It was a great opportunity to win the Asian Cup title for the first time in 64 years. Son Heung-min and Hwang Hee-chan have two strikers who are ranked top in the Premier League scoring rankings this season, while Lee Kang-in and Kim Min-jae were active as key resources at big clubs PSG and Bayern Munich, respectively.
In addition, 11 European players, including Lee Jae-sung, Jung Woo-young, Hwang In-beom, Hong Hyun-seok, Oh Hyun-kyu, Yang Hyun-joon and Kim Ji-soo, participated in the Asian Cup, the most ever.
Therefore, expectations were higher than ever for the upcoming 2023 Asian Cup. However, the result was disastrous. Considering the semifinal performance, it cannot be regarded as a complete failure, but a look into the details shows that the performance was disastrous.
a weakness overshadowed by a winning streak
In March, Klinsmann declared offensive soccer at his first press conference as the head coach of the Korean national team. In March, his first call-up, he showed a straight and fast turn of attack in two consecutive games against Colombia and Uruguay, drawing keen attention.
However, as games continued to progress, his team showed signs of regression. With the relatively classical 4-4-2 system, players increase their left and right pullbacks as much as possible, while allowing left and right wingers to spread to the touchline. This is a structure that puts a lot of pressure on the two central midfielders.
In the early days of the head coach’s inauguration, Klinsmann’s controversy over telecommuting and overseas travel was criticized by public opinion, coupled with the sluggish performance of no wins (three draws and two losses) in five consecutive games.
However, since the Saudi Arabian match in September last year, it has gradually dispelled this criticism when it won consecutive games against Tunisia, Vietnam, Singapore, China, and Iraq.
Nevertheless, the risk remained. His weaknesses were obscured by his landslide victory against the underdogs. This is because individual performances offset the problems of the build-up system, lack of detailed tactics in the offensive camp, and wide gap between offense and defense.
The worst game in every game, 1 win, 4 draws and 1 loss in 90 minutes
Klinsmann was squeaky from the group stage in this Asian Cup. He only won 3-1 against Bahrain in the first game, and every game since then has been a series of pain. He had to fight hard until the extra time of the second half against Jordan and Malaysia. He didn’t even get a win.
In the match against Saudi Arabia in the round of 16 and Australia in the round of 8, they scored a dramatic equalizer in the extra time of the second half to lead the game to extra time. Some media labeled it as “zombie soccer” and “spirit,” but it was a cold-hearted worst-ever showdown. The main reason was that the team had a hard time leading the game due to the failure of Plan A.
In the return match against Jordan, the team was completely defeated in every aspect. Its 8-17 shooting number, especially 0 effective shooting, was a humiliation that would go down in history.
As of the 90 minutes, the team had only one win, four draws and one loss in six games. In five of the games, the team was given the lead by its opponents.
0 first-half shots in the history of the Asian Cup were the first in the quarterfinals against Australia, and it is the first time in 28 years that more than two goals have been lost since the 1996 Asian Cup match against Iran (2-6 losses).
Defensive anxiety – lack of concentration
South Korea allowed six runs in only three group matches, the highest number of runs in the Asian Cup history. Just before the tournament, seven consecutive games of scoreless runs resulted in a strong blind belief in four-back consisting of Lee Ki-je, Kim Min-jae, Jung Seung-hyun and Seol Young-woo. When Klinsman advanced to the Asian Cup finals, he gave up 10 goals in six games.
Kim Young-kwon and Jung Seung-hyun alternately played as center-back partners except Kim Min-jae, but they were all sluggish, and the left and right fullbacks were also settled as Seol Young-woo and Kim Tae-hwan during the tournament due to trial and error.
Notably, he scored the first goal in all three of his group matches, before conceding an equalizer at the end of the first half or early in the second half. He thus failed to secure even a single 1-0 lead. His capacity to manage games was close to the worst in his team’s lead. 밤알바
Even Jordan and Malaysia were on the verge of losing, allowing a reversal. In the match against Malaysia, they succeeded in a 1-2 to 3-2 reversal, but they lost a ridiculous point just before the end and missed the game. Every game lost a point, so there was no way to go even one game comfortably.