Jeju International University head coach Seo Hyuk-soo acknowledged Japan’s strength.
South Korea’s men’s national team, led by Seo Hyuk-soo, lost 1-2 to Japan’s national team in the 22nd DENSO Cup Korea-Japan College Football Qualifier at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday at Anyang Sports Complex. It was the second straight loss for Korea, which also lost 0-1 at the 21st DENSO Cup in Japan in March.
After the game, head coach Seo Hyuk-soo said, “There’s nothing to say because we lost, but it’s unfortunate. We had a few good chances and situations.카지노 The preparation process was short and incomplete, but I think we did our best.”
On the day, Korea surrendered the lead to Japan midway through the first half. After conceding an early goal to Yamauchi Hinata in the fourth minute of the second half, South Korea equalized eight minutes later when Ahn Jae-joon scored from a corner kick. South Korea then pushed forward, but were unable to find a way into the Japanese goal. Instead, they conceded a late goal in the 44th minute to Yuto Nagao.
Coach Seo Hyuk-soo said, “No matter how much I told the players to relax, I think they were nervous. I told them to relax after the first half, and I think they played a little better than in the first half.”
South Korea (red) and Japan in action during the 22nd Denso Cup match.
In recent years, Korea’s repeated losses to Japan, including at the age-group level, have led many to point out that the quality of the two countries’ soccer teams has increased. Seo Hyuk-soo said, “Japan has a lot of players (on their college teams) who go back and forth between the pros. We have all the good players who are employed and operate with the rest. We may be weaker in terms of player composition, but I think we did a good job in today’s game.”
Many coaches cite “technology” as the reason for the widening gap between Korea and Japan. Japan is superior in terms of technology. Coach Seo Hyuk-soo said, “The Japanese players have good individual skills, so we tried to press them tightly, but they managed to come out well. Their individual ability is so good,” he said, adding, “I think they connect the ball to the same side, and their awareness of their surroundings and movement to receive the ball is really good.”
The general consensus was that Korea was physically superior to Japan. But lately, it’s been a different story. “Japan is good,” said Seo Hyuk-soo. “I’ve been watching them for 10 years, and it’s really different from before. They used to play soccer with good technique, but now they play with power and speed. It’s amazing to see how they’ve grown in less than 10 years,” he said, adding that he believes Korean players will continue to improve.
Korea’s starting team at the 22nd DENSO Cup Korea-Japan College Football Qualifier. Photo: Korea University Football Association