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South Korea thrashed UAE 4-1 in Seoul’s Sangam World Cup Stadium on Wednesday. It was a big match for both teams. Lee Keun-ho scored twice for the hosts and he was joined on the scoresheet by Park Ji-sung and Kwak Tae-hwi. UAE briefly rallied in the second half but were ultimately no match for the Koreans.

South Korea

Jung Sung-ryong: 7.0 -

He didn’t have much to do as South Korea dominated the match, but he did what he was asked to do. He can still improve in terms of communicating with his defenders during opposition set-pieces.

Lee Young-pyo: 7.0-

Played some very nice passes to support the offence from the back. He looked comfortable going forward and although he might not be as explosive as he once was during his PSV and early Tottenham days, he is still a serviceable veteran with a lot of skills.  

Kim Dong-jin: 7.5 -

A solid performance on both ends. He made some key runs to support the attackt like Lee Young-pyo and almost got on the scoresheet when his header was denied by the opposing defender right on the goal line.  

Kwak Tae-hwi: 7.0 -

Was strong in defence all throughout the match and also scored a monster of a header in the dying seconds. Defensively, he showed his aerial prowess and ability to take care of his man. His return from a six-month injury layoff was well worth the wait.  

Jo Yong-hyung: 6.0

Played exceptionally well until the mistake in the second half which led to Salem’s goal, but collected himself after and played well rest of the way. Some of his passes from the back were absolute key to South Korea’s smooth passing game. Defenders with gifted touches like him are hard to find. Today's crucial mistake will only make him stronger for the future.  

Ki Sung-yong: 7.5

Another solid performance by the 19 year-old. He was unfortunate not to score as he hit the crossbar, but did a fantastic job of distributing the ball in midfield and going forward at will. Definitely a future star.  

Kim Jung-woo: 6.5 -

Stayed quiet overall, but played flawlessly in the middle besides a pointless foul in the second half.  

Lee Chung-yong: 7.5 -

 Again showed why he is one of the most promising prospects in South Korea along with Ki Sung-yong. He showed more tendencies of cutting inside in this match and ran the attack like a true midfield general with some fantastic passes. Wonderful assist to set up Lee Keun-ho for the first goal of the game.  

Park Ji-sung: 8.0-

Was the heart and soul of the team. Super finish to extend the lead in the first half and his short passes in midfield created chances for South Korea all night long. If South Korea is to steal three points in each of their upcoming fixtures in Riyadh and Tehran, this is the man who will make that happen.  

Lee Keun-ho: 9.0-

Too much pace and aggression up front for UAE to handle. Made great runs to score both of his goals and provided a spark on the offensive end with his energy.

Jung Sung-hoon: 7.0

Did everything but get on the scoresheet. Showed an amazing work ethic up front and caused all sorts of problems for UAE defenders. Did a lot of things that Cho Jae-jin wasn’t doing for the team in previous matches. Unfortunate not to score when his header went just wide in the second half, but showed more than enough qualities to earn future call-ups.  

Substitutes  

Kim Hyung-bum: 7.0

Provided a much needed spark off the bench after Lee Chung-yong was stretchered off. Fantastic curl on the freekick only to be denied by the keeper, but followed up with another clever attempt for glory with a thunderous shot from outside the box. Proved why he’s the best dead-ball specialist in K-League with his assist to set up Kwak Tae-hwi’s goal at the end of the match.

Cho Won-hee: 7.0

Came on as UAE tried to rally back into the match and provided much needed energy in midfield. He could see more minutes in upcoming matches against Saudi Arabia and Iran as South Korea will be more concerned about leaving too much space defensively in midfield when they play away from home.   

UAE  

Majed Nasser: 6.0

He wasn’t at fault for any of the goals. Even made some important saves to keep UAE within the striking distance midway through the second half.  

Ali Mohamed: 4.0

Allowed too much space and was physically outmuscled by the Koreans.  

Bashir Saeed: 3.0

Should be ashamed of himself for the late challenge on Lee Chung-yong in the second half. It’s still a mystery how he wasn’t sent off.  

Fazyez Juma: 4.0

Must have been a long night for him. South Korean forwards were too much for him to handle. Allowed all kinds of space and time for the Koreans to make runs and score goals inside the box.  

Obaid Mesmari: 4.0

Similar with the rest of the defenders. Just wasn’t good enough to rise up to the challenge.  

Yousef Jaber: 6.0

Showed impressive activity rate, but didn’t see enough of the ball to make significant impact.  

Nawaf Mubarak: 5.5

Played combatively in midfield, but that was about it.  

Amer Ghanem: 5.0

Didn’t make any sort of impact on either ends of the pitch. Unconvincing.  

Mohamed Othman: 4.0

Didn’t do much in limited time he was given.  

Ismail Matar: 7.0

Showed moments of individual brilliance with great touches when he was given the ball, but had trouble physically against South Korea’s strong central defence. Dropped back and played some clever passes and was just about the only player who had the skills to compete with the Koreans.  

Mohamed Saeed: 5.0

He played 90 minutes but it looked as if the South Korean defence didn’t even notice him.  

Substitutes

Ismail Salem: 6.0

 He wasn’t much of a factor besides the goal, but still a very nice hustle play to score nonetheless. Also showed brilliant composure and skill by dancing his way around Jung Sung-ryong for the finish.   

 Steve Han

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