An important goal gave Shin Taeyong’s side a win in the first mock test ahead of the Olympic games.
June 2 – At the Suwon World Cup Stadium, coach Shin Taeyong’s South Korea Olympic football team took on Nigeria’s Olympic football team in the first match of the ‘2016 4-Nation Olympic Football Team Competition’. Korea won the match 1-0. Until the 85′ Korea had fought a hard battle, but they had not been able to find a goal, and then in the 86′ Choi Kyubaek scored to give them a tough win.
Korea set out in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Hwang Heechan (Salzburg) was the lone forward with a midfield line of Ryu Seungwoo (Bielefeld), Lee Changmin (Jeju), Moon Changjin (Pohang), and Kim Seungjun (Ulsan). The holding midfielder was Park Yongwoo (Seoul) in front of a four-man line of Shim Sangmin (Seoul), Song Juhun (Mito Hollyhock), Choi Kyubaek (Jeonbuk), and Lee Seulchan (Jeonnam). The goalkeeper was Goo Seungyun (Consadole Sapporo).
From the whistle Korea pressed hard with their forwards to deny any space to Nigeria. Nigeria attempted to play quick passes from the midfield to exploit any cracks in Korea’s defense. In the 5′ from about midway in the Nigeria half, Korea was awarded a free kick, but Lee Changmin’s shot was straight at the keeper.
In the 10′ Nigeria had a corner kick opportunity. Amuzie Stanley took it from the left corner, but the defense got to the ball first. In the 13′ they got another corner, but this time Kim Seungjun cleared it away. In the 16′ Moon Changjin intercepted the ball and passed it to Hwang Heechan tried to quickly pass it to Ryu Seungwoo, but the pass was off. Then, Shim Sangmin dribbed forward from his leftback position, and later got a corner from the left side. Moon Changjin received the ball in the penalty box and shot, but the Nigeria goalkeeper Daniel Emmanuel blocked it.
In the 20′ Korea found themselves in a dangerous situation. Nigeria’s Taiwo Awoniyi got behind the centerbacks and shot, and it narrowly missed to the left. Korea had been pressing hard from the beginning, and had thus far not been able to get a goal. Nigeria on the other hand was finding many counterattack opportunities. In the 25′ Moses Ubong Ekpai played a through ball from the top of the arc to Taiwo Awoniyi in front of goal, but he was adjudged to have been offside.
In the 26′ Shim Sangmin played a long pass from the back that found Kim Seungjun on the right flank. Kim Seungjun dribbled in towards the goal before crossing, but the Nigeria defense headed it away. Three minutes later, Korea had a close chance that went begging. Moon Changjin received a pass from Ryu Seungwoo in front of goal, but his shot was saved. Then Hwang Heechan had a chance, but it went just wide.
In the 35′ Godwin Savior crossed from the left flank, and Taiwo Awoniyi received it in front of the goal and he touched it towards goal, but Goo Seungyun did well to get down and save it. Both Korea and Nigeria continued to look for a goal as the first half ended, but neither could find one. The first half ended with the score at 0-0.
As the second half got underway, Korea withdrew Lee Changmin and brought on Lee Chandong in an attempt to change the mood. In the 51′ they got two corner kicks, but both missed the goal. In the 55′ Erhun Obanor hit a fierce shot from the center of the penalty box, but it crashed off the Korea goal frame.
Compared to the first half, Nigeria’s energy levels dropped in the second half. Both their speed and pressure was down. Korea took the chance to aggressively attack. They got another opportunity in the 63′. Kim Seungjun crossed from the right, and Moon Changjin got the ball about 3 meters from goal, but the Nigeria keeper and defense combined to block his shot. Moon Changjin tried again, but the defense again got in the way. After that it Ryu Seungwoo who tried his luck, but again the Nigeria defense stood firm.
In the 65′ coach Shin Taeyong decided to removed Shim Sangmin and Kim Seungjun, and bring on Seo Youngjae and Choi Kyoungrok. Korea continued to press Nigeria hard despite their dropping stamina. The goal, however, remained far away. Nigeria’s defensive focus was good, and Korea’s ability in the final third was a bit disappointing.
In the 81′ Nigeria’s Tiongoli Tonbara played a sharp cross from the left, and Mohammed Usman received it in front of goal, but when he went to shoot he wasn’t able to properly connect with the ball. In the 83′ Korea withdrew Lee Seulchan and Park Yongwoo, and brought on Park Dongjin and Kim Mintae. After that, Korea attempted to break penetrate down the left flank and through the center, but Nigeria’s defense was resolute. Finally, in the 86′ a worn out Korea got the goal through a set pice. Choi Kyoungrok sent in the free kick from the left flank, it went past Hwang Heechan and Kim Mintae to Choi Kyubaek who calmly slotted home. Nigeria had attempted to play an offside trap, but it was useless. Korea was able to protect their lead in the remaining time, and Choi Kyubaek’s goal gave them a 1-0 victory.
<2016 4 Nation Olympic Football Team Competition – Nigeria Match>
South Korea 1-0 Nigeria
Goal scorer: Choi Kyubaek (86′ Korea)
Starting lineup: Goo Seungyun (GK) – Shim Sangmin (65′ Seo Youngjae), Song Juhun, Choi Kyubaek, Lee Seulchan (83′ Park Dongjin) – Park Yongwoo (83′ Kim Mintae) – Ryu Seungwoo (75′ Park Inhyeok), Lee Changmin (HT Lee Chandong), Moon Changjin, Kim Seungjun (65′ Choi Kyoungrok) – Hwang Heechan