Football - South Korea, Australia kick-off East Asian Cup with draw

South Korea dominated the opening match of the East Asian Cup against Australia on Saturday but had to be content with a 0-0 draw as they failed to capitalise on the numerous chances they created during the one-sided affair.


The July 20-28 four-nation event is organised by the East Asian Football Federation and features three teams who have booked their tickets from Asia for the 2014 World Cup -- South Korea, Australia, and Japan - as well as holders China.

Playing under new coach Hong Myung-bo for the first time and in front of a passionate home crowd in Seoul, South Korea were denied by the profligacy of their strikers and numerous saves by Socceroos goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.

In the absence of their Europe-based stars, including Bayer Leverkusen striker Son Heung-min, the hosts dominated possession from the outset and came close in the 15th minute but Galekovic forced a low save to deny Yun Il-lok.

Soon after, the Adelaide United goalkeeper kept out Lee Seung-gi's long-range effort and denied Yun twice more, including from a point-blank range just before half-time.

The Koreans continued to test Galekovic in the second half and he was finally beaten in the 76th minute by substitute Yeom Ki-hun's shot but the post came to his rescue.

China, who will also be under a new coach after caretaker Fu Bo replaced the ousted Jose Antonio Camacho, will take on the continent's top-ranked side Japan, who have included all home-based players in the squad, on Sunday.

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