Wed, Jul 21, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Jordan, S Korea draw in Asian Cup


World Cup semifinalist South Korea was held to a 0-0 draw by first-timer Jordan at the Asian Cup on Monday, while former champion Kuwait scored three goals in the first half and beat Gulf rivals the United Arab Emirates 3-1.

The victory put Kuwait, the 1980 champion, atop Group B heading into their game against Jordan on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Chongqing, Peter Vellapan apologized for comments a day earlier that criticized Chinese fans, who jeered the Asian Football Confederation general secretary and FIFA President Sepp Blatter when the pair addressed the crowd at Saturday's opening game.

Vellapan implied China was unfit to host the 2008 Olympics because of its manners, but on Monday said he was sorry to the Chinese, "If I hurt your feelings."

"Beijing will be the best ever, given the will of the people and government, it will be fantastic," he added.

On the field, goalkeeper Amer Shafi was the hero for Jordan, earning player of the match honors for denying several South Korean scoring chances.

South Korea, a two-time Asian Cup champion, had the majority of possession and created the majority of opportunities, forcing Shafi off his line and into diving saves.

"We had many chances in the first and second half, and the [Jordanian] goalkeeper was not only good, but also lucky," South Korea's Dutch-born coach Jo Bonfrere said.

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