World Cup 2014 – Group H: Match Report – South Korea 2- Algeria 4

25 Jun

Pic 1 South korean fans in porto allegreThe Desert Foxes Conquer the Taegeuk Warriors

Tribute to the South Korean fans who encouraged their Warriors to come back for a strong finish despite a devastating first half. Sadly the effort would not bring them any points and go into the last Group Match Day with everything on the line.

Date: Sunday, June 22, 2014
Place: Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre
Referee: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Attendance: 42, 732

Line Ups

For South Korea

Jung Sung –Ryung
Lee Yong, Yellow card 54’
Kim Young-Gwon
Hong Jeong-ho,
Han Kook-young, Yellow card 69’, substitute Ji Dong –won 78’
Lee Chung-yong , substitute Lee Keun-ho 64’
Ki Sung-yeung,
Koo Ja-Cheol (captain),
Park, Chu-young, Substitute Kim Shin-wook 57’
Son Heung-min,
Yun Suk Young

For Algeria

Rais M’Bolhi
Madjid Bougherra (captain), Yellow card 64’, substitute Essaid Belkalem 89’
Djamel Mesbah
Rafik Halliche
Sofiane Feghouli
Carl Medjani
Islam Slimani
Yacine Brahimi Substitute Medhi Lacen 77’
Aissa Mandi
Abdelmoumene Djabou, Substitute Nabil Ghilas 73’
Nabil Bentaleb

I’m embarrassed to say that I thought this game would be a snoozer and was concerned about how it would do on ABC on a Sunday afternoon. While I did expect Algeria to win this, I had no idea that it would be a 6 goal game! My apologies to both the Fennec Foxes and the Taeguk Warriors! I should have had more faith!

Algeria came out of the gate with tremendous energy and great confidence. This may seem surprising since Algeria came in after a Belgian loss and South Korea came in with a Russian tie. However, the Algerians seemed to take great heart in their defensive shape and their unity on the ground. From the get-go, they used this to take risks, which paid great dividends for them, especially in the first half.
It took South Korea some time to get used to the near frenetic pace and the aggressive tactics in the midfield and for about 15 minutes, they seemed completely at a loss on how to stem the Algerian tide. Within ten minutes, there were at least 4 set pieces and wave after wave of attacks. The Algerians had some beautiful footwork and initially ran circles around the South Korean midfield.

It took about a quarter of an hour for the South Korean striker and main hope Son to make any progress into the Algerian box. Son showed great agility and finesse while he made his way into the Algerian backline but, as was common in the prior game, Son was not able to hold onto the ball and finish. However, Algeria was back on the move and continually knocked on the South Koreans’ door. Finally Islam Slimani was rewarded with a goal in the 26th minute. He managed to fight off both Kim and Hong and faked keeper Jung to the right, slipping the ball right into the middle of the net.

Pic 2 Slimani v. South KoreaThe South Koreans did not even have a chance to catch their breath when Brahimi had powerful shot deflected wide for a corner. The corner was beautifully taken, and was in perfect lining for Halliche to head it home. Sadly, Jung completely misjudged it and moved too far out, missing the ball completely. It was a heavy price to pay, for within minutes South Korea trailed by two goals.
Pic 3 Halliche goalSouth Korean misery lasted well into the half with yet another goal in the 38th minute – this time by Djabou. This one was created by Islam Slamani, who made a strong run and passed the ball to Djabou whose clear shot left Jung with no answer. All throughout the match, South Korea had no real fight or aggression in the midfield and so were stripped of the ball time and again. By the half, they were clearly dejected.

However, South Korea’s workman’s attitude came right back in the second half. Son was able to take advantage of some chaos in the backline and managed to nutmeg the usually solid M’bohli.
Pic 4 Son goalBut the Algerians were far from through. They continued their endless waves of attacks into the South Korean defense and in the 62nd minute, Brahimi had his hard work finally pay off for a goal for himself.
Pic 5 Brahimi goalThe South Koreans were very admirable, especially in the last minutes of the game where they just refused to give up the ghost. The Algerians seemed content enough with the four goals, rightfully so, but the South Koreans continued to pester in the midfield and into the box until finally in the 72nd minute, some great passing between Son and Lee and Koo resulted in a nice goal by Koo. However, it was really too little too late.Pic 6 koo-ja-cheol-goalFabio Capello’s Russia will not be heartened by this performance and will clearly need to take notice of the high energy of the Desert Foxes. This performance will only serve to buoy their spirits and I would expect them to throw everything possible at the Russians this Thursday. They have shown that they can keep their defensive shape and despite the two good South Korean goals, M’Bohli is a strong keeper who will give the Russian strikers trouble. Algeria also will have the patience to keep running at Russia and if there is any sort of humidity, the Foxes will have a distinct advantage and could even challenge the strong CSKA Moscow boys. Berezutski looked particularly tired after the Belgium match on Sunday, after spending the day running back and forth, anchoring the defense and being a target man for set pieces. Algeria will take advantage of this and have enough fire power to keep both Berezutski and Ignashevich busy.

Belgium is already into the Group of 16 but South Korea cannot expect any special favors. However, if Belgium is not vigilant throughout the match, even to the bitter end, they will pay a price. South Korea will never ever stop working. Don’t count out the Warriors – they will not roll over for anyone.

With three of the four teams on 4 points, Thursday will be a decisive day for Group H.

– ForzaSusan

4 Responses to “World Cup 2014 – Group H: Match Report – South Korea 2- Algeria 4”

  1. hopechaser June 25, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    I love chaotic games like this, where everyone just throws themselves into it. Love the flag!

  2. jellyace June 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    I love the flag, too! BTW, whatever happened to Spain’s escudo project?

    • headbandsandheartbreak June 25, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

      Oh god, I was thinking about that the other day. Can you imagine how pissed the people are who cut the escudos out of their kits? I’d be furious.

      • hopechaser June 25, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

        I completely forgot about that campaign. Did it ever show up anywhere?

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