Updated June. 20, 2014 06:21
The Korean national team returned to its Brazilian base camp of Foz do Iguacu on Thursday and conducted training to prepare for its second group match against Algeria at the 2014 Brazil World Cup. After the first group match against Russia held at Cuiaba on Wednesday, the team immediately moved to the base camp by a chartered flight provided by FIFA on Thursday morning.
The most noticeable in the teams training session on Thursday was Park Chu-young, who started as the front striker in the match against Russia for 56 minutes. On Thursday, he joined the "training group." Lee Keun-ho, who replaced Park Chu-young at the 11th minutes in the second half and played for 34 minutes, took part in light warm-up drills at the "recovery group."
Why Park, who played 22 minutes longer than Lee, was included in the training group, not the recovery group? Coach Hong Myung-bo has instructed most of players who played 30 minutes or longer at matches to only engage in recovery training for warm-up drills by conducting light run and stretching the next day. He has not instructed them to take tactical or physical training sessions.
Parks inclusion in the training group on the day was arranged at Parks own request, which Hong accepted. Park displayed fairly good performance at the match against Russia. Coach Hong said, Park Chu-young displayed especially good performance in defense. Park, as the front striker, should score goals or assist second-line strikers to score. Without making any single shot or assistance at the game against Russia, Park was pulled out to the bench. Since an exhibition match with Greece in March, Park has had no goal in three consecutive matches, failing to meet expectations for a striker.
Park was the only player wearing white vest while playing at a mini game of five to five players, because he must increase his contributions in the match against Algeria on Monday next week, which Korea cannot afford to lose. Park joined the yellow-vest team when this team staged offensive, and did so in the green-vest team when this team launched offensive. He thus underwent training just to engage in offense, without joining defense. In the mini game, Park focused more on providing other players with chances to shoot, than himself shooting.
The Korean team was seen in upbeat mood during the training. Since the team played a game that it did not lose, which Hong wanted ahead of the match, players looked cheerful throughout the training. Lee Keun-ho, an army sergeant who scored the opening goal at the game against Russia, even had fun by kicking his younger teammate Park Ju-hos hip during the exercise. Ji Dong-won said, (Players) recovered confidence through the game against Russia, and we are preparing for the match against Algeria in a relaxed mood. The mood is even better than the time when we first arrived at (Foz do) Iguaçu.
Meanwhile, the cooking team, who is in charge of meals for Taegeuk Warriors, served grilled beef for dinner to help the players who were exhausted due to long-distance travel, regain stamina. The total travel distance between Foz do Iguaçu, the base camp for Team Korea, and the three cities where its group matches will take place, amounts to a total of 5,152 km, the longest among those of other teams in Group H.