Klinsmann has advanced to the semifinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, and is one step closer to winning the title, which he is challenging for the first time in 64 years. However, as his performance in five consecutive games is disappointing before reaching the semifinals, he desperately needs improvement in offense and defense.꽁머니
South Korea’s national soccer team, led by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, won 2-1 after a 120-minute battle in the quarterfinals of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup against Australia at Al-Zanup Stadium in Al-Wakra, Qatar on the 3rd (Korea time).
Korea reached the semifinals for the first time in nine years since the 2015 Australian Games, when Korea was the runner-up. Korea will compete with Jordan for the final at midnight on July 7.
It is worth applauding that Klinsmann showed the backside of following the match, which was once again trailing Saudi Arabia in the round of 16.
However, considering the performance so far, there are still many shortcomings.
Korea has two wins and three draws until the quarterfinals, and the only game that won within 90 minutes was the first group match (3-1) against Bahrain. The victory against Bahrain was also the result of Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain)’s personal ability.
Since then, Korea has hardly been able to use its power to Jordan, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia.
The strikers, including Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) and Lee Kang-in, rarely showed organic partial tactics. All they could do was resort to individual talent or simply deploy attacks to the back space at once from the back. In the match against Australia, the strikers showed frustration in their attacks, as they failed to make a single shot in the 45 minutes of the first half.
If the offense remains unsolved, the team should have a solid defense, and despite having a world-class central defender named Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), its teamwork in defense is like a grain of sand. In addition, the team has shown deterioration in concentration at critical moments, giving up unnecessary runs, and continuing difficult matches. The number of runs it allowed in the match against Australia was also due to a momentary lack of concentration.
On top of that, the midfield that needs to connect offense and defense is in vain. Except for the round of 16 match against Saudi Arabia, which took out a surprise three-back card, Klinsmann mainly used a 4-4-2 formation, which is constantly struggling with numbers.
Klinsmann has had a hard time, and the teams to face in the future are not easy. Jordan, the opponent of the semifinals, is a 2-2 draw with Korea after struggling in the group stage. The opponent in the final is expected to be strong candidates for the championship, including Japan, Iran, and Qatar.
Given the opponent’s capability, the team should improve its offense and defense during the remaining time. Detailed tactical guidance from the coaching staff is required to help the team improve in a short period of time.