An angry soccer fan threw pumpkin spice at Jürgen Klinsmann, the head coach of the South Korean national soccer team. Before the tournament, Klinsmann was confident that he would “speak with results”. In the end, he had to face angry fans without any results.
After failing to win the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, the South Korean national soccer team returned home through Terminal 1 of Incheon International Airport on Monday night. On board the plane were head coach Klinsmann and players Cho Hyun-woo, Kim Young-kwon, Seol Young-woo (Ulsan HD), Kim Jin-soo, Kim Tae-hwan, Park Jin-seob, Moon Sun-min (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Lee Sun-min (Daejeon Hana), Kim Joo-sung (FC Seoul), Kim Jun-hong (Gimcheon Commerce), 텍사스홀덤 Lee Ki-je (Suwon Samsung), and Song Bum-geun (Shonan Belmaré).
“I wanted to win this tournament just as much as you did,” said head coach Jürgen Klinsmann at the press conference after returning home, summarizing the tournament by saying that “we didn’t achieve what we wanted to achieve with the loss against Jordan.” “But we still managed to bring results and rewarded them with good results,” he said, adding, “Before the Jordan game, we were unbeaten in 13 matches. We had a lot of good things going for us.”
Despite Klinsmann’s ’13-match unbeaten streak’, the team’s performance at the Asian Cup was one of the worst in the tournament, and they ended up not even making the final, let alone winning the tournament.
The team’s defensive frailties were exposed in every game throughout the tournament, conceding 10 goals in six matches, including a three-goal deficit in the group stage against 130th-ranked Malaysia that resulted in a 1-1 draw.
“I don’t know,” Klinsmann said, “I don’t know if I’m aware of the current backlash against the team.
“I think a lot of people were probably happy with the dramatic wins against Saudi Arabia in the round of 16 and Australia in the quarterfinals,” Klinsmann said, “and then of course when you get knocked out of the tournament, I think it’s inevitable that there’s going to be another flip-flop in public opinion.”
“Extreme statements are bound to come out,” he said, adding, “I know how much criticism you have to face when you don’t get a good result in a match, and it’s a leader’s job to take that criticism and accept it.”
He also mentioned a conversation he had with Korean Football Association (KFA) president Chung Mong-kyu in South Korea. “I had coffee with him and we talked about a lot of things,” Klinsmann said. “We talked about the game, and we talked about the things that we need to work on.”
“We also talked about how we’re going to prepare for the next two games against Thailand, which are right around the corner,” he said, adding, “We’re going to do a good job of preparing so that we can have a good result in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.”