Wed, Oct 13, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Japan hold S Korea in Seoul showdown

AP, SEOUL

Japan’s Makoto Hasebe, left, fights for the ball with South Korea’s Shin Hyung-min during their friendly in Seoul yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

South Korea and Japan played out an entertaining goalless draw in their international friendly in Seoul yesterday.

The East Asian rivals both reached the second round of this year’s World Cup but could not find a way to break through their respective defenses in an encounter that served as preparation for next year’s Asian Cup.

Chances were at a premium in a hotly contested first half, with the first attempt falling to Japan’s Keisuke Honda in the 26th minute.

Honda forced a diving save from goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryeong with a fierce shot from the edge of the area.

South Korea were under pressure for much of the opening period but almost snatched the lead after 38 minutes as Shin Hyung-min headed just over from a good position.

The hosts improved in the second half with Park Chu-young almost scoring twice. First Yuto Nagatomo cleared Park’s header off the line, then goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa saved his long-range shot.

Honda broke free of the South Korean defense with two minutes to go but his shot from the edge of the area was blocked by Jung.

South Korea pushed forward late on in a vain attempt to record a third consecutive win over Japan this year but were unable to find a way through.

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