SEOGWIPO, Korea Republic (Sunday, December 9, 2001) - The U.S. Men's National Team suffered a 1-0 loss to Korea Republic in a highly entertaining contest before 42,256 fans at the sold-out Jeju World Cup Stadium in Seogwipo, Jeju Province. Yoo Sang-Chul nodded home a corner kick in the 23rd minute to score the game's only goal, dropping the U.S. record to 0-3-1 all-time against South Korea.
"I thought in the first half the Koreans did a good job of putting us under pressure and winning balls in the midfield. They were a very fit team, and our lack of match fitness showed," said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. "In the second half we did a much better job moving the ball and were able to create some quality chances. Give credit to the Koreans, they played a good match tonight. Overall, it's been an excellent experience coming to Korea, and it will certainly help us get prepared for the World Cup next summer."
The Koreans applied high pressure from the opening whistle, forcing the U.S. into mistakes in the midfield and responding with quick counter-attacks. Several of the MLS players were coming off significant layoffs, and the lack of match fitness was clearly visible. The second half produced an open-ended affair, with both teams employing substitutions that created several quality goalscoring opportunities. The addition of Ante Razov, Jeff Cunningham and Brian West into the match gave the U.S. a speed advantage and led to more dynamic play from the attack. An Ante Razov blast off the right post was the closest the U.S. would come to leveling terms.
The lone goal came in the 23rd minute from a corner kick. Lee Chun-Soo sent an outswinger from the right side, which found Yoo charging between three U.S. markers. Yoo redirected the ball over the head of Zach Thornton, and the curling header landed just inside the far post.
Five players earned their first cap for the senior team tonight, bringing to 35 the total number of players getting their first cap under Arena. Manny Lagos and Diego Gutierrez both grabbed a place in first XI, while Jeff Cunningham, Richard Mulrooney and Carlos Bocanegra made second half appearances from the substitute's bench.
With the loss, the U.S. finishes .500 for the 2001 season with an even record of 6-6-3. The U.S. Men's National Team finished with a record at or above .500 for the third straight year under Arena, bringing his lifetime record to 22-12-11. During 2001, the U.S. qualified for its fourth consecutive World Cup with a 2-1 win against Jamaica on October 7 in Foxboro.
The U.S. team will resume training January 5 in California to prepare for the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The USA meets Korea Republic at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on January 19, then faces Cuba two days later at the same venue.
— U.S. Men's National Team Game Report —
Participants: United States vs. Korea Republic
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Jeju Stadium (Seogwipo, Jeju Province, Korea Republic)
Weather: 50 degrees, misty
Scoring Summary: 1 - 2 - F
Korea Republic 1 - 0 - 1
United States 0 - 0 - 0
KOR - Yoo Sang-Chul (Lee Chun-Soo), 23.
KOR (3-4-3): 23-Kim Byung-Ji; 5-Choi Jin-Chul (3-Choi Sung-Yong, 75), 4-Song Chong-Gug, 16-Kim Sang-Sik; 14-Lee Chun-Soo, 8-Kim Nam-Il (12-Lee Young-Pyo, 54), 10-Lee Eul-Yong, 11-Choi Tai-Uk; 21-Park Ji-Sung, 18-Hwang Sun-Hong (9-Kim Do Hoon, 68), 6-Yoo Sang-Chul.
Substitutes Not Used: 1-Lee Woon-Jae, 24-Kim Yong-Dae, 22-Cho Sung-Hwan, 26-Kim Seung-Hyun, 19-Cha Doo-Li, 20-Lee Dong-Gook, 17-Kim Doh-Keun, 13-An Hyo-Yeon, 25-Cho Byung-Kuk.
USA (4-4-2): 1-Zach Thornton; 3-Pablo Mastroeni (22-Richard Mulrooney, 68), 16-Carlos Llamosa, 12-Jeff Agoos, 8-Diego Gutierrez (17-Carlos Bocanegra, 46); 14-Chris Armas, 13-Cobi Jones (9-Brian West, 73), 19-Manny Lagos, 21-Landon Donovan; 15-Josh Wolff (23-Jeff Cunningham, 46), 20-Brian McBride (11-Ante Razov, 55).
Substitutes Not Used: 18-Tim Howard, 2-Danny Califf, 4-Jesse Marsch.
Statistical Summary: KOR - USA
Shots: 12 - 11
Saves: 3 - 3
Corner Kicks: 4 - 2
Fouls: 15 - 9
Offside: 2 - 6
USA - McBride (caution), 18.
KOR - Choi (caution), 51.
Referee: Naotsugu Fuse (JPN)
Assistant Referee #1: Noboru Ishiyama (JPN)
Assistant Referee #2: Akio Okutani (JPN)
Fourth Official: Kwon Jong-Chul (KOR)
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Ante Razov