World Cup 2010 - Korea sweep aside Greece

Eurosport - Sat, 12 Jun 14:34:00 2010

South Korea beat a woeful Greece side 2-0 in the World Cup Group B match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

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Jung-Soo Lee opened the scoring early on before Manchester United's Ji-Sung Park added an excellent second shortly after the break.

The defeat continued Greece's miserable run at the World Cup that now reads: four games and four defeats without a single goal. And on this evidence that record might go on.

Lee broke the deadlock after seven minutes. A free-kick from the left from Sung-Yong Ki flicked off the head of Kostas Katsouranis which led to the ball being missed by Lee's marker Angelos Charisteas. That left the Kashima Antlers centre-half all alone at the back post for a simple tap-in from five yards.

Park made it two after 52 minutes after Loukas Vyntra made a complete hash of a routine square ball but the midfielder still had to plenty to do as he held off two defenders and calmly slotted into the corner.

It meant a goal in three consecutive World Cup finals for Park and although the Greeks improved slightly in the final 20 minutes they never looked likely to deny Korea their third consecutive opening game victory at a finals.

Korea completely dominated the opening 70 minutes of the match.

They were far the more impressive side and young Monaco striker Park Chu-young had a couple of half-chances early on while Bolton's Lee Chung-yong went down in the penalty area as he was about to shoot but there was minimal contact from Vassilis Torosidis and the penalty appeals were waved away.

Michael Hester from New Zealand got that decision right but he denied Park a clean sight of goal when the player was harshly penalised for what can be loosely described as a tussle with Vyntra.

Korea had a golden opportunity to add to their lead when Chu-young peeled off Vyntra but Alexandros Tzorvas made a vital save with his left boot and the ball looped over the crossbar.

Greece played with little tempo and relied on long diagonal balls in the first-half and replaced ineffective skipper Giorgos Karagounis, one of four veterans from the Euro 2004 winning team, at the interval.

After Park's superb goal, Chu-young should have made it three after a delightful cross from Du-Ri Cha. Vyntra lost his man but the young striker who has blossomed in Ligue 1 diverted a free header from six yards over the top.

Greece finally came alive in the late stage as Dimitris Salpingidis poked an effort wide before Sung-Ryong made his first real save, tipping Theofanis Gekas's shot on the turn over the top.

Korea had a great chance to make it three late on but Tzorvas got down at the near post to push Chung-Yong Lee's effort around the corner but they have given themselves a great chance of reaching the last 16 for the first time outside Asia while Greece's Otto Rehhagel, the oldest World Cup coach ever at 71 years and 300 days, will be left to ponder.

Match Stats

South Korea-Greece

Goals 2-0

1st Half Goals 1-0

Shots on Target 4-2

Shots off Target 5-3

Blocked Shots 8-1

Corners 6-11

Fouls 14-11

Offsides 1-5

Yellow Cards 0-1

Red Cards 0-0

Passing Success 75%-78.7%

Tackles 15%-26%

Tackles Success 93.3%-76.9%

Possession 49%-51%

Territorial Advantage 46.9%-53.1%

Lee Walker / Eurosport

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