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Korea honours heroes with Blue Dragon award

Thursday 27th June 2002

Guus Hiddink and the South Korea squad have been handed the country's highest sporting award, the Blue Dragon, for reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup.

"Hiddink planted great joy and pride in Korean people's minds," said a government spokesman.

The Dutchman's side embarked on a sensational run at the finals, beating European giants Portugal, Italy and Spain as they became the first Asian team in World Cup history to reach the last four.

Much of the credit went to former Holland coach Hiddink, who has already been made an honorary citizen of the capital Seoul.

"Through consultations with the ministry of culture and tourism, we have agreed to recommend Cheongryong (Blue Dragon) medals to the whole squad," added the spokesman.

"Guus Hiddink, who has lived in Seoul since January 2001, helped Korea show its potential to the world."

Hiddink has also been given free flights on Korean Air for four years and free accommodation at various resorts in the country. Discussions are ongoing about having streets and sports stadiums named after him.

onefootball ;)

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World Cup 3rd-Place Playoff Preview: Korea-Turkey
South Korea - Turkey | News Archive

It could be Ilhan's turn with both Turkey's first choice strikers uncertain (Allsport)
06/28/2002. The third place play-off match is surely one of the hardest games a footballer will ever have to play. How can you raise your game after just missing out on a place in the World Cup final for a match that is fairly pointless? The answer for South Korea is simply their fans who will be treating this match as another reason to have a party.

This match also looks set to be Guus Hiddink's last in charge of the Red Devil's and his fans, who now idolise him, will give him an almighty send-off, although I'm sure they'll still be hoping he will stay on. The former Real Madrid coach guided Holland to the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup against Brazil, which they lost on penalties and were then unable to lift themselves as they lost 2-1 to Croatia in the third place play-off match. The Dutchman insists the match is meaningful, saying: "There is a big difference between the third and fourth place so it is important for us to take third place by beating Turkey. We will do our best."

65 thousand fans in Daegu will be passionately cheering on their team for one last match knowing that they may never get to this position again. As a result the story of the 2002 World Cup will go down in the history of South Korea, so for that reason whether they finish 3rd or 4th does matter, even if the rest of the World won't remember the result.

Turkey, like South Korea, are glad to be in the last four, although they were openly aiming at a sensational final against Germany, which would have sent all the Turkish football fans to bliss. It won't be the case, unfortunately. The whole country was very sad after the defeat. Brazil proved an obstacle too big to be overcome and now the Tetra could become Penta... The performance against Senegal was great but it was not that good against Brazil, and it was a downer (not a döner, of course - don't mess with other people's culinary traditions!) for the fans who had expected a different kind of match. Turkey were unable to contain the skillful Brazilian wing players, even though it was a clear and present danger.

Contrary to past habits, this 3rd place playoff will be played "until death occurs" by Turkey, who are, er... dying to win it! What a good result it would be: finishing third in a World Cup. This match will not be so unfamiliar for Gunes' men: after all, they already faced a host nation in this tournament, when they knocked out Japan in the Second round.

Senol Gunes' plans are clear: he will field the strongest formation to try and clinch the third spot. He indicated morale was set to be low now that they had missed out on the Final, but national pride will play a role in this instance. Like Korea, people at home or accross Europe see it as a matter of honour! Sukur and his team-mates know it will be the only way for them to be "forgiven" for their Brazilian lapse.


Choi Jin-Chul and Kim Nam-Il are both big doubts and are unlikely to be risked as Hiddink may well take the opportunity to give a run-out to some of the players who have rarely featured in the World Cup campaign. Yoon Jong-Hwan and Hyun Young-Min are in line for starting roles. Ahn Jung-Hwan should also be recalled to the starting line-up at the expense of Cha Du-Ri after an ankle injury kept him out of the starting line-up for the semi-final defeat to Germany. Veteran's Hwang Sun-Hong and Hong Myung-Bo have both revealed that they will be retiring from international football after the World Cup and so will be looking to go out on a high. Especially Hong, who has been named by Fifa on a ten-man shortlist for the Golden Ball, which is the award given to the best player of the tournament.

Senol Gunes is troubled by the fitness of his ailing attacking pair: Hakan Sukur's problems have been famous for quite a while, whereas Hasan Sas' recent troubles came as a shock for the Turkish setup. Super-sub Ilhan should step in if Sas does not make it. Gunes looks set to rely on a classical 4-4-2 formation, hoping that luck will be on his side.


South Korea (4-3-1-2): Lee Woon-Jae - Yoon Jong-Hwan, Kim Tae-Young, Hong Myung-Bo, Song Chong-Gug - Hyun Young-Min, Yoo Sang-Chul, Lee Young-Pyo - Ahn Jung-Hwan - Park Ji-Sung, Hwang Sun-Hong..

Turkey (4-4-2): Rustu - Fatih, Bulent, Alpay, Ergun - Umit Davala, Tugay, Basturk, Emre Belozoglu - Hasan Sas (or Ilhan Mensiz), Hakan Sukur


Korea is made up of a team of heroes and all are deserving of praise. Ahn has stolen much of the limelight following his golden goal against Italy and consequent transfer saga with Perugia, while Hong Myung-Bo has been singled out for praise by FIFA. However, Song Chong-Gug and Yoo Sang-Chul have also been sensational throughout the World Cup.

Turkey: Rustu Reçber. Heis being named in the World Cup all-star team says it all! He was fabulous against Brazil and kept his team in the race until that solo effort by Ronaldo. A fine tournament all round.


Korea: There isn't any obvious candidates for this position, although Cha Du-Ri disappointed against Germany having previously made an impact on matches as a substitute. His performance and the return of Ahn should see him return to the bench where he may once again be used as a super-sub.

Turkey: Hakan Sukur. Yes, him again! Our Turkish expert believes he might finish the tournament without even scoring a single goal. How embarrassing it would be for the Bosphorus Bull to end like that his long and fruitful international career.

Saturday's match is the first time South Korea and Turkey have met.


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OPINION Stars struggle to make Korea in Europe

Friday 28th June 2002

By Duncan White

South Korea will become the only Asian side to compete in a World Cup third-place play-off when they face Turkey on Saturday, just the latest in a series of firsts for Guus Hiddink's extraordinary team.

Of course, their achievements have been tainted by the brush of a suspicious European media who expound conspiracy theories and imply drug-taking as the secret to their success.

And, it is true that Korea's World Cup campaign was doubtless aided by a number of factors which might make this success a one-off phenomenon.

As co-hosts they were favoured by the difficult conditions and received extraordinarily fervent support from the local populace. With most of their players based at home in the K-league, they were also given plenty of time to rest and prepare for the tournament, unlike most Europe-based players.

And crucially, they benefited from a huge dose of luck in terms of refereeing decisions. That, however, was merely good fortune, and the advantage of playing in front of passionate home crowds, nothing more.

Surely, the real 'secret' behind Korea's success has surely been evident to all - teamwork. Hiddink has used only 17 of his 23-man squad, including substitutions, and the way the team has both prepared and celebrated highlights a strong group bond.

No team has passed-and-moved as fluidly as Hiddink's. No team has worked as selflessly.

In a tournament where big egos have been summarily punctured (many by Korea themselves) the co-hosts' brand of all-for-one football has been both refreshing and entertaining.

But what now for Korea's new stars? In truth, not much.

Of the European-based players, Seol Ki-hyun will be given another chance to shine for Anderlecht, after some outstanding displays leading the line. He still has two years left on his contract

And Ahn Jung-hwan's high-profile sacking at the hands of Perugia - later revoked by embarrassed club officials keen to cash-in on their new star - should not deter other European clubs making a bid.

Everton and Chelsea have been linked with the closest thing Korea have to a star player, and Atletico Madrid president Jesus Gil has expressed an interest, albeit motivated by "pity" over Ahn's plight.

Things are also promising for midfielder Yoo Sang-chul of J-League side Kasiwa Reysol. He has also been linked with a belated move to Europe after winning his 100th cap against Spain.

After France 1998, he had been expected to join Barcelona, but the Catalan giants decided not to follow up their initial interest.

But Kashiwa Reysol boss Steve Perryman is now resigned to losing him however. "There is a lot of interest in him in the Premier League and I'm not at all surprised," he said.

Yet Yoo is the only Asian-based player to have been linked with a move to Europe. And he plays in the J-League, a more lucrative and high-profile competition than the K-League (despite the fact that the Korean version is the more established and the more successful in continental competition).

It is rather strange. After all, when a team reaches the semi-final of a World Cup with players who are on relatively humble contracts in a relatively obscure league, one would expect a transfer frenzy. Everyone should want a Korean. Instead, nothing.

One reason for this, perhaps, is that Korean local media is rarely translated, so it is conceivable that much transfer speculation does not get beyond the domestic press.

Korean agents are also less aggressive about marketing their clients through the media. Indeed, when expressing his interest in Ahn, Gil seemed somewhat confused as to how he should go about signing a Korean.

"I don't know if Korean players have agents but we will try and get in contact and mitigate this unfair situation," he said.

Aside from these factors, it is also becoming glaringly obvious that the suspicious attitude that greeted Korean success is prevalent in the market-place.

There should be no great risk or cost in signing players of the calibre of Song Chong-gug, Lee Chun-soo or Kim Nam-il, and the on-pitch attitude of the players suggests they are willing to work hard to make a success of something.

However, Europe is generally disinterested, perhaps believing the Korean run to have been a fluke, and that the new faces will fade into the background as quickly as they burst into the limelight.

Which is a pity for Korea and Asia.

Hiddink and Japan coach Phillipe Troussier have both stressed the importance of their players getting European experience, but it looks like it will be a westbound trickle rather than an exodus of talent.

Of course, what makes this all the more baffling is that a Korean has already made it in Europe.

Cha Bum-kun moved to Germany from the Korean Air Force team in 1972. He spent his first season at SV Darmstadt 98 before signing for Eintracht Frankfurt.

Cha's career in Germany blossomed. In 1981 he won the Uefa Cup and two years later he transferred again, this time joining Bayer Leverkusen.

Three years later he celebrated the end of his career, during which time he had scored 98 goals in over 300 Bundesliga games, by lifting the Uefa Cup again at the age of 35.

Bum-kun's son, Cha Du-ri started the semi-final against Germany, after playing the role of super-sub in previous games. Bayer Leverkusen have expressed an interest in signing him and loaning him out before the tournament even began.

If he can remind Europe of his father, maybe the door will open for others to follow.

onefootball :)

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South Korea Player Ratings Vs. Turkey (2-3)
South Korea - Turkey | News Archive

Myung-Bo during happier times (Allsport)
06/29/2002. Lee Woon-Jae: 6
Yoo Sang-Chul: 6
Hong Myung-Bo: 4
Lee Young-Pyo: 5.5
Lee Eul-Yong: 7
Lee Chung-Soo: 6.5
Lee Min-Sung: 5
Ahn Jung-Hwan: 6.5
Park Ji-Sung: 6
Song Chong-Gug: 7.5
Seol Ki-Hyeon: 6


Kim Tae-Young (On for Hong Myong-Bo 46) 6
Cha Du-Ri (On for Lee Eul-Yong 65) 5.5
Choi Tae-Uk (On for Seol Ki-Hyeon 79) No Rating

BEST: Song Chong-Gug has been one of the best players of this World Cup and it was fitting that he scored Korea's goal in stoppage time to give the co-hosts one last reason to cheer even if it didn't prevent a defeat. Lee Eul-Yong's freekick was also one of the goals of the competition.

WORST: Hong Myung-Bo's international career has come to an end in such a disappointing way. The defender has had a great World Cup, but his error after just ten seconds will have tinged his memories of this tournament. He was replaced at half-time, but he was far from the only defender who had a poor game. Korea lost their understanding at the back which has been one of their best assets in their previous six matches, and they couldn't keep tract of Ilhan and Sukur.

soccerage ;)

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World Cup Report: Turkey Edge South Korea To Historic Third Place Finish
South Korea - Turkey | News Archive

Sukur's first WC 2002 goal was a record-breaker (Allsport)
06/29/2002. Turkey achieved a highly-commendable third placed finish at the 2002 World Cup courtesy of a 3-2 victory over the co-hosts in a pulsating game, which did not in the least resemble a stereotypical consolation final. Hakan Sukur's 12th second goal ?the fastest ever scored at a World Cup ?got the ball rolling for the Turks, before Eul-yong bent a free-kick into the top-right corner on nine minutes to bring the Asian's level. The silky-skilled Ilhan Manzic twice benefited from some neat interplay with Sukur to first restore and then buffer his side's advantage on the 15 and 31st minute respectively, before Song Chong-gug managed an injury-time consolation goal.

The match was already made memorable before you could say "Let's see what Mansiz and Sukur can do together up front", as the 'Bull of Bosphorus' benefited from an uncharacteristic Hong Myung-Bo error to give his side the lead after just 12 seconds.

The fighting Koreans were quick to respond, however, and were back level before the ten minute mark, courtesy of a sweetly struck freekick from Lee Eul-yong, which Recber was powerless from preventing from curling into the top-right corner.

On 15 minutes, the irresistible Turks were one up again, thanks to a rapid counterattack initiated by Yildiray Basturk. The diminutive Bayer Leverkusen playmaker drew two defenders before locating Ilhan, who setup Sukur to shoot from a tight angle. The towering Parma striker cleverly passed on the opportunity and did brilliantly to gift the ball back to Besiktas' golden boy, however, who made no mistake from ten yards.

After a sustained period of pressure by the hosts, Turkey utilized route one football to buffer their lead on the half-hour mark. The outstanding Recber picked out the head of Sukur with a massive clearance, who then supplied Ilhan with an alert knockdown. Another great combination play by the strike partners resulted in Ilhan sweetly chipping the ball over the on-rushing Lee Woon-jae and into the net.

Having performed so magnificently in the tournament thus far, South Korea were not about to go out on a whimper, and piled the pressure on the Turkish goal in the second-half. Song Chong-gug did brilliantly to glide past a defender only to fire a lightning bolt just over the bar, before Rustu Recber solidified his status as one of the best goalkeepers at the tournament with a string of fine saves.

He could do nothing to prevent Song Chong-gug from netting a much celebrated consolation goal in injury time, however, as the tireless attacker's shot took a deflection off substitute Cha-Du-ri before finding its way into the back of the net.

The final whistle triggered beautiful scenes in Daegu, as the ceaselessly cheering capacity crowd were moved by the sight of both sets of players linking arms and joining hands to salute them, as well as jointly celebrate their own remarkable achievements.

South Korea: Lee Woon-jae, Song Chong-gug, Lee Min-sung, Hong Myung-bo (Kim Tae-young 46), Lee Eul-yong (Cha Du-ri 65), Yoo Sang-chul, Lee Chun-soo, Lee Young-pyo, Park Ji-sung, Ahn Jung-hwan, Seol Ki-hyun (Choi Tae-uk 79)

Turkey: Rustu Recber, Bulent Korkmaz, Fatih Akyel, Alpay Ozalan, Tugay Kerimoglu, Hakan Sukur, Yildiray Basturk (Tayfur 86), Ilhan Mansiz, Ergun Penbe, Emre Belozoglu (Hakan Unsal 41), Umit Davala (Okan Burak 76)

Booked: Lee Eul-yong (South Korea); Tugay (Turkey)

soccerage ;)

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111,126 Posts
Saturday, June 29, 2002

Hiddink: Korea can be better in 2006

Guus Hiddink claims South Korea can continue to be successful long after he has gone.

Hiddink: Korea has bright future (Allsport)
Hiddink's memorable 18 months in charge of Korea are due to come to an end with today's third/fourth play-off against Turkey - but he feels this should not be the end of their glorious run.

The Dutchman believes the team still have enough young players to peak at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

'It's important for Korean football to continue with the same philosophy and strategy,' he said.

'Especially for players aged between 19 and 25. If Korean football continue this way, the young players can reach their peak in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

'The Korean team must play in the way it played during the World Cup and also in the preparation for the World Cup: the same style.

'I think they impressed the world with their style and the way they played. I think people recognised that kind of football which is spontaneous, attractive, and always trying to score.'

Hiddink has already been offered the vacant manager's job at his old club PSV Eindhoven, although he maintains he is unsure what he will do.

He has pointedly avoided talking about his plans while the tournament has been going on in deference to the Koreans.

'I don't know about PSV yet,' he said. 'I told myself not to speak about the future during the tournament and there's still a game left that's important.'

But wherever Hiddink does go next he will never forget the marvellous support of the Korean fans.

The normally-reserved Koreans have taken Hiddink to their hearts in an amazing display of public affection and the former Real Madrid coach has been touched by their support.

'Although it's not finished yet, I would like to thank the Korean public,' he said.

'They did a tremendous job by helping me and the team to achieve what we achieved.'

Although the third/fourth play-off game is usually little more than a meaningless kick about, Korea and Turkey are keen to win. They view it in Olympic terms as the play-off for the bronze medal.

Turkish coach Senol Gunes feels the match in the Daegu World Cup stadium between the two upstarts would have made a good final.

He said: 'In this World Cup both teams have made a huge impact. My wish was that these two teams would play in the final.

'This could have created another huge impact, but it didn't happen.

'Yes, of course Turkey and Korea could be sad because they're not playing in the World Cup final, but before the tournament if you had asked us if we would like to play in the third/fourth play-off we would definitely have accepted it.'

Once again Korea will be without ankle victim Kim Nam-il, while Hwang Sun-hong, who is retiring at the end of the World Cup after winning over 100 caps, and Choi Jin-cheul are doubtful with knocks.

soccernet ;)
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