Recaps and game analysis to follow one or two hours after each match.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Group G: North Korea

Ok, so Kim Jung-Il [pictured] may not be a part of the North Korean team, but he may as well be, as he is the one that dictates everything they do off of the pitch. This will be North Korea's second time ever appearing in a World Cup finals, the previous time being 1966 when they caught everyone by surprise when they reached the quarter-finals. Unfortunately for them, I don't think they will make it out of the group stage, for the simple fact that they were unlucky enough to be drawn into the Group of Death.

Truthfully, it is hard to write an entry for North Korea, as they have been very secretive, but what we do know is that the team plays very defensively, to the point of obscenity. The regular formation is a 4-3-3 (which often ends up being 5-3-2 by the end of the game), but they play as if they put eleven men behind the ball. Just look at their scores from the qualification games to see this. Besides only losing one game to Iran two to zero, every other game was either won by one goal, or more often then not a zero to zero draw.  Traditionally, their defense has payed off for them, but going up against the countries of Brazil, Portugal, and Ivory Coast, there is no way they will be able to play for a draw against all of them, the teams just have too much attacking potential.

Even more bizarre was North Korea's attempt to pull a fast one on FIFA by placing a striker in the third goalkeeping spot. FIFA was not amused and promptly stated to the team that if they include that player in the keeper spot, then he will only be able to play between the posts. Unless of course they really want to shock the world by putting the player on the field with a keeper kit on, only to run forward and play offense while leaving the net empty. That could be entertaining...

Key Players: Who knows... Jong Tae-Se who plays in Japan (Yup, that's right, apparently allowing players to go over seas is occasionally granted) is their only real known player. He gained this reputation by being a menace in front of goal for defenders, scoring frequently and without warning. He will be the way North Korea score, by sending a long ball for him to run onto in a sudden counter-attack. The rest of the players are situated in North Korea's domestic league.

My Prediction: Group G 4th Place.

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