Cho Kyu-sung reacts to a goal by rival and teammate Hwang Eui-jo.
The South Korean national soccer team, led by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann, defeated Tunisia 4-0 in an October A Match friendly at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Wednesday at 8 p.m. The win was South Korea’s first in three matches against Tunisia (1 win, 1 draw, 1 loss).
Klinsmann’s side recorded their first win against Saudi Arabia in their last A Match in September. After three draws and two losses in their previous five matches, South Korea finally earned a point with a header from Cho Kyu-sung. The Koreans were looking to make it two wins in a row in front of their home fans.
Klinsmann started with a 4-2-3-1 formation. With captain and ace Son Heung-min having injury issues, Cho Kyu-sung was up front. Lee Jae-sung, Lee Kang-in, and Hwang Hee-chan supported him, while Hong Hyun-seok and Park Yong-woo formed the midfield. In defense, Lee Ki-je, Kim Min-jae, Jung Seung-hyun, and Seol Young-woo paired up, with Kim Seung-kyu in goal.
On the bench, Son Heung-min was joined by Kim Jin-soo, Hwang In-beom, Kim Jun-hong, Lee Sun-min, Moon Sun-min, Hwang Eui-jo, Jung Woo-young, Kim Young-kwon, Kim Joo-sung, Cho Hyun-woo, Kim Tae-hwan, and Oh Hyun-gyu.
Cho Kyu-sung, who scored the winning goal against Saudi Arabia, started up top. Cho constantly battled with the opposing defenders on the front line and tried to create chances for Korea. In the 23rd minute of the second half, he was replaced by Hwang Eui-jo. Unfortunately, he was unable to create a goal, but he fulfilled his role as a frontline striker.
Speaking to the Mixed Zone after the game, Cho Kyu-sung said, “First of all, I’m happy that our players showed that they could not be pushed back in a one-on-one fight against the Tunisian players. They showed it and it’s nice to be able to translate that into a multi-goal win. They played as well as I thought they would, and I think it’s a testament to their hard work,” he said after the win.
When asked if he was disappointed not to score in a high-scoring game, he said, “I’m a little bit upset, but not too much, because I think my role in the national team is to help the players play well, not to score goals. Of course, as a striker, it would be nice to score goals, but I always try to do what I can do on the field.”
Cho Kyu-sung was substituted with the game somewhat in hand. Lee Kang-in’s multi-goal performance in the 10th and 12th minutes of the second half was followed by an own goal in the 22nd minute off a header from Kim Min-jae. He was replaced by Hwang Eui-jo. Cho Kyu-sung and Hwang Ui-jo are in a competitive battle for a spot in the national team. Since Klinsmann’s arrival, Cho has had the edge.
He started against both Wales and Saudi Arabia during the A-Match in September. Hwang Ui-jo came on as a late substitute against El Salvador in June and scored a goal. With his reduced playing time, he is bound to be under pressure.
But Hwang’s chance came just before the end of the game, as he calmly finished a one-on-one with the goalkeeper in second-half stoppage time. Cho Kyu-sung was more than happy to hear about Hwang’s goal: “I was really happy. When (Hwang’s) brother scored a goal and did a ceremony, it was emotional because I felt like I could see the regrets I had during the game.” 스포츠토토
Looking ahead to the match against Vietnam on Sunday, he said, “We want to use this momentum to win the upcoming match against Vietnam and finish with two wins in a row in this A match.”