The World Cup didn’t start as hoped for Ja-Cheol Koo and South Korea. They lost their opening game against Sweden in Group F.
South Korea’s head coach Tae-Yong Shin entrusted Koo to start in the game which was an even affair in the opening stages. As the first half carried on, Sweden applied more and more pressure onto South Korea’s backline but failed to find a way past Hyun-Woo Cho in goal for South Korea. At the start of the second half, Koo was on the receiving end of a hard challenge from Sweden’s Sebastian Larsson. However, after receiving treatment, he picked himself up and immediately produced his nation’s best chance of the game. Koo rose highest from a cross from the left flank and connected well with the ball but his header flew past the Sweden goalkeeper and into the side-netting.
The deciding moment took place in the 64th minute. Viktor Claesson fell in the penalty area and, after consultation from the VAR, the penalty was awarded to Sweden. Andreas Granqvist slotted home the spot-kick calmly and Koo was replaced by Seung-Won Lee in the 72nd minute as Sweden held on for a 1-0 win. South Korea’s next chance to get points on the board will come on Saturday against Mexico.