3 things Klinsmann needs to think about for ‘first win’ and ‘Asian Cup’

Klinsmann’s first win was a promise of things to come.

The South Korean national soccer team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann, lost 0-1 to Peru in an exhibition match at the Busan Asiad Stadium on Saturday.

There were many variables ahead of the game: Son Heung-min, the captain, was recovering from sports hernia surgery and was expected to be ruled out of the starting lineup; Kim Min-jae, the iron pillar, was sent to basic military training and the defense had to be reshaped; and Jung Woo-young, the center back, was injured and had to be replaced.

Peru was a tough opponent. Led by all-time leading scorer Paolo Guerrero, the Peruvians pounded Korea with a quick offense. Eventually, Brian Reyna opened the scoring in the 11th minute with an assist from Guerrero. The Korean defense was caught off guard by Peru’s fluid passing.

In the second half, South Korea pushed forward. Coach Klinsmann switched from a 4-4-2 formation to a 4-2-3-1 in an attempt to find an offense. Oh Hyun-gyu was deployed up front, and Hwang Hee-chan, Lee Jae-sung, and Lee Kang-in attacked from the left side of the second line. However, the finishing touches weren’t there, and Peru began to drop their line. In the end, South Korea lost 0-1 against Peru.

This meant that Klinsmann’s first win since taking over would have to wait until the next match. In March, Klinsmann’s first two games as coach, a 2-2 draw against Colombia and a 1-2 defeat against Uruguay, were played shortly after his appointment. Three months later, the de facto “first Klinsmann” squad was still without a win.

Next up is El Salvador. The team will face the 75th-ranked El Salvador at 8 p.m. on Nov. 20 at Daejeon World Cup Stadium. The team is getting hotter by the day. Against Peru, the stadium was sold out, with 52,443 fans in attendance, and the following day’s open training session was filled with fans chanting the players’ names.

Now, Klinsmann has set his sights on El Salvador for his first win. More than just the micro goal of a first win, the team has a macro goal of the Asian Cup in Qatar in January, so every game is important. As Klinsmann looks back on the past trials to build a stronger team, there are a few things to take away.

First and foremost, the second line combination needs to be solidified. In the two March trials, Klinsmann deployed Son Heung-min as an attacking midfielder or second striker, giving him a free-flowing attacking role. This created a gap between the opposition’s midfield and defensive line, creating a lot of space for his teammates around him.

However, Son Heung-min is a doubt for the match against El Salvador. His recovery and stability after sports hernia surgery is of utmost importance. “I’m still not sure about my physical condition. I think we’ll have to wait and see,” so Klinsmann will have to plan for a second game without the midfielder.

Against Peru, South Korea used a 4-4-2 in the first half and a 4-2-3-1 in the second half with Hwang Hee-chan, Lee Jae-sung, and Lee Kang-in in the second line to create destruction on the flanks, but their play in the center left something to be desired. For the next game, South Korea will need to find a solid attacking combination in the second line without Son Heung-min, such as centering Lee Kang-in or starting Na Sang-ho.

This was the most disappointing aspect of the game against Peru. Goals are the key to victory. South Korea had 13 shots on goal against Peru, but only four of them were on target. There was a moment in the second half when Hwang Hee-chan was deployed on the flank, which opened up the gaps in Peru’s defense on the left and right, and naturally gave Oh Hyun-gyu a chance in the center. However, it didn’t lead to a goal.

The striker spot on the national team is still up for grabs. Currently, Cho Kyu-sung, Hwang Eui-jo, and Oh Hyun-gyu are taking turns. The three started three games each against Colombia, Uruguay, and Peru. However, none of South Korea’s three goals in those three games came from strikers. This is what Klinsmann’s men need most to get their first win.

It’s safe to say that Lee has been the shining star of the Klinsmanns. Lee made his first appearance for Klinsmann’s Lake in the second half of the first game against Colombia, and started against Uruguay, where he showed off his dazzling breakaway ability and dribbling skills to break down the flanks. Against Peru, he totaled seven key passes and two shots on goal, accounting for almost all of South Korea’s 13 total shots.

As Lee’s profile rises, the pressure on opponents will only increase. As Klinsmann testified after the Peru game, Lee is already a player the world knows and is wary of. If Son Heung-min doesn’t play in the upcoming game against El Salvador, Lee Kang-in will be under intense scrutiny, and it will be even more so if the opposition drops off like they did at the Asian Cup.

Lee Kang-in’s quality is unquestionable. However, it’s important that he develops a pattern that translates into goals for his team. Fans are well aware of one instance where Lee’s goals have shone through. The pattern of Lee’s cross and Cho Kyu-sung’s header in the second half of Ghana’s match against Peru at the World Cup in Qatar. It’s similar to the one he used with Bedat Murki last season, when he had his best season with Mallorca.

It’s also important to get him into as many one-on-one situations as possible. In the second half of the last two games against Uruguay and Peru, Lee was deployed as a right winger. This was an isolation strategy where the left winger would draw the defense and line on the left side and switch to Lee, who was relatively wide on the other side. However, despite the fact that Lee Kang-in occupied a large space on the right side, there were more cases where the opposite transition was not smoothly executed. A quick left-to-right transition would create the perfect environment for Lee Kang-in, who has the best individual breakthrough ability of anyone, to put on a one-man show.먹튀검증

Setting up a solid second line, improving the goalscoring ability of the strikers, and maximizing the use of Lee Kang-in. There are many more challenges for Klinsmann to address, such as finding the right combination of midfielders and fullbacks and improving the defense.

In the two trials in March, Klinsmann didn’t have a full squad to choose from. However, this June’s test is actually the first full lineup under Klinsmann. Klinsmann will now have to continue to tweak and refine his squad in search of a first win and the Asian Cup.

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