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S. Korean defenders determined to stop Colombian ace in friendly football match

2017/11/08 18:34

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By Joo Kyung-don

SUWON, South Korea, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) -- Two South Korean defenders said Wednesday they are ready to stop Colombian ace James Rodriguez when they meet each other in an upcoming friendly football match later this week.

Choi Chul-soon and Kim Jin-su are two full backs who are on the 23-man squad called up for friendlies against Colombia and Serbia. South Korea will host Colombia in Suwon, south of Seoul, on Friday and will take on Serbia four days later in Ulsan, some 410 kilometers southeast of the capital.

The two defenders, who both play for the 2017 South Korean pro league champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, said they are fully aware of Rodriguez, the reigning FIFA World Cup scoring champion. The 26-year-old attacking midfielder currently plays for Bayern Munich on loan from Real Madrid.

"He (Rodriguez) has very good technique and football sense," Choi said before training in Suwon. "We have to come up with rough plays to mark him."

   Choi, who has six appearances for South Korea, said he'll try to do well not only in defense, but also in attack. The 30-year-old right back added that having a fearless mindset will also help his side.

"If we don't concede a goal, at least we can get a draw, so I'll focus more on defending," he said. "But at the same time, if full backs don't go forward enough, we're going to have some difficulties in attack. I'll have to prepare for the match in detail."

  

South Korea national football team defender Choi Chul-soon speaks to reporters before training at an auxiliary football field near Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on Nov. 8, 2017, two days ahead of a friendly match between South Korea and Colombia. (Yonhap) South Korea national football team defender Choi Chul-soon speaks to reporters before training at an auxiliary football field near Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on Nov. 8, 2017, two days ahead of a friendly match between South Korea and Colombia. (Yonhap)

Kim said he'll also start from showing a good defense. The former Hoffenheim left back added the national team defenders have studied the moves of Colombian players through video analysis.

"We know Colombia have lots of famous players," he said. "We'll have to play more physically, but this doesn't mean we're going to kick the opponents. We'll make more physical contact and chase the ball aggressively."

   Kim, who has 26 international caps, said he knows how technically gifted Rodriguez is. The two previously met at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup where Colombia beat South Korea 1-0 in the group stage. Kim was then a second half substitute, while Rodriguez played 69 minutes.

"He was a very talented player as well back then," he said. "I noticed some of other Colombian players that I faced at the 2011 U-20 World Cup have also arrived here this time. I remember they all have good technique."

   South Korea have surrendered seven goals in their last two friendly matches against Russia and Morocco in October. Kim said the Taeguk Warriors will make defensive improvements.

"For this year, we don't have lot of time to work together, so we'll have to focus on building organized plays," he said. "If defenders cooperate together and work as one unit, then we'll see progress."

  

South Korea national football team defender Kim Jin-su speaks to reporters before training at an auxiliary football field near Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on Nov. 8, 2017, two days ahead of a friendly match between South Korea and Colombia. (Yonhap) South Korea national football team defender Kim Jin-su speaks to reporters before training at an auxiliary football field near Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on Nov. 8, 2017, two days ahead of a friendly match between South Korea and Colombia. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr

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