Match preview: South Korea v Togo

Togo are yet to commence their World Cup campaign, but they have already descended into some sort of Shakespearean farce.

Hardly Mr Popular: Emmanuel Adebayor

Newly installed coach Otto Pfister, who was yet to take charge in a competitive match for his new employers, walked out on Friday after a dispute over players’ bonuses.

One of the few remaining assistants, Kodjovi Mawuena, was then installed as temporary coach while the Togolese Football Federation interviewed former Cameroon coach Winfred Schafer for the position.

There are now conflicting reports of a Pfister return. The German has told local papers he will return on Monday, while Mawuena and members of the Federation claimed to know no such thing.

All this just days before their World Cup Finals debut.

If Togo’s chances of making an impact at this tournament weren’t slim before hand, they certainly are now.

Method in madness

Their star player, Arsenal’s Emmanuel Adebayor will not put Togo off their game.  

Friends for now
Friends for now

Friends for now

“It has always been like that in Togo,” said the lanky striker who scored 10 goals in the Sparrowhawks qualifying campaign.

“We have to be professional – we are hungry and want to have a good tournament.”

He is one to talk, seeing it was his bust up with former coach Stephen Keshi that had the Nigerian packing his bags.

Keshi, the coach who had guided them to their first World Cup, was sacked after that argument in which he labelled Adebayor a “cry baby”.

The striker has hardly won over his teammates.

“He can go,” said defender Jean Claude Abalo.

“He didn’t just betray his team, he betrayed the Togolese people.”

The return of the Reds

It all must be music to the South Korean’s ears.

The joint hosts of the 2002 will be looking to repeat their stunning performance of the last World Cup.

Viewers of the English Premier League and Dutch Eredivisie will be aware of their two strike players Park Ji-sung and Lee Young-pyo.

They play an energetic attacking style which Dutch coach Dick Advocaat has looked to utilise with a 4-3-3 formation.

Cynics will question their ability away from home, but Advocaat has team morale at close to an all time high and if their giant killing ways continue they cannot be dismissed.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies