After beating Saudi Arabia on penalties and Australia in further time, Jurgen Klinsmann-coached Korea Republic appeared destined to succeed in an AFC Asian Cup closing for the primary time since 1960.
Jordan had different concepts. The Center Japanese nation shocked the South Koreans in Tuesday’s event semifinal in Qatar, with second-half objectives by Yazan Al-Naimat and Musa Al-Taamari propelling the Jordanians to a 2-0 victory and a spot in Saturday’s championship match in opposition to both the host nation or Iran. Qatar and Iran will meet on Wednesday within the different semifinal.
It is a momentous victory for Jordan, which has by no means reached the Asian Cup closing within the 68-year historical past of the competitors. For Korea Republic, Tuesday’s defeat represents a colossal disappointment. Whereas the Taegeuk Warriors tied each Jordan and Malaysia within the first spherical and completed second behind Bahrain in Group E, they rebounded by reeling off consecutive knockout wins to succeed in the ultimate 4. The onerous half, it appeared, was accomplished.
Ranked third in Asia by FIFA, Klinsmann’s staff was closely favored to outlive Tuesday’s contest in opposition to No. 13 Jordan and go on to play for the title. South Korea boasts a respectable all-planet attacker in staff captain and Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min — whose free-kick objective within the 104th minute was the distinction in opposition to the Socceroos — and two different bona fide European standouts in Paris Saint-Germain’s Lee Kang-in and Hwang Hee-chan of Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers.
However Klinsmann’s ways had been closely criticized by South Korea’s media and followers alike in the course of the uninspiring group stage efficiency on the continental championship, and this was their worst efficiency but. General, the outcomes beneath Klinsmann have been poor.
Employed by South Korea precisely 12 months in the past, shortly after the two-time Asian champs reached the spherical of 16 on the 2022 World Cup, the 59-year-old German was the nation’s highest-profile rent since Dutchman Guus Hiddink famously led the 2002 World Cup co-hosts to the semis of soccer’s marquee occasion.
However Klinsmann’s first impression wasn’t nice. He didn’t win any of his first 5 video games in cost and in addition drew the ire of the Korean press for commuting to the job from his longtime residence in Southern California, inviting questions on his dedication to the venture.
These points have all been recurring themes for Klinsmann at his earlier managerial stops. Klinsmann — who as a participant was probably the greatest strikers of the Nineties, serving to Germany win a World Cup and a European Championship — coached the US from 2011-16 and Die Mannschaft earlier than that. He is additionally been the supervisor at Bundesliga golf equipment Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin. None of these jobs ended notably effectively for Klinsmann, with the potential exception of Germany’s third-place end on the 2006 World Cup on residence soil.
Now, after seeing his squad eradicated from the Asian Cup in such beautiful vogue, the strain on Klinsmann will solely improve. His contract runs by the 2026 World Cup. Whether or not Klinsmann continues to be South Korea’s boss by then stays to be seen.
Doug McIntyre is a soccer author for FOX Sports activities. Earlier than becoming a member of FOX Sports activities in 2021, he was a workers author with ESPN and Yahoo Sports activities and he has coated United States males’s and ladies’s nationwide groups at a number of FIFA World Cups. Comply with him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.
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