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Archive for June 24th, 2006

Tough Break, Korea

Posted by Brian on June 24, 2006

Korea got bounced from the World Cup.

I predicted as much…. Korea barely beat Togo, barely tied France, and needed to beat a Swiss team that had yet to give up a single goal and was playing for the exact same stakes the Korean team was playing for: advancement to the round of 16. The Swiss looked good while the Korean team fell flat. Couple that with a France win and Korean fell to third when the games were over.

Of course, as you probably heard, the second Swiss goal has created a firestorm of anger among Korean netizens. I'm still not sure what exactly the problem is. Some people are saying that the scorer of the second Swiss goal was offsides, while my students are saying it wasn't offsides, but that the line judge's incorrect flagging of it as offsides triggered the Korean defenders to go lax, allowing Swiss to get an easy point.

What's missing in all the uproar is the realization that it's probably a moot point anyway. In light of the France-Togo score (2-0), you would need to swing three whole points away from the Swiss to Korea to give Korea the top spot in the group. Sure, cancel the disputed goal, but you'd still have to give Korea 2 more goals all in the last 20 minutes of the game to give them the win. Not likely…

Looking around this daum cafe dedicated to the WC, I see:

  • One netizen proposing that Koreans boycott Swiss watches
  • Another netizen proposing that Koreans gather together to cheer for the Ukrainians in their game against Switzerland.
  • There's a few mentions of FIFA boss Seth Blatter being Swiss, as well as the wife of the Argentinian referee.
  • A sad picture of Lee Chun-soo crying.
  • Directions for writing to FIFA demanding a rematch between the two teams
  • Sad pictures of Korean Red Devils crying
  • And via Ohmynews, FIFA proof that is was, in fact, offsides
  • Not sure what this is supposed to mean
  • Unleash the Photoshoppers

The blunt fact that Red Devils are trying their best to ignore, is that the Korean team just didn't look all that hot this year. A better team would have beat Togo with a better differential, and a better team would have beat the French.

While I found the overheated nationalism surrounding the event to be just as annoying a the next foreigner, the truth is that I'm sad to see Korea out so soon. I know it would have made my girlfriend so happy to see them continue, and the excitement in my students and co-workers has been a joy to watch.

Better luck next time, Korea.

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