Twelve years after Korea defeated Spain in the 2002 World Cup, Korea produced perhaps their worst international defeat in a 4-2 loss to Algeria.
Algeria took advantage of Korea Republic’s toothless forwards and attacked Korea Republic without fear that they would be punished on the counter. This did no favors for Korea Republic’s suspect back four and they really didn’t look up for the fight.
Algeria scored twice off direct plays. Islam Slimani was a star up front for the Desert Foxes. Both goals came on long passes where Slimani was able to use his athleticism to outpace both Korean centerbacks on the first goal. The second goal saw him find his teammate Abdelmoumene Djabou in a dangerous area on the edge of the penalty area after drawing two defenders to himself.
Korea did not look threatening. Forgotten Arsenal man Park Chu-young got another start up front but for the second game in a row he wouldn’t see the hour mark due to his ineffective play. Son Heung-min still looks like the best player on a Korean side that just has very few attacking options. He looked like the one bulb still flickering on a string of broken Christmas lights.
Algeria’s prospects to advance look very very good now. A draw with Russia should see them through on goal difference. The Algerians now have a positive goal difference for the tournament and regardless of the Russia result, have surprised everyone with their strong play in the tournament.
Head Coach Hong Myung-Bo’s seat is getting warm. Bo took over the team after they had achieved qualifying. The Korean team has looked very poor leading up to the tournament and a poor result against the Netherlands could see him looking for a real estate agent. Korean fans have venting their anger on social media all day but that could encouraged by the fact that most Korean’s had to wake up at 4 A.M. local time to be so disappointed. Bo was a key part of Korea Republic’s famous run in 2002, but so far this will be a disappointing epilogue to his World Cup chapter.
Watch the highlights from the game here: