Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jung-Soo Lee and Park Ji-Sung scores send them to the top of Group B : Korea Republic 2-0 Greece

- Lee, JS "7"
- Park "52"

**Korea Republic claimed the first victory at 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa as a goal early in each half made it a disappointing start for Group B opponents Greece.

Korea were the dominant force for virtually all of the first half in the Port Elizabeth Stadium although they had to withstand some initial pressure from Greece with Vasileios Torosidis seeing an effort fly off target. The same player should then have scored following Georgios Karagounis' corner but he put a decent chance wide from nine yards.

Huh Jung-Moo’s side shrugged off that scare and proceeded to pin their opponents back. And with only seven minutes gone they forged ahead. A free-kick from near the left-hand corner flag found the blue shirts all at sea and at the far post Lee Jung Soo pounced to side-foot home and become his country’s fastest-ever scorer at a FIFA World Cup.

Greece, European champions in 2004, never recovered from that setback and Korea smelled the chance of further goals with Manchester United’s Park Ji-Sung always a danger and Yeom Ki Hun also pulling the strings. In the 28th minute came an outstanding chance for Korea, fast-raiding and adroit with their ball control, to double their advantage as Ji-Sung slid a lovely through ball into the feet of Park Chu Young.

Chu Young was clear of the last man but just as he attempted to seal his strong run with a scoring finish, a combination of the back-pedalling Loukas Vyntra and Alexandros Tzorvas denied him, the goalkeeper making a vital intervention to deflect the ball over.

Greece had to change their approach and Otto Rehhagel decided to take off captain Karagounis at the break with Christos Patsatzoglou coming in. However with another goal seven minutes into the second period, Korea put the game as good as out of reach.

It was a disaster for Greek defending as they gave possession away inside their own half and were left helpless as Ji-Sung took ruthless advantage. There was strength, control and determination in his run as he tore into the penalty area before burying a left-footed shot past Tzorvas and become only the second Asian player to score in three different FIFA World Cups having also found the net in 2002 and 2006.

It should have been three minutes later as Chu Young dashed between defenders to meet a cross from the right but he could not keep his header down.

Greece, who had not managed a goal in any of their previous three FIFA World Cup games - all of which had been lost - had no option but to give everything to try and claw back the deficit. They looked to Theofanis Gekas, who with ten goals was the leading scorer in the European qualifying zone to inspire an recovery, and he tried an ambitious overhead kick which went over.

Soon after Dimitrios Salpingidis scooped the ball over as it was drilled in from the left while Jung Sung Ryong was forced into a fine save at the end. But there was no dispute that Korea were good value for their three points.

Source : 360footballnews

Time Line-Ups :

Korea Republic: Jung Sung-ryong, Cha Du-ri, Cho Yong-hyung, Lee Jung-soo, Lee Young-Pyo, Kim Jung-woo, Ki Sung-yong (Kim Nam-il 74 '), Lee Chung-yong (Kim Jae-sung 90 '), Park Ji-sung, Yeom Ki-hun, Park Chu-young (Lee Seung-yeoul 86')

Greece: Alexandros Tzorvas, Avraam Papadopoulos, Giourkas Seitaridis, Vassillis Torosidis, Loukas Vyntra, Giorgos Karagounis (Christos Patsatzoglu 46 '), Konstantinos Katsouranis, Alexandros Tziolis, Angelos Charisteas (Pantelis Kapetanos 60'), Theofanis Gekas, Georgios Samaras (Dimitros Salpingidis 59 ').


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