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Korea made the same mistake as the United States, Poland, and Senegal in their previous matches by believing that they could constantly surprise the championship contenders with a strong push from the team at World Cup 2022
Netherlands, France, England, and now Brazil have all been able to maintain possession and finish off games thanks to their pragmatic approach to attacking situations.
Korea played primarily out of a 4-2-3-1 formation with Son Heung-min drifting to the left in the first two games of the group stage. The Tottenham striker used to play alongside Cho Gue-sung in the offense before Cho moved to Brazil. With Hwang Hee-chan back in the lineup, Korea now has a high-caliber attacking option on the left side.
The Wolves top scorer, along with Cho Gue-sung and Son Heung-min, was among the first to press the Brazilian defensemen when they had possession of the ball. On the other side of the field, Lee Jae-sung, a midfielder, typically operates from the right flank but remains there to provide support for the midfield pair.
Theoretically, this is the best way to enter the field for Korea, as it will strengthen the team’s offensive and defensive capabilities simultaneously. The Korean high-pressure strategy, however, was exposed as a sham within the first ten minutes of the match because Brazil is the team with the most tactical flexibility and the most diverse quality of personnel in the tournament.
Initially, Brazil lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Eder Militao and Danilo playing the positions of full-backs. Militao slid in with a tackle as soon as he got the ball, and the “Selecao” shifted to a three-man defense in the middle. By doing so, Danilo was relieved of his defensive duties, Brazil gained a second “bridge” in the ball’s rotation, and more players were made available in the crucial central zone.
When Militao got into a good position in the second half, Danilo would often retreat to form a defensive duo with two other central players. The Real Madrid superstar, however, is more adept at playing central defenders, so he does not see the field as often as Danilo does.
Casemiro and Lucas Paqueta have moved the Juventus star into central midfield, where he can provide more space for the likes of Neymar, Richarlison, Vinicius Jr., and Raphinha. When Brazil returns to the formation with a four-man defense, Raphinha will often kick a bit lower to support the defense of Militao’s wing.
The four Brazilian attackers are not only superior in skill to the Korean defensive midfielders or defenders, but they are also more mobile and coordinated. In the first half, “Selecao” scored four goals, all of which reflected this.
The Brazilian midfield and attack completely outclassed Hwang In-beom and Jung Woo-young on both a technical and a tactical level, making the first half of their careers the most trying of their professional careers. When Jung Woo-young fouled Richarlison to give the home team a penalty and when Hwang In-beom let the Tottenham striker pass in the goal to make it 3-0, they not only made direct mistakes but also allowed the home team to score.
In the context of Brazil’s system designed to hit the opponent’s center, Korea’s defensive midfield duo did not get enough help from the strikers or wingers.
Brazil’s four goals against South Korea were scored off throw-ins, but the goals were actually the result of the Brazilians’ offensive players successfully stretching the Koreans traditional defensive structure.
Brazil Deserves to be the Top Candidate at World Cup 2022
Hwang In-beom has never been the kind of player who excels at close-quarters combat, but he does like to play in a regular, methodical pattern that relies on passes. The Olympiacos midfielder messed up because coach Bento allowed him to consistently take on Richarlison, Neymar, and Raphinha (now playing in the middle).
It was clear that the Portuguese coach had made a mistake at the end of the first half, and Hwang In-beom was taken off the field and replaced. The Asian representative played well thanks in part to this adjustment and the fact that Brazil slowed the game down on purpose by passing the ball to Korea.
Son Heung-min received a cross from a teammate and had a good chance to beat Alisson in goal for Korea in the second half, but he was denied by the Brazilian keeper. At this point, Militao stepped up, so Danilo had to step back to play as the third central defender.
This should have been Korea’s main strategy for this game. Staying deep in formation and hoping for a counterattack with the long ball rather than pressing forward in an attempt to score a quick goal with the short ball.
Of course, no one can say for sure that the Asian side will be able to sneak in and surprise Brazil if they try. The team’s strengths lie not only in the high caliber of each player but also in the variety and adaptability of its approach. Even the players on their bench can make a big difference.
In addition, having Neymar back at the right time is a huge boost for Brazil. Tite believes that Neymar can help Brazil right now with his leadership and talent.
“Everyone knows Neymar’s potential to make a difference. With Neymar leading the way, Brazil is a formidable squad. The ability to coordinate potentially devastating attacks is one of his many talents” he claimed.
After a dominating first half in which they led by a score of 4-0, the “Selecao” showed that they knew how to strike at the Asian representative’s greatest strength: their competitive drive.
As a result of this game, the team has established itself as a legitimate title contender. The Brazilian side has won the hearts of fans around the world thanks to the team’s approach to the game, the manager’s willingness to adapt their tactical strategies on the fly, and the star power of their individual players.
From what has been shown since the start of the tournament, “Selecao” deserves to be the top candidate for the 2022 World Cup championship.