Thu, Jul 29, 2004 - Page 20 News List

South Korea and Kuwait advance


Jordan's Hassouneh Qasem, right, tries to head the ball past United Arab Emirates' Abdul Salam Jumaa during their Group B match at the Asian Cup in Beijing, Tuesday. Jordan advanced to the quarterfinal after they drew with UAE 0-0.


South Korea reached the quartefinals of the Asian Cup for a third straight time with a 4-0 victory over Kuwait while Jordan advanced to the final eight in its first appearance at the quadrennial championship with a 0-0 draw against the United Arab Emirates.

Lee Dong-gook scored twice and Cha Du-ri and Ahn Jung-hwan once each to lead South Korea.

The victory finished South Korea atop Group B with seven points, giving it a Saturday match against the second-placed team in Group D. South Korea, which finished third in Lebanon four years ago, will learn its quarterfinal opponent on Wednesday after the final first-round matches.

In Beijing, Jordan's draw gave it five points and means it will play the Group D winner, either Japan or Iran, in Chongqing on Saturday. Japan faces Iran on Wednesday while Oman takes on Thailand.

Kuwait, the 1980 Asian Cup champ, finished third in Group D with three points, two ahead of the UAE, which was Asian Cup runner-up in eight years ago. Kuwait was a quarterfinalist four years ago and finished fourth in 1996.

"We are very happy to have qualified from this group," South Korea's Dutch coach Jo Bonfrere said.

Lee gave the Koreans the lead in the 25th minute, after Mesaed Al Enzi tripped Cha about 20 meters out and slightly to the right of the area. Lee's curling shot went through the wall and into the net just past the post.

Lee made it 2-0 four minutes before halftime when he outraced two defenders to tap in a cross from the right by Choi Jin-cheul, who returned to the lineup after receiving a red card in the opening match against Jordan.

South Korea widened the lead in the last minute of the half, when Cha's powerful right-footer from about 25 meters streaked into the right lower corner past a stranded Kankone.

Asian Cup

* South Korea 4, Kuwait 0

* Jordan 0, UAE 0

* South Korea reaches the quartefinals of the Asian Cup for a third straight time

* Jordan advanced to the final eight in its first appearance at the championship

* Jordan will play Group D winner Japan or Iran

* South Korea ended at the top of Group B. they will now face the second-place team in Group D on Saturday

South Korea, a two-time Asian Cup champion which reached the semifinals of the World Cup two years ago, finished third four years ago and reached the quarterfinals in 1996, but has not won tht title since 1960 when it hosted the event.

"We played with very high concentration, and the ball speed was better than in past games," Bonfrere said. "When we scored 1-0, we gained confidence and we played a little better."

In Beijing, King Abdullah II watched as a listless Jordanian side appeared content to defend and gets its point to qualify for the quarterfinals.

The UAE had the bulk of the chances in the first half, but its finishing lacked speed and power. Both sides repeatedly turned the ball over with sloppy passing and players seemingly unwilling to chase down long balls.

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