Missing top center back, Korea likely to use familiar quartet on defense vs. Jordan

Korea head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, right, puts his arm around his defender Jung Seung-hyun before a training session at Al Egla Training Site in Doha, Feb. 5. Yonhap

As Korea try to claim their first Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup title in 64 years, they will have to clear their next hurdle without their best defender Tuesday night in Qatar.Kim Min-jae of Bayern Munich, considered one of the top center backs in the world today, is ineligible for the semifinal match against Jordan, kicking off at 6 p.m. Tuesday (local time) at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, west of Doha, or midnight Wednesday (Korean time). Kim picked up his second yellow card of the tournament in the late minutes of the quarterfinal win over Australia on Friday after getting into a tussle match with an opponent.It was a needless violation for such an important player for Korea as they were trying to rally from a 1-0 deficit. They ended up coming back for a 2-1 win in extra time, and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will now have to figure out ways to contain Jordan without Kim, a two-way monster who combines physical play with deceptive speed.

Even with Kim in the lineup, Korea have still conceded eight goals in five matches, the most among the four semifinalists. And his absence could spell even more trouble for Korea in the back. After the Australia match, Klinsmann said losing Kim for the semifinals was “obviously not good for us because he’s our leader in the back and a fantastic professional.” But he also noted he has players who could jump in right away.One obvious choice would be to bring back Jung Seung-hyun, who started the first two group matches alongside Kim Min-jae before ceding that spot to Kim Young-gwon. Jung also made a start in a back-three formation against Saudi Arabia in the round of 16.”In order to to bring up different solutions, we can go back to a back three. We have variations,” Klinsmann said.If Klinsmann decides to stick to his usual back-four setup, he can potentially have a trio of club teammates in Korea, plus another player who was their teammate until 슬롯 last season.

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