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Korea Republic drew a tie against Iran 0-0

Date : 2017.09.04 View : 1414
Korea Republic maintained rank 2 in the group while drawing a tie against old enemy, Iran. The final decision for the World Cup Final qualification for the 9 times in a row will be decided in the last match against Uzbekistan.

The National Football Team led by Coach Shin Taeyong drew a tie against Iran 0-0 in the 9th round of the Asian Qualifiers Final Round for the 2018 Russia World Cup, which was held at Seoul World Cup Stadium on August 31.

If Korea had won the game, it would confirm 2nd ranking of the group which qualifies the team to fight in the World Cup Final, but such opportunity has faded away. Korea will aim to get qualified for the World Cup Final in the last away game of the final preliminary round against Uzbekistan on September 6. Korea must win Uzbekistan in order to confirm its qualification for the final without considering any number of cases.

Coach Shin used 4-2-3-1 formation. The final frontier was kept by Hwang Heechan (Salzburg). Hwang Heechan, at the beginning was not clear about playing on the ground due to wounds of knees. However, Coach Shin selected him for his recent great sense of goal. In the 2nd line, Son Heungmin (Tottenham), Kwon Changhoon (Dijon) and Lee Jaesung (Jeonbuk) have lined up. Son Heungmin, who had a wrist wound last June adjusted condition in his own team and recorded his name in the best 11.

Koo Jacheol (Augsbur) and Jang Hyunsoo (FC Tokyo) kept in step as holding midfielders. The four back defensive forces are consisted of Kim Jinsu (Jeonbuk), Kim Younggwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Kim Minjae and Choi Cheolsoon (Jeonbuk). Three players out of four defense forces are from Jeonbuk. The goal was kept by Kim Seunggyu (Vissel Kobe).

Iran, which recorded no loss in the eight final preliminary rounds, had a strong defense power. Iran kept off Korea's attack while completely playing defense in advance and counterattack afterwards. Korea faced difficulty in breaking through Iran's defense force so aimed to get to the opponent team's goal post by set piece. In the 16', Son Heungmin's free kick which was tried right in front of the arc of the opponent team hit the defense wall and bounced back.

Two minutes later, a decisive chance was missed. Free kick hit by Son Heungmin from long distance at the back, passed over Kim Minjae's head and went towards the goal post. The ball was connected by Jang Hyunsoo's header but it slightly went beyond the goal post to the right side. Coach Shin showed disappointment.

There was an unexpected incident in the second half, which started with stifling flow. In the 50', Ezatolahi of Iran who was fighting for the ball in air against Kim Minjae, stepped on Kim Manjae's head who fell on the ground. The chief referee firmly took out a red card. Korea, which had favor in number of players, carried out full-scale offensive, but the winning goal was hardly gained. A free kick tried by Kwon Changhoon in the 78' slightly went over the goal post.

Coach Shin substituted Lee Jaesung by Kim Shinwook in the middle of second half. It was a plan to give a pressure to the defensive force of the opponent team by using the two top of Hwang Heechan and Kim Shinwook and gain a second ball. Towards the end of the game, Hwang Heechan was substituted by Lee Donggook. There was 4 minutes of overtime but there was no goal gained until the last minute.

<2018 Russia World Cup Asian Qualifiers Final Round, Round of 9>
Korea Republic 0-0 Iran
Line up: Kim Seunggyu, Kim Jinsu, Kim Younggwon, Kim Minjae (84' Kim Juyoung), Choi Chulsoon, Koo Jachel, Jang Hyunsoo, Son Heungmin, Kwon Changhoon, Lee Jaesung (73', Kim Shinwook), Hwang Heechan (89', Lee Dongguk)

Words : OH Myungchul
Photos : FAphotos