BfB Goes To The World Cup 2010 (Without leaving the front room)

I shall admit to a soft spot for Greek striker Georgios Samaras.

Samaras – who comes from the City the airport of which most closely serves the Village my Mother lives in – seemed a great signing for Manchester City when Sven Goran Eriksson picked him up a few years ago and his ranging movement and height up front seemed suited to the English game.

Odd then that he ended up in the Scots league at Glasgow Celtic where he earns a decent living but seldom threatens to make a move to more high profile surroundings. Physically he seems a well equipped player and perhaps in this World Cup he will unearth the motivation to match.

Perhaps all the Greeks are mid-thought when after a half dozen minutes Lee Jung-soo is allowed the freedom of the six yard box to finish from a wide free kick Ki Sung-Yong’s delivery gliding perfectly to the central defender who claimed the first goal. Being Kostas Katsouranis – standing still as Jung-soo stole in – is about not noticing the dagger eyes aimed at you.

The Korean Republicans are able to over man the midfield and make the most of width of the right with Cha Du-Ri tormenting the Greeks but one shout for a penalty aside the Asian side fail to make good on their spell of pressure with quick passing lacking accuracy. Nevertheless they are good value for a single goal lead at half time.

The second half continues as the first finished and Cha Du-Ri’s blast at goal – knocked down by a defender – after a run is followed up by Lee Chung-Yong doing the same. One worries that the more impressive side will be subject to the kind of fortune that saw South Africa fail to turn what seemed to be a winning performance into a win.

They do not have to. The Greeks make a hash passing the ball across the back and captain Park Ji-Sung races away to create the first two goal lead of the World Cup thus far.

Samaras departs on the hour having – in common with the rest of his side – failed to put in the work required and one wonders why manager Otto Rehhagel plays a 523 formation which requires the two wing backs or the two wide strikers to drop to the midfield when none of the quartet of players deployed in those positions seemed to have the desire – or the assets – required for that role.

In positions which require mentally quick players Rehhagel has fielded sluggish, ponderous players like Giourkas Seitaridis who typifies the display late on with a run into the Korean half that results in little more than a lost full back on the touchline waiting to find a way to off load the ball.

Both sides could have changed the score but the game never looked outside of the capability of the South Korean side who recorded the first win of World Cup 2010.

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