Nat’l team coach seeking to address imbalance in World Cup qualifying matches

Hwang Sun-hong, caretaker manager for the Korean men's national football team, speaks at a press conference at the Korea Football Association House in Seoul, March 11. Yonhap

When Hwang Sun-hong, head coach of the Korean men’s under-23 national football team, was watching the senior team from afar, he noticed some imbalance between their offense and defense.Now that Hwang has been called in as the senior squad’s caretaker boss for World Cup qualifying matches this month, he wants to address that issue.”Personally, I thought there was a significant lack of balance between offense and defense,” Hwang said Monday while announcing his 23-man team for the two World Cup qualifiers against Thailand. Korea will host the Thai team on March 21 in Seoul and then face them again five days later in Bangkok during the second round action in Asian qualifying.These will be Korea’s first two matches since their elimination from the semifinals at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Qatar last month. Despite carrying a roster stacked with Europe-based stars, Korea stumbled their way to the last four before bowing out to Jordan 2-0. The Taegeuk Warriors scored 11 goals and conceded 10 in their six matches.

“It’s going to be difficult to completely fix that problem because we don’t have enough time,” Hwang added. “But basically, we have to strike the right balance. That’s where we’re going to focus on during our preparation.” Hwang, who coaches the under-23 men’s team trying to qualify for the Paris Olympics this summer, has been called in as temporary head coach for the senior team. He is stepping in for Jurgen Klinsmann, who was fired after the Asian Cup.Instead of naming a full-time replacement for Klinsmann with barely a month to go before the World Cup qualifiers, the Korea Football Association (KFA) opted to give Hwang the reins for now and take its time in finding the new bench boss.During his short time, Hwang will also be tasked with mending some fences within the team, in light of some internal fighting that came to light after the Asian Cup. Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Lee Kang-in got into a scuffle with national team captain Son Heung-min over a table tennis match on the eve of the semifinals, leading to Son’s dislocated finger. With Lee defying Son’s order to halt the table tennis match and rejoin the team dinner for some pregame bonding, the incident hinted at a much larger problem on team 카지노사이트 chemistry.

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