Three-back that almost got caught… Changes or anomalies during the tournament always come with risks

The Korean national soccer team dramatically advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup. It was a story that almost came to the brink and revived.

The “surprise three-back” is under fire for its consequential point, but it was a game where I felt that sudden changes or anomalous tactics during the tournament were dangerous.

The South Korean national soccer team, led by head coach Klinsmann, won 4PSO2 in the penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw with Saudi Arabia in the round of 16 of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup at Education City Stadium in Alayyan, Qatar on the 31st (Korea time).

As a result, Korea has made it to the quarterfinals for the ninth consecutive time in the Asian Cup. Korea will play Australia in the quarterfinals at 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 3.꽁머니

Although South Korea had a dramatic come-from-behind victory just before its defeat, it was a disappointing game, “What if I had carried a four-back instead of a three-back that I was not familiar with from the beginning.”

After giving up a total of six goals in three group matches, Korea made a three-back strategy on the day. Korea allowed two goals to Jordan and three to Malaysia, which it considered inferior in the group stage, revealing its defense instability.

Feeling that something needs to be changed, he pulled out a three-back card that he has never used since taking office. Considering Klisman, who had been passive about changing the starting lineup and tactics throughout the group league, it was an unexpected choice. Foreign correspondents who heard Korea’s three-back tactics on the spot were also surprised.

At the beginning of the game, they were somewhat successful. Kim Min-jae, led by Kim Young-kwon and Jung Seung-hyun, effectively blocked Saudi Arabia’s attack with stable defense.

However, Korea’s tactic to prepare for just two days for two hours was not very complete. The three-back tactic that the Korean team hurriedly refined was far short of the Saudi Arabian team’s teamwork, which Mancini properly trained.

First of all, the problem was defense first and then attack. Korea, which increased the number at the back, had difficulty in unraveling its offense. It simply tried a long pass for Son Heung-min, who was at the forefront of the attack, and there was no other offensive tactic.

Set piece, which was pointed out in the previous three games, and lack of concentration in the early second half were also revealed. Korea instantly missed the opponent team’s striker in a corner kick situation at the end of the first half and allowed threatening header shots. Fortunately, Korea overcame the crisis as Saudi Arabia’s two crucial header shots hit the post.

However, that was the end of Korea’s luck. Korea showed lack of concentration at the start of the second half, allowing Abdullah Hadi-Radiff to break through and even allowing a goal.

After the loss, Korea changed its tactics to four-back, which it is familiar to itself, and brought about the trend. After taking the lead with familiar tactics and typical style, the Korean team continued its attack without a break. Korea, which was looking for an opportunity, eventually led the game to extra time with Cho Kyu-sung’s header goal at the end of extra time in the second half.

South Korea took the lead in the game by boosting their momentum and brought victory in the shootout.

It is not possible to say that the three-back is all the cause of the difficult game, but it is clear that it provided an excuse. Now, it is a “actual” competition. No matter how many individuals have outstanding abilities, a sudden change is bound to show problems in organizational power.
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