Posted by: MOIST | June 23, 2010

South Korea 2-2 Nigeria

EAiSA Prediction: 1-0 win for South Korea.

Korea awoke today to the glorious news that…wait, scrap that, let’s start again. Korea went to bed this morning as dawn broke safe in the knowledge that her football team had done her proud. A hard fought 2-2 draw enough to guarantee progress from Group B.

And what a game it was. More than enough excitement to keep those watching at 3.30am wide awake and transfixed to the screen. Penalties, woodwork hit, missed goalline chances and the Greeks valiantly clinging on to a draw with Argentina all added to the tension.

Eventually, though, goals from Lee Jung-Soo, his second, and Park Chu-Young, the first from a Korean striker and the first World Cup goal direct from a free-kick, got the job done despite the best efforts of Cha Du-Ri, Kim Nam-Il and, controversially you might say, manager Huh.

For a long period of the first half it didn’t look like that was going to be the case. Nigeria came out knowing they needed a win and, despite only starting with 10 men capable of movement thanks to the inclusion of Kanu, looked constantly dangerous as the piled forward. Cha Du-Ri’s slack marking gifted the Nigerians an early goal and they went in search of another, Uche the goalscorer smacking a drive off the post. This seemed to wake up Korea who pressed hard for an equaliser and were rewarded when Lee Jung-Soo totally missed a header only to watch the ball drop onto his instep and straight into the back of the net.

Korea had the upper hand and a nicely curled free-kick gave them a lead. Coupled with the score in the other game they were home free. They even seemed to have all the luck as Yakubu missed an open goal from 23cms out.  But then it all started to go wrong. Kim Nam-Il, on to shore up the midfield, booted Martins up in the air and a penalty was given. 2-2. Korea went into defensive mode and allowed the Nigerians onto them and, as a couple of good shots fizzed just the wrong side of the uprights, you began to think a 3rd was coming.

Huh brought on a couple more subs, both defensive minded and Korea just sat back waiting for the final whistle. Whilst EAiSA see the logic behind trying to secure the needed point it seemed that the Nigerians were there to be picked off if fresh legs had been brought on up front. There’s no point having Lee Dong-Gook and Ahn Jung-Hwan on the bench if you only feel confident bringing one of them on when you are 4-1 down to Argentina.

Luckily the Nigerians couldn’t find the target and Korea go on to beat Uruguay in the second round followed by a potential quarter-final with England.

Ok, ok, we at EAiSA are just joking. England won’t get that far.

Player Match Reports:

Starting XI:

Jung Song-Ryung: No chance with either of the goals and barely a shot to save.

Cha Du-Ri:  Was caught out for the first goal and was beaten too easily by the Nigerian left winger quite often. Will Oh be back for Uruguay?

Cho Yong-Hyung: Another solid performance. Like Jung he wasn’t at fault for the goals and only allowed Nigeria 4 shots on target. He did however go to sleep to let Yakubu complete the miss of the century.

Lee Jung-Soo: Scored his second of the tournament and was strong at the back against a tough Nigerian front line. Maybe should have done better when Yakubu missed but, hey, Yakubu missed.

Lee Young-Pyo: As solid as always down the left. Not much more to say.

Lee Chung-Yong: Always looks a threat on the ball and almost snuck in after a minute. May be tempted away from Bolton but wants to stay as he has a Tesco clubcard.

Ki Sung-Yong: A wonderful free-kick for Lee Jung-Soo’s goal. Had a much better game than against Argentina and got forward well.

Kim Jung-Woo: Was beaten down the wing for the first Nigerian goal but sat in front of the back four well.

Park Ji-Sung: Another solid performance, just like he puts in for Man Utd week in week out.

Park Chu-Young: Full of energy and running and a constant threat. Scored a lovely free-kick to get his World Cup goals tally up and running.

Yeom Ki-Hun: Another decent performance. Has a tendency to drift in and out of games but always working for the team.

Subs:

Kim Nam-Il (64 mins for Yeom Ki-Hun): Was meant to solidify the team but instead decided to give away a stupid, stupid penalty. We’ll let you off this time but don’t do it again.

Kim Jae-Sung and Kim Dong-Jin (87 and 90 mins for Ki Sung-Yong and Park Chu-Young): Not much time on the pitch to do much but didn’t hack anyone down in the box like certain people we can mention.

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