Tag Archives: Republic of Korea

Dave Hanratty’s Winners & Losers – Day 7

Winners


Irish fans

Yes we are that bitter. And yes, watching France lose and possibly bow out this soon was damn sweet.

Mexico

Took full advantage of France’s apathy to put themselves firmly in the driving seat. A point is all that is required from their game against Uruguay to progress beyond the group stage. With the exception of Germany, the South American teams have played the most attacking and exciting football and Mexico kept up the standard.

Javier Hernández and Cuauhtémoc Blanco

The future and past of Mexican goalscoring talent combined to see off France. The future is bright for  Manchester United’s newest acquisition having now scored eight goals in fourteen appearances for his country while the 37-year-old Blanco added to his legend with a well-taken penalty to seal a famous victory.

Argentina

Repelled a South Korean fightback in style to make it six points from six and should finish the group with the maximum number when they face Greece. Diego Maradona’s men have been impressive without having to go to too much trouble. It’s early days yet and Messi has yet to hit the back of the net but the early signs are good for a team that struggled greatly through the qualifying campaign.

Gonzalo Higuain

A cool, calm and collected hat-trick makes the Real Madrid forward YOUR World Cup top goalscorer.

Greece

Lesson learned. Following the wretched anti-football that led to their demise against South Korea, the 2004 European Champions woke up and took the game to Nigeria. An especially impressive result considering they came from behind to win, scoring their first ever goals in the World Cup finals in the process.

Alexandros Tsorvas

A very lucky boy. Coming out on the winning side should make people forget about his Bruce Grobbelaar-esque goalkeeping that led to Greece conceding the opening goal.

Losers


France

Karma is a bitch. Outclassed and outplayed, the 2006 finalists looked disinterested throughout. Perhaps Raymond Domenech has finally broken his team’s spirit. In any event, France appeared content to let Mexico play and barely put up a fight.

Thierry Henry

And speaking of karma, all the former French captain could do was watch from his designated spot on the bench. Safe home Thierry.

Nigeria

In relative control following an early lead, the Super Eagles were mostly untroubled until one man threw it all away…

Sani Kaita

A moment of utter stupidly from the Nigerian midfielder led to his dismissal and the subsequent Greek revival. It might seem harsh to place the failing of a team on the shoulders of one player, but Kaita’s assault on Vasilis Torosidis cost his team the match and effectively booked their ticket home.

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Albiceleste turn on the style to humble South Korea 4-1

The College View’s News Editor, Niall Farrell, witnessed Argentina produce one of the best performances seen so far in this World Cup. Diego Maradona’s side defeated South Korea 4-1 at the Soccer City stadium, Johannesburg.


From the outset, Argentina were firmly on the attack. The first real chance came after eight minutes, but Gonzalo Higuain’s fluffed shot drifted harmlessly over.

Within twenty minutes, Argentina had opened the scoring. A crossed ball was diverted into the South Korean net by Park Chu-Yung ahead of the on-rushing Martin Demichelis.

South Korea aimed to peg Argentina back immediately, as Ki Sung-Yeung shot narrowly over the Argentinean goal on the counter-attack.

Argentina’s accurate passing ensured that the Koreans didn’t have the ball for long though. Ángel Di María and Lionel Messi made probing runs down the flanks.

A free-kick from Carlos Tévez on twenty-eight minutes almost yielded a second goal for Argentina. Tévez struck a fine free-kick just inches over the crossbar.

The South Koreans had two more chances before the half-hour mark from Beom Seok-Oh and Chung Yong-Lee but neither came to any avail.

The attacking tactic employed by Argentina bore further fruits as Gonzalo Higuaín scored the second goal on thirty-three minutes.A free-kick on the left side of the South Korean penalty area was drifted in by Maxi Rodriguez, and Higuain at the far post was left to simply head the ball past Jung Sung-Ryong in goal for South Korea.

Five minutes before half time, Ángel Di María had a chance for a third Argentinean goal. After goalkeeper Jung could only parry a cross, Di María was left with the ball at his feet just ten yards from goal. The Benfica winger aimed the shot at the top-right corner of the Korean goal, but Jung pulled off an outstanding save to deny the Benfica winger his goal.

Just before the break, Lionel Messi almost scored what would have been one of the goals of the tournament. A superb run and pass from Carlos Tévez let Messi in to turn inside a defender and attempt an audacious chip on Jung from outside the box that fell just wide and over.

It looked like Argentina would be in a completely dominant position going into the second half, but a shock goal from South Korea on the stroke of half time put them back in contention.

Following a back-pass to Martin Demichelis that looked easy enough to deal with, Lee Chung-Young managed to steal the ball from the Bayern Munich defender after Demichelis took a bad first touch.

All that remained was an easy finish for Lee as he slotted the ball past Sergio Romero to make it 2-1.

The second half continued at the same high tempo, with Argentina aiming to play a more expansive game than they had before.

Lionel Messi had a half-chance directly after half time, as he dribbled his way into the box only to see his shot deflect away.

South Korean ‘keeper Jung had to pull off another outstanding save after a flowing trio of passes let Gonzalo Higuaín crack a close-range shot at the goal after fifty-two minutes.

A minute later Carlos Tévez cut inside from the left and blasted a low dipping shot at goal for Jung to save again.

Ki-Hung Yeom had a fantastic chance on fifty-seven minutes as South Korea began to break forward with more gusto. Yeom got on the end of the last in a series of quick Korean passes but could only shoot into the side-netting from an awkward angle. Both teams really started to play a more daring game after the hour mark. South Korea were on the lookout for a killer pass to find the equaliser but just weren’t lucky enough for the passes to connect.

The seventy-sixth minute saw a flurry of action, as a South Korean attack let Argentina counter and grab their third goal. Substitute Sergio Agüero released Lionel Messi, who streamed down the left flank and ghosted past two defenders before shooting.

Messi’s shot deflected right into the path of Higuaín, who only had to tap the ball into the net for his second goal.

Four minutes later, a similar move found Messi again on the left side of the Korean goal and Higuaín waiting at the far post. Messi chipped beautifully over the heads of the Korean defence for Higuaín to head in for his hat-trick.

Argentina closed out the game with yet more attacks, their attacking brilliance was a joy to watch. The Republic of Korea may look back and rue Ki-Hung Yeom’s missed opportunity early in the second half, the potential equaliser may well have changed the game.

The Albiceleste will secure qualification to the Round of 16 if Greece are defeated by Nigeria this afternoon. For South Korea, their World Cup future will now depend on finding a result against the Super Eagles on June 22.


More at nfsport.wordpress.com

South Korea 2-0 Greece

The Republic of Korea outclassed a lethargic Greek side en route to a 2-0 victory in Port Elizabeth. In truth, the scoreline could have been even more one-sided as Rehhagel’s much vaunted defensive tactics were undone by a tidy and ambitious Korean effort.

Any fears of a 0-0 stalemate were banished after seven minutes when uncharacteristically poor defending from Greece allowed central-defender Lee Jung Soo to pounce at the back post. A low free-kick was dispatched into the Greek penalty six-yard box where at least one of five Hellenic defenders should have dealt with the cross. The semi-empty stadium did little to contain the celebrations of the famously vociferous South Korean fans.

Greece had failed to score in any of their previous World Cup games, all at USA 1994, and relied heavily on diagonal passes into the Korean half. South Korea, as one of the shorter teams in the 2010 World Cup,  were obvious targets for lofty passes but their defenders showed impressive atheleticism and agility and actually had the better of Greek attackers Gekas and Katsouranis in the air.

South Korea were busy and tidy on the ball and showed composed containment when their opponents were on the attack.

Park Chu Young was set through on goal in the 27th minute after a lovely through-pass around from captain Park Ji Sung. A last ditch challenge from Papadopoulos and a fortuitous save off the boot of the Greek goalkeeper Tzorvas were all that prevented South Korea from taking a deserved two goal advantage.

Any incursions into the Korean half were dealt with effectively by an underrated Republic of Korea defence. They constantly sought to catch a sluggish Greece on the counterattack as their wingbacks  Lee and Cha broke free of their Grecian counterparts.

Win will be valuable in the quest to at least finish as runners-up to Argentina. The three teams are quite evenly matched and all capable of taking points from each other and potentially at least one of them may manage at least a draw against Maradona’s side.

As the teams emerged for the second-half, South Korea engaged in another huddle to recfocus on a task not yet completed.

They once again started brightly and scored the second goal that their performance deserved in the seventh minute of the second half. Vyntra needlessly gave the ball away to Park Ji Sung who strode past two challenges into the penalty area and slotted beautifully past the keeper.  When Park Ji Sung plays as well as he does here it is easy to see why he is so favoured at Manchester United. He has now scored in three consecutive World Cup Finals, a wonderful achievement for South Korea’s favourite son.

There was a palpable sense of frustration from the Greek players on the pitch. Torosidis encapsulated this with a rash challenge from behind earning himself a yellow card in the process.

Greece’s late chances were limited to crosses which posed little trouble for the Koreans. In fact it was not until the 80th minute that Jeung was called into action, showing good reflexes to deny Gekas who had very little opportunity to show the prowess in front of goal that allowed him to score ten goals in qualifying.

Even as South Korea eased off in the latter stages they still looked a far superior side both offensively and defensively. Throughout the game they looked lively in possession and could prove to be a more difficult obstacle than originally thought for Diego Maradona’s Argentina. The passion of 2002 seems very much alive in this squad, who seem more than eager to atone for a less than impressive showing in 2006.

As the final whistle was blown by New Zealander Michael Hester, the 11 Koreans on the field were joined by the substitutes who looked overjoyed at an opening victory. If they produce more performances like this then they may have further opportunity to celebrate as the tournament progresses.