Sun, Jul 25, 2004 - Page 22 News List

South Korea knocks off UAE 2-0

AP , JINAN, CHINA

A header by Lee Dong-gook and a sharp last minute right footer by striker Ahn Jung-hwan gave heavily favored South Korea a 2-0 win over the United Arab Emirates in their Group B match on Friday.

South Korea joined Jordan at the top of the standings with four points, followed by Kuwait with three and the UAE with zero points.

The Emirates -- cheered on by about 20,000 spectators at the Shandong Sports Center -- had a good start, creating several good opportunities while the Koreans threatened on counterattack.

Mohamed Rashid was the first to test South Korean goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae in the fifth minute with a blast from outside the area.

Lee was well positioned in the 26th minute when Salem Khamis sent a header directly at him off a cross by Mohamed Rashid. Ten minutes later, Lee pushed the ball over the crossbar after Basheer Saeed's free kick from 35m.

But it was South Korea that took the lead in the 40th minute against the run of play when Lee Dong-gook headed in a free kick from the left.

In the second half, the UAE continued attacking and creating chances in search of an equalizer, but South Korea finally put the match beyond the Emirates' reach in the 90th minute when striker Ahn Jung-hwan scored off a pass by Seol Ki-hyeon.

Both teams were taken over in June by Dutch coaches who have complained about having very little time to prepare their squads.

South Korean coach Jo Bonfrere has been under severe pressure at home to win.

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