“A place with good memories and an opponent with good memories.” The revival stage has been prepared. All that Cho Kyu-sung (26, Meat Whelan) has to do is spread his wings again.
The South Korean national soccer team, led by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann, will face Saudi Arabia in the round of 16 of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup at Alaiyan Education City Stadium in Qatar at 1 a.m. on the 31st (Korean time).라바카지노
Korea advanced to the tournament as No. 2 in Group E with one win and two draws in its group league. The team tied against Jordan and Malaysia in succession. The opponent team became Saudi Arabia, a powerhouse in the Middle East who ranked first in Group F.
Among the countries that advanced to the round of 16, the team that lost the most goals and the team that lost the least number of goals will have a showdown. Korea has given up six goals in three matches, the most goals scored along with Indonesia. This is also the new record for Korea to lose the most goals (the previous record was five goals in 1996) in the group league of the Asian Cup.
On the contrary, Saudi Arabia lost only one goal in the group stage. The main assessment is that the defense has become stronger since Roberto Mancini took over. However, it should also be considered that it came up against relatively weak teams such as Oman, Kyrgyzstan, and Thailand.
Above all, Cho Kyu-sung must revive in order to break through Saudi Arabia’s shield. South Korea scored eight goals in the previous three games, but none of them were scored by Cho Kyu-sung. Lee Kang-in scored three goals, and Son Heung-min scored two goals from a penalty kick. Hwang In-beom and Jung Woo-young also scored goals.
However, frontline strikers continued to remain silent. Cho started all three games and played on the pitch for 204 minutes, but only had one shot on goal, lowering his head. Oh Hyun-kyu, who has repeatedly replaced Oh, also induced a Malaysian penalty kick, but was not good enough to receive a passing point.
Notably, Cho’s strength seems to have disappeared. Not only has Cho’s ability to provide opportunities to teammates while holding out from the front, but also his right to provide provision that worked well in the World Cup stage has lost its luster. If Cho fails to draw the spotlight, the Clinsman team’s offense, which possesses the “two golden lines” of Son Heung-min, Lee Kang-in, Hwang Hee-chan, and Lee Jae-seong, will hardly be able to gain strength.
Now that defeat is elimination, Cho Kyu-sung is desperate for revival. For now, the stage is ready. Education City Stadium, where the round of 16 will be held, is a place where Cho has good memories.
Cho Kyu-sung made his name around the world by scoring two goals with his head alone in the group match against Ghana at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. The first multi-goal World Cup by a Korean player in history. It was the moment when Cho Kyu-sung quickly became the main striker for the national team. At that time, the match against Ghana was held at Education City Stadium.
It is also good to see that the opponent is Saudi Arabia. Cho scored the first goal with his head in a friendly match against Saudi Arabia held in Newcastle, the U.K. in September last year. It was Korea’s first goal for the national team since Clinton’s inauguration. Thanks to that, Korea won 1-0, and was able to report a victory for the first time in six matches under Clinton.
“I don’t care about criticism,” Cho said after the match against Malaysia. “If I lose, I will lose. Now I really want to score a goal and contribute a lot to my team,” Cho said. Considering the “soccer of faith” that Coach Klinsmann has shown so far, chances are high that he will start again this time. He might not have another chance. It is time to repay his trust by reviving good memories and confidence.