North vs. South: Round 1
DongA Ilbo reports on tonight’s face off between the two Koreas’ national teams in Chongqing, China for the second round of the 2008 East Asian Football Championship. North Korean striker Jeong Dae Sae was modest when talking to reporters before the match:
“I should’ve scored more goals in the match with Japan. I should learn more, I guess….Japan was not that strong. I guess the South will be about the same. I will use our coach’s strategies.”
In case you were wondering, yes, that’s the same Jeong Dae Sae who plays for Kawasaki in the J-League. Jeong was born in Japan, not North Korea. But like many Japan-born Koreans, his allegiance remains with the North and its representative organization in Japan, Chongryon. Jeong attended Chongryon-run schools for his entire K-12 schooling and then attended university at Tokyo’s Chongryon-run Chosun University (not to be confused with the South’s Chosun University). He joined Kawasaki in 2005. In 2006 he scored 12 goals in 24 matches and was selected to join the North Korean national team. (Source: this site).
Meanwhile, South Korean striker Park Ju-young is feeling confident, saying,
“This is special to me. It’s against North Korea. I will make bold moves whenever I have an opportunity. I will also do my best with free and corner kicks…I believe we need to score the first goal to maintain the initiative. When the North Korean team loses that first goal, it will press deep into our defense, but that will leave more room for our attackers.”
The game will begin at 9:45 Korea Time. It is the first of two high-profile showdowns between the North and South national teams. The second will take place on March 26th in Pyongyang as part of the World Cup qualifiers. That match has stirred controversy as the North still refuses to display the Taegukki or play the South Korean national anthem. Instead, they hope the South will use a traditional flag and play a traditional folk song.