South Korean media portrays countrymen coaches Kim Sang-sik, Shin Tae-yong as rivals

By Trung Thu   June 7, 2024 | 04:20 pm PT
South Korean media have framed the competition between Vietnam coach Kim Sang-sik and Indonesia coach Shin Tae-yong at the 2026 World Cup qualifiers as a rather intense rivalry between compatriots.
Coach Kim Sang-sik applauded the 3-2 victory of Vietnam against Philippines with the players on June 7, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

Coach Kim Sang-sik (C) applauds the 3-2 victory of Vietnam against Philippines with the players on June 7, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

On Thursday, Shin’s Indonesia team lost 0-2 to Iraq, while Kim's debut game saw his Vietnam squad beat Philippines 3-2.

Indonesia are still second in group F with seven points, but they are now only one point ahead of Vietnam. The fate of the two teams will be decided in the last round on June 11 and 12.

In covering the two hometown hero coaches, South Korean sports media reports have not been focusing much on football tactics. Most articles have been concentrating on the competition between Shin and Kim.

Newspaper Chosun went so far as to catch attention by printing a now infamously provocative headline that read: "Kim Sang-sik laughs, Shin Tae-yong cries."

Sports Seoul added fuel to the fire by saying the two South Korean coaches "had a night of mixed feelings."

Sports Hankooki wrote: "The competition between coach Kim and Shin is not only about advancing to the next round of World Cup qualifiers, but also about [national] pride."

In the final round of the second qualifiers, Indonesia could secure advancement by defeating the Philippines in the round's first match at 7:30 p.m. on June 11.

But if Indonesia draw or lose, Vietnam will have the chance to pass the Group F stage if they beat Iraq at 1:00 a.m. on June 12.

However Iraq lead the group, having staggeringly and consecutively won all five second round matches. Pundits have commented that Iraq appear unstoppable.

"Coach Kim revived Vietnam’s hopes of entering the third qualifying round," Maekyung reported.

"South Korean, Vietnamese and Indonesian fans are eager to see if Shin, who has just received a disappointing result, can bring back the joy in the final round – or will Kim, who has just ended Vietnam’s seven-match losing streak, have the last laugh."

Indonesias coach Shin Tae-yong. Photo by AFC

Indonesia's coach Shin Tae-yong. Photo by AFC

Vietnam's 3-2 victory over Philippines at My Dinh Stadium in the capital city of Hanoi on Thursday was compared by Osen to a "roller coaster ride", while No Cut News called it a "thrilling drama until the last minute" because of the continuous back-and-forth.

Philippines scored first in the 62nd minute. But Vietnam equalized just three minutes later and then went ahead in the 76th minute thanks to Nguyen Tien Linh's brace. Kevin Ingreso then equalized 2-2 for the Philippines in the 89th minute. When the guests seemed about to salvage a point, Pham Tuan Hai's tap-in during the fifth minute of injury time brought a dramatic victory for the hosts.

"Kim Sang-sik's miracle has arrived," SpoTV said. "Tuan Hai saved coach Kim in his debut match."

The South Korean newspaper said the victory of the 47-year-old was "difficult but precious."

He partly responded to the expectations of Vietnamese fans after a series of poor results under the previous coach Philippe Troussier, according to the report. Whether Kim will continue to write history like his senior Park Hang-seo or not has yet to be seen, but his debut win at least has brought joy back to the fans, the article said.

Sports Khan wrote: "When the final whistle blew, the Vietnamese players had a great smile and enjoyed the victory. Not only the Vietnamese fans, but former coach Park Hang-seo and government officials also applauded and congratulated Kim on his debut victory."

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