Korea Republic fall to defeat with World Cup on the horizon

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Korea Republic fell to their third loss in four matches as they were beaten 3-1 by Bosnia-Herzegovina in a friendly on Friday.

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup fast approaching, the Taegeuk Warriors looked to have found some form after beating Honduras 2-0 on Monday.

However, they were brought back down to earth at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium by a Bosnia-Herzegovina side who will not be competing at Russia 2018.

It was the visitors who drew first blood in the 28th minute when a left-wing cross by Eldar Civic sailed over the head of Edin Dzeko but fell to Edin Visca, who made no mistake in drilling a low past Kim Seung-gyu.

But, just two minutes later, the South Koreans responded with a fine effort from Lee Jae-sung, who latched onto a neat layoff by Hwang Hee-chan and rode Toni Sunjic’s last-ditch challenge before dinking a neat finish over Ibrahim Sehic.

Despite pulling level, the hosts looked out of sorts as they struggled to adapt to coach Shin Tae-yong’s tinkering with a 5-3-2 formation, which saw captain Ki Sung-yueng – usually the heartbeat in midfield – deployed as the central centre-back.

Just before halftime, they were exposed as a brilliant 50-yard diagonal ball from Haris Duljevic completely caught out Kim Min-woo, paving the way for Visca to race in behind and clinically finish once more.

Still, Shin persisted with the experiment, making just one substitution until the 75th minute.

However, as he was finally about to inject more firepower with the introductions of Lee Seung-woo and Moon Seon-min, the Bosnians found the killer blow the effectively end the contest,

It was Visca again who proved to be a thorn in their flash as he was picked out by a sublime left-wing cross, which he emphatically dispatched with a first-time volley to complete his hat-trick.

Shin and Korea Republic will now turn their attentions to next Thursday’s meeting with Bolivia, their second-last warm-up match before opening their World Cup Group F campaign against Sweden on June 18.

KOREA REPUBLIC: Kim Seung-gyu, Lee Yong, Yun Young-sun (Jung Seung-hyun 75’), Ki Sung-yueng (Kim Shin-wook 86’), Oh Ban-suk (Kwon Kyung-won 46’), Kim Min-woo, Koo Ja-cheol (Ju Se-jong 75’), Jung Woo-young, Lee Jae-sung (Moon Seon-min 80’), Son Heung-min, Hwang Hee-chan (Lee Seung-woo 80’).

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Ibrahim Sehic, Darko Todorovic (Ermin Bicakcic 74’), Toni Sunjic, Ervin Zukanovic, Eldar Civic, Gojko Cimirot (Stjepan Loncar 85’), Muhamed Besic, Miralem Pjanic (Elvis Saric 57’), Edin Visca (Deni Milosevic 81’), Haris Duljevic (Goran Zakaric 67’), Edin Dzeko (Riad Bajic 60’).