South Korea make hard work of 10-man Togo
13 June 2006, FRANKFURT - South Korea, semi-finalists in 2002 when they co-hosted the tournament with Japan, struggled to beat 10-man Togo 2- 1 in their opening World Cup Group G match in Frankfurt on Tuesday.
13 June 2006
FRANKFURT - South Korea, semi-finalists in 2002 when they co-hosted the tournament with Japan, struggled to beat 10-man Togo 2- 1 in their opening World Cup Group G match in Frankfurt on Tuesday.
Lee Chun Soo cancelled out Mohamed Kader's first-half strike on 54 minutes when he curled a free-kick around the wall and past an out- of-position Togo keeper Kossi Agassa.
Second-half substitute Ahn Jung Hwan beat Agassa for the winner with a dipping cross-shot in the 72nd minute.
English referee Graham Poll sent off Jean-Paul Abalo for bringing down Park Ji Sung as he twisted clear on the edge of the box for the free-kick that led to the Korean equaliser. It was his second yellow card.
Kader, who plays for French second division side Guingamp, opened the score in the 31st minute when he knocked the ball through with his thigh and rifled a low shot beyond Korean goalkeeper Lee Woon Jaefdook in off the far post.
Lee denied Togo a second when he got up to tip a fierce free-kick from Yao Senaya Junior over the bar and saved at the near post from another Kader shot when the second half got underway.
South Korea bore little resemblance to the side that lost 1-0 to Germany in the 2002 semi-finals. The closest they got in the first half was when Togo keeper Kossi Agassa held Lee Eul-Yong's curling shot.
The colourful 48,000 crowd were providing more entertainment than the football in the first half.
But Togo, whose players boycotted training last week over unpaid bonuses, eventually ran out of steam when they went a man down.
Moustapha Salifou should have done better in the 62nd minute when he leaned back and skied his shot after Assimiou Toure did well to get in a good cross from the right.
When Ludovic Assemoassa was stretchered off in the next minute Togo were momentarily down to nine men. They were almost punished as Ahn Jung Hwan just failed to get on the end of Park Ji-Sung's cross.
Togo, with German coach Otto Pfister back on the bench after walking out over the pay dispute, held their own for long spells of an error-ridden game.
And Kader was a thorn in the Korean side.
He flashed a shot just over on 10 minutes and Togo appealed for a penalty on 15 minutes when Kader tumbled over in a clash with Kim Jin Kyu as he tried to reach Emmanuel Adebayor's cross.
Kim Jin Kyu wasted a chance for Korea with a mis-hit free-kick after one of many fouls and then Togo shocked their opponents with a superbly-executed goal from Kader.
South Korea coach Dick Advocaat led Holland to to the quarter- finals in 1994 when they bowed out against eventual champions Brazil but he does not appear to have got as much out of this Korean side as his compatriot Guus Hiddink did in 2002.
However a poor first half stung him into action and he made what turned out to be a key move by replacing defender Jin-Kyu Kim with scorer Ahn Jung-Hwan at the start of the second half.
France, attempting to make amends for 2002 when they became the first defending champions to go home without scoring a goal, faced Switzerland in the other group game in Stuttgart later on Tuesday.
Subject: German news