Quarter-finals: France – Colombia – Belgium – Costa Rica
World Cup progress: Group stage
Team rating: 4
Top scorer: Koo Ja-Cheol, Son Heung-Min, Lee Keun-Ho (1)
The semi-finalists of 2002 lacked the results, ultimately seeing them take an early flight home, but George Rinaldi says it wasn’t for a lack of passion.
Hong Myung’s men head home
South Korea’s stay in Brazil was short lived, as they finished bottom of the final Group H standings. It wasn’t for their lack of trying, however, as they managed a point against Russia in their opener.
However, conceding three goals in just 12 minutes against Algeria ended hopes of qualification, despite a second half fight back in which they netted twice for a 4-2 loss. It would have taken a miracle to have progressed as they faced Belgium in the final match, but if not for Thibaut Courtois they could have taken away a result, but inevitably the Belgians grabbed a late winner to leave the Koreans empty-handed.
The Coach – Hong Myung-Bo
The manager was proud of his player’s following the Belgium game and rightly so. Myung-Bo was happy enough to take the blame due to his failed tactics and praised his players’ never say die attitude during the tournament. His counter attacking idea did work well to a certain extent, but needed re-jigging at the back.
Player of the Tournament – Lee Keun-Ho
Lee Keun-Ho was the stand out performer of a passionate bunch of players. Lee failed to start a single match but grabbed a goal and provided an assist.
Giving Group H winners Belgium a tough game for all of 78 minutes until falling asleep at the back allowing Jan Vertonghen to net, denying the Korean’s a deserved point.
|17-Jun-14||Russia||1-1||South Korea||Group H|
|22-Jun-14||South Korea||2-4||Algeria||Group H|
|26-Jun-14||South Korea||0-1||Belgium||Group H|
For a complete review of the 2014 World Cup, check out the next issue of Soccer Italia, written by the team at Football Italia and available on worldwide subscription.