You haven’t seen anything yet.
The Korean national soccer team, led by coach Jürgen Klinsmann, had an exhibition match with Iraq at the New York University Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, at 10 p.m. on Saturday (Korea time) and won 1-0. With the victory, Korea finished its Asian Cup preparations with a victory in the final mock test.
Korea, which is eying its first win in 64 years, will play a group preliminary match against Bahrain (Jan. 15), Jordan (Jan. 20) and Malaysia (Jan. 25) in Group E. If Korea tops Group E, its opponent in the round of 16 will be the second in Group D. It is one of Japan, Indonesia, Iraq and Vietnam. If Korea ranks second in Group E, it will face off against No. 1 in Group F, which includes Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan and Oman.
Korea desperately wants a championship trophy than any other Asian team. Korea, which is suffering from the Asian Cup jinx, won the title at the first Asian Cup championship in 1956 and the second Asian Cup championship in 1960. However, Korea has won the runner-up prize four times in the 63 years since then, and thus has no chance of winning the title.
Although he boasted of his best performance in Asia every time, strangely, Korea has many unfortunate scenes in the Asian Cup, which even calls it the “Curse of the Asian Cup.” In the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia, it lost to host Australia in overtime, and in the 2019 Asian Cup in Qatar, it lost to the winner Qatar 0-1 in the quarterfinals.
That’s why he has a unique attitude to participate in this Asian Cup. In particular, 2024, when there is a possibility that it will be the last Asian Cup for Son Heung-min, the captain of the national team, and world-class players such as Kim Min-jae, Lee Kang-in, and Hwang Hee-chan are enjoying their heyday, is the best time for Korea to regain the Asian throne.
He boasts power and strong motivation. Nevertheless, he must not let down his guard. In other words, Korea’s Asian Cup jinx was a hindrance to the Middle East team. It lost to Saudi Arabia in the semifinals at the 2000 Lebanon Games, Iran in the quarterfinals at the 2004 China Games, and Iraq in the semifinals at the 2007 Southeast Asian Games.
The Iraq match is a test stage as the first step toward overcoming the jinx in the Middle East. Korea was particularly vulnerable to harsh pressure and bed soccer by banking on its physical strength in the Middle East. The goal of the match against Iraq was to suggest ways to overcome and attack the situation.
However, it was not easy. A rough struggle unique to the Middle East overlapped with a mysterious referee’s decision. The match itself was easy. However, Middle East’s unique play, which had to be severely met to win the Asian Cup from the group stage, bothered Korea once again. In addition, ambiguous referee’s decision kept holding back.
In particular, the referee’s decision continued to hold back in the second half, when South Korea was the main player. On this day, the referee unnecessarily overheated the game while watching the opponent’s rough play. In the 26th minute of the second half, there was no proper punishment for the rough and deep tackle on Hwang Hee-chan.
On top of that, the Iraqi goalkeeper kicked and fell Son Heung-min’s penetration into the net following Lee Kang-in’s kill pass in the 19th minute of the second half. However, he was not given a penalty kick. Because of this decision, Iraqi players encouraged Korea with tough play. 헤라카지노도메인
The aftermath of this decision occurred in the 40th minute of the second half. During the ball competition, Lee Kang-in collided with Iraq’s No. 25 and Ahmed Yehiya. Lee Kang-in, who had been warned once earlier, was sent off due to accumulation of warnings. It can be said that it was wrong for Lee Kang-in, who had yellow earlier, to react, but it was also a problem that Yehiya, who hit the face first, was not given a red.
In a way, the Iraq match could be a medicine. When the Asian Cup becomes the main stage, Middle Eastern teams will try to solve the game by scratching their opponent’s nerves. Attention is focusing on how Klinsmann will respond to this opponent’s attempt.