoring reputation early on as Hiroshi Ibusuki scored 13 minutes into the match. Ibusuki earned a penalty kick in the 31st minute and although his shot was blocked by Korean goalkeeper No Dong-geon, the referee made a questionable call by signaling for a rekick and Ibusuki delivered on his second try to give Japan a 2-0 lead.

Korea quickly turned the tide of the game with Kim Kyung-jung’s goal in the 33rd minute. Then Lee Ki-jae scored the equalizer in the 43rd minute and Jung Seung-yong connected on a free kick to score the go-ahead goal before the whistle to take a 3-2 lead into half time.

After a flurry of goals in the first half, the two sides did not score any additional goals in the second half. Korea held Japan’s offense to five shots on net in the game while producing 11 shots themselves.

With the win, Korea improved its all-time record against Japan in U-19 competitions to 26 wins, seven draws and five losses.

North Korea defeated China, 2-0, to advance to the semifinals. The two Koreas will face off on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. for a spot in the finals. South Korea has won 11 AFC U-19 Championship titles.

More than pride at stake in Korea-Japan duel

They say that familiarity breeds contempt. But that is not the feeling that will be paramount at Seoul World Cup Stadium Tuesday when South Korea meets Japan for the third time this year. Although the World Cup is still fresh in Koreans’ memory, both nations are looking firmly forward to the Asian Cup, which starts in less than three months.

It is barely three months since the two teams left South Africa in high spirits after reaching the second round for the first time ever on foreign soil.

That was a very pleasant surprise for fans and media in Japan. If you were present at the National Stadium in Tokyo on May 25, you would have seen the men in blue lose at home to Korea for the second time in a matter of weeks. The 2-0 victory for the Taeguk Warriors flattered the Koreans and the Samurai Blue left the field amid the familiar contemptuous jeers of the home support. Japan’s preparations for South Africa had been almost disastrous with defeat following defeat, and the entire nation was planning for the pain that seemed sure to come under the African sun.

It didn’t happen. Japan shocked those back home and a fair few others around the world by winning two of its three group games against Cameroon and then, memorably, against Denmark. A 3-1 win over the Europeans included two masterful free-kicks from the feet of Keisuke Honda and Yasuhito Endo that sent the Samurai Blue into the last sixteen. A place in the last eight beckoned but Paraguay triumphed in a penalty shootout after 120 minutes of football ended goalless.

Suddenly beleaguered coach Takeshi Okada was a hero though he had already decided not to stay on in the Tokyo hotseat. He was eventually replaced by Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni and this is the second game for the former AC Milan and Juventus boss. As well as having a different tactician on the bench, this is a different Japan team from the one which limply lost to its bitter rival in February and May.

“My mission is to cultivate Japanese talent on a long-term basis. I’m going to build a team with sights set on the World Cup in Brazil.” said Zaccheroni. “The new players have shown good performance this month and I and my staff observed this. I want to emphasize a balance between attack and defense.”

That attack is led by Honda, one of the stars of South Africa. He may be the best known among them, but he is just one of a new influx of Japanese stars in Europe impressing their new fans. Shinji Kagawa didn’t even go to the World Cup, but the former Cerezo Osaka midfielder is wowing the fans at German giants Borussia Dortmund.

Kagawa is just starting out in the big leagues while Park Ji-sung has been playing out west for eight years now. Still only 29, the Manchester United man told me recently that he is determined to help Korea win the Asian title for the first time since 1960, a poor record for a team that boasts the continent’s best World Cup record.

That team is about to play its third game under new coach Cho Kwang-rae. Coach Cho has overseen one win, against Nigeria in Suwon in August, and one loss, against Iran in Seoul last month. A second successive defeat at home would put Cho on the defensive, but a win would look good ahead of games at the Asian Cup with Australia and Bahrain.

Park is integral to Korea’s fortunes. “There will be some changes in the midfield,” said Cho when announcing his squad last week. “In an effort to utilize Park Ji-sung to the best of his abilities, I will use him in the midfield. It’s difficult to say at this point since it’s a rivalry match but I will discuss the matter and decide on a specific position with Park when he returns to Korea.”

As well as Asia’s number one player, Cho has called up a number of young players that have been impressing at home.

“Players like Kim Shin-wook, Yoo Byung-soo and Koo Ja-cheol, among others, are capable players with many positive features to their games,” said Cho at a press conference Monday. “I’ve been watching their play in the K-League consistently and selected them because of their solid play.”

A good result is always hoped for against Japan, but with the Asian Cup looming ever closer there is more at stake than regional pride. Continental glory could be just around the corner.

Upcoming Korea, Japan football match anything but friendly

Heated rivalries often bring out the best players.

That certainly will be the case in the upcoming friendly match between Korea and Japan - even though the game won’t count in the standings.

Players with the Korean national football team are focused and determined to beat their archrivals tomorrow night when the two teams meet at World Cup Stadium in Seoul.

Thirteen players from the K-League joined the national team at the National Football Center in Paju, Gyeonggi, yesterday, while 11 overseas-based players, including captain Park Ji-sung, arrived in Korea last Thursday. With everyone together, the national team held its first full training session yesterday evening.

“I will be playing in my first game against Japan on home soil,” Park told reporters yesterday at the NFC. “Everyone on the team is well aware that this is a must-win game.”

With a long history between the two nations, Korean players have historically shown true determination when facing Japan.

Korea holds the edge in all-time matchups with a record of 40 wins, 20 draws and 12 losses.

More importantly, Korea has won both its games against Japan this year, downing its rival 3-1 at the East Asian Football Federation tourney in Tokyo in February and sailing to a 2-0 victory in May in Saitama, Japan.

However, the Japanese national team - led by new manager Alberto Zaccheroni - is entering the match brimming with confidence, having pulled off a stunning 1-0 upset over Argentina in Saitama on Friday.

National team manager Cho Kwang-rae is expected to make some changes to the offense after his squad struggled to get much going against Iran in a 1-0 loss in Seoul on Sept. 7. Park Chu-young and Lee Chung-yong are expected to start, while Yeom Ki-hun, Cho Young-cheol, Lee Seung-yeoul and Choi Sung-kuk will likely rotate into the other forward spot.

“It’s a big match anytime Korea faces Japan,” Yeom said. “I will play to the best of my abilities so that we can win the match. I didn’t get to watch Japan’s latest game against Argentina. We won both matches against Japan this year so I expect another win for us.”

Despite Korea’s favorable record, players said they are well aware of Japan’s improvements since the 2010 World Cup in June.

“Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund has looked especially dangerous,” said Jung Sung-ryong of Seongnam Ilhwa. “I’ve watched several of his matches, and he looked threatening.”

The Japanese national team arrived in Korea yesterday for the friendly match, which will take place at Seoul World Cup Stadium at 8 p.m.
Tonight! I'm looking forward this match!

Taeguk Ladies shaping up for Peace Queen Cup

Korea Republic women’s national team coach Choi In-Cheul confirmed 23 players to take part in the Peace Queen Cup, adding five players to the Asian Games squad that had been announced last month.

Kim Seu-Ri (Busan Sangmu), Jung Young-A (Ulsan College), Lim Seon-Joo (Hanyang Women’s University), Park Hee-Young (Gangwon Provincial College) and Park Hee-Young (Goyang Daekyo) have been called up to the provisional squad, which will be cut down to 20 players before the tournament proper later this month.

One of the notable changes is the addition of Park Hee-Young, who had been the first-choice striker for the Taeguk Ladies but struggled to find her form after a brief stint in the Frauen Bundesliga in Germany. Coach Choi is expecting Park to prove her potential, saying “she’s such a talented player who has an outstanding ability to finish in front of goal.”

Meanwhile, defender Cho So-Hyun has been replaced by Yu Ji-Eun due to injury. Cho played for Suwon FMC in the recent WK-League championship final despite the injury, but will miss out on her chance to participate in the dress rehearsal for the Asian Games.

Choi is set to make his senior coaching debut at the 2010 Peace Queen Cup, which will be held at Suwon World Cup Stadium and Suwon Sports Complex from 17 to 23 October. Korea Republic are in Group A with England and New Zealand, and the section winners will advance to the final against the winners of Group B.

Korea Republic provisional squad for the Peace Queen Cup
Jun Min-Kyung (Daekyo), Moon So-Ri (Ulsan College), Kim Seu-Ri (Busan Sangmu)

Shim Seo-Yeon (Suwon FMC), Lee Eun-Mi (Daekyo), Kim Do-Yeon (Seoul City), Yu Ji-Eun, Hong Kyung-Suk (all Daekyo), Jung Young-A (Ulsan College), Kim Hye-Ri (Yeoju University), Lim Seon-Joo (Hanyang Women’s University)

Kwon Hah-Nul (Busan Sangmu), Park Eun-Jung (Seoul City), Kim Soo-Yun (Chungnam Ilhwa), Jeon Ga-Eul (Suwon FMC), Kwon Eun-Som (Ulsan College), Kim Na-Rae (Yeoju University), Cha Yun-Hee (Daekyo), Park Hee-Young (Gangwon Provincial College)

Lee Jang-Mi (Daekyo), Ji So-Yun (Hanyang Women’s College), Yoo Young-A (Busan Sangmu), Park Hee-Young (Daekyo)[/list]
And it's too late, but here's a column from John Duerden.

[John Duerden Column] First World title worth the wait

It has been a long time coming for South Korea. The nation is historically the most successful in Asia at a whole host of levels finally had its first world title. The senior men’s team is by far the most storied at the World Cup. It has qualified for eight editions and gone further than any other team in Asia. K-League clubs have won more Asian titles than any other and now, South Korea has the most talented young women in the world.

Just two months after the Under-20 team finished third at the World Cup in Germany, the Under-17 team won a thrilling World Cup final against Japan on Sunday morning Seoul time. It was a proud moment for the nation as well as the players’ parents who were watching back home on an exciting Sunday morning. Sunday night saw two of the nation’s best players, Lee Chung-yong and Park Ji-sung, meet on the pitch in the English Premier League with Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United respectively. Any other day, that would have been the main headline in the sports media but not this weekend.

It really could have gone either way. The scoreline at half-time was 2-2, the scoreline at full-time was 3-3. No further goals were managed though it was not for want of trying.

From now, when people talk about the national team in South Korea, they may be asked which team they are talking about. Huh Jung-moo led the senior team to the second round of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and he was happy to lead the tributes to the girls who received the trophy and medal from FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

“It was really great and I want to congratulate them,” said the man who is now the boss of K-League team Incheon United. “They played some good football and with the young women’s teams looking good, the future is bright.”

Coach Choi Duk-joo may soon find that his email in box is piling up with enquiries about availability and his phone may soon be ringing non-stop, at least when he returns to the Land of the Morning Calm on Tuesday.

“My team never gave up and they fought with everything all the time,” jubilant coach Choi Duk-joo told reporters. “This is the main reason for our success here in Trinidad and Tobago. I am a very proud man today. I’m in dreamland right now. We had a few injuries going into the game and it makes the prize even more special because we had to fight so hard for it.

“It is the dream of every coach to win the tournament, but I can’t take the credit. We won here because I had the pleasure of coaching such a talented and hard-working team of players. I told the players to be calm and to have confidence before taking their penalties. I am very glad that they listened!”

Now it is up to Korean football authorities to try and use this success and the national attention it has received to push forward women's football and football as a while in South Korea. The talent is obviously there already and if it can be nurtured and developed in the best possible way then football in the Land of the Morning Calm has a bright future.

Just look no further than the star of the show Yeo Min-ji. She may not have scored in the final but ended the tournament as top scorer and MVP. Encouragingly, she is already talking of moving to the next level.

“I am very happy to have won these awards, but they belong to all of my teammates,” Yeo, said. “If it weren’t for them I would never score any goals, so I share the awards with them in a very meaningful way. I am not happy just to sit back on my laurels; I want to get better all the time as a player and move forward,” Yeo, who scored eight goals in the tournament, said.

“My goal is a big one - I want to be the best women’s player in the world. I want Korea Republic to become a major force not just in Asia but in the world at senior level. I sensed that this dream was beginning to come true when we scored our winning penalty kick, and it made me cry. We won this U-17 title. Our U-20 team took third place in Germany a few months ago at that World Cup, so this is a great sign for the future of Korean women’s football. We are getting stronger and we will be strong for a long time to come.”

If Yeo has burst on to the football scene in the last week or so, more established football figures also showered the team with compliments.

"I would like to congratulate South Korea for coming out on top in the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup,” said Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam. “It is no shame for the losing finalists Japan though. The Japanese fought hard and, in truth, they have played a really, really good game." he said.

Perhaps the final word should be left to FIFA vice-president and honorary head of the KFA Dr Chung Mong-joon.

"I am very, very proud of all of them. I think we were lucky to beat Japan. Having said that, our team has played well and deserved to be crowned champions," said Chung.

"Asian women's football has come of age, no doubt about that. I must congratulate everyone for making this (achievement) happen."" he said.

Edited by 0, 12 October 2010 - 03:33 AM.

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#29   Mignon

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 02:41 PM

Korea-Japan match, game of poor equals

It was a game of poor equals.

South Korea and Japan fought to a scoreless tie in a friendly soccer match in the World Cup Stadium in western Seoul, Tuesday night.

The two archrivals gave a lackluster performance with few close calls for the capacity crowd to cheer about, that was disappointing to the coaches of the two teams.

Korea’s Cho Kwang-rae wanted to regain confidence after a 0-1 loss to Iran, while Japan’s coach Alberto Zaccheroni also had a point to prove _ he can lead the team.

The game bogged down in the midfield and neither side took firm control of the game.

A partisan crowd of over 62,000 fans in the stadium cheered for the Koreans, but it didn’t make much difference.

The Korean players looked tired at halftime, allowing the Japanese to attack. But the visitors were also not in control.

The lack of fire in the game was obviously not due to the absence of intention to attack on both sides.

Korea’s poor offense came despite its employment of an attack-oriented 3-4-3 formation, putting an additional player in the frontline. The Korean team had its recent loss to Iran in mind and desperately wanted a victory over its archrival.

Japan also looked determined to win, going for a 4-2-4 formation, which didn’t work either.

Maybe, the experimental formation worked against the home team, with some players given new positions.

Midfielders Lee Chung-yong and Choi Sung-kuk got paired with forward Park Chu-young as wingers.

Clever defense master Lee Young-pyo was moved up to take the left side of midfield, joining Yoon Bitgaram, Shin Hyung-min, and Choi Hyo-jin.

Korean team coach Cho used Yoon as a relief for captain Park Ji-sung, who had to sit out the game because of a knee injury.

The disappointing game didn’t mean that there were moments that made the capacity crowd cheer.

In the 11th minute, striker Park Chu-young tried to connect with a free kick, but it went wide.

In the 29th minute, Japanese forward Keisuke Honda hit a blistering shot near the left side of the penalty box only to see goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong make the save.

One of the more spectacular moments of the game came in the 41st minute when Shin Hyun-min headed a center from teammate Choi Sung-kuk just over the crossbar.

Minutes later before halftime, Honda darted in and fired a long-range shot that also missed.

Coach Cho tried to give life back to the game, bringing in two replacements: midfielder Ki Sung-yueng and forward Yeom Ki-hun.

Ki momentarily energized the team with a corner kick from the right that led to Park Chu-young’s header but it was saved by Japanese goalie Nishikawa.

Ki made another attempt five minutes later but again Nishikwa blocked it.

The two teams have met three times this year and South Korea has edged out Japan twice with a 3-1 and a 2-0 win in February and May, respectively.I think we didn't good. I don't understand why Cho didn't select Yoo Byung-soo in starting XI.

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#30   Mignon

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:08 PM

Korea to warm up for Asiad at 2010 Peace Queen cup

The South Korean women’s football team has the opportunity to show how it has improved in front of domestic fans.

The 3rd Peace Queen Cup Suwon 2010, an international event hosted by FIFA, starts on Sunday at Suwon World Cup Stadium.

England, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan will compete in two groups. The winner of each group after the round robin competition will meet in the final at the same venue on Oct. 23.

Korea, which is preparing its gold medal challenge for the Asian Games in November, can test its strategies and form ahead of the competition.

Among the Korean squad, Ji So-yun, who scored eight goals in the FIFA U-20 World Cup earning the silver ball and silver boot awards, will receive the most attention.

“It is time for the older team members to put on a good performance,” national team manager Choi In-cheul said.

Choi, who led the U-20 women’s team to third place in the World Cup in August, takes charge of his first international match as the head of the national team.

Korean women’s football is rising, with teams finishing third in the U-20 World Cup and winning the U-17 World Cup.

“Now women’s football is attracting a lot of attention,” Ji said. “I want to show an impressive performance in this event,” he added.

To have a chance of winning Korea has finish top in Group A, after matches against New Zealand and England.

The 21st ranked Koreans’ first game is at the Suwon World Cup Stadium against New Zealand (ranked 24th) on Sunday and then England (9th) at Suwon Sports Complex, Tuesday.

Players to watch out for are Mexico’s veteran forward Maribel Dominguez and Australian striker Kathryn Gill, who is expected to show her prowess in front of goal.

The winner of the competition will earn $200,000 in prize money and the runner up, $50,000.

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