The game settled from that point, with the French enjoying long periods of possession.
However, South Korea then embarked on a devastating scoring spree in the last 10 minutes of the half, kicked off in the 25th minute by Jong Hyun Jang’s penalty corner conversion. One minute later, Suk Hoon Cho smashed a reverse shot into the goal, and with 3 minutes to go in the first period, the South Korean captain You scored his second to put his team 4-1 up at break.
Les Bleus regrouped after half time, and started the second period with greater intensity in their press. They forced a number of turnovers from the South Korean defence and created some good scoring opportunities for their strikers. However, the French were not able to convert their chances, and despite their toil, the score line had not changed when the final siren sounded.
Speaking after the match, South Korean manager Tae Seok Min was generally pleased with his team’s effort, but said that the players had needed the rest day on Wednesday.
“In the first half, we were good, but then we relaxed a bit. We are still tired from a long European Tour. Following the first match, and on the back of the London Cup, the team needed to rest, and so we have not trained so much,” he said.
France head coach Scott Goodheart said after the game that his team simply did not play well enough on the day. “We need to play for 70 minutes. At the moment, we just are not doing this. There are some positives from this match, including some solid work from a few of our key defenders in the second half, but we need to do better all over the pitch – particularly our finishing in the attacking circle,” said Goodheart.
Both teams have a day off tomorrow, but will be in action again on Saturday. South Korea will play World Champions Australia at 15h00, and France will take on Ireland.
Fédération Française de Hockey media release