Ki Sung won, Sammy didnae


Winning bhoyKi Sung Yeung was the happiest bhoy in South Africa today as he helped South Korea to a 2-0 win over Greece in Port Elizabeth.

The win sets South Korea up nicely for qualification ahead of Thursday’s Group B clash with Argentina with both side’s going into that match on full points after the Argentinians beat Nigeria 1-0.

Despite his lack of recent match practise the 22-year-old Celt put in an impressive display in midfield where Manchester United’s Park Ji-sung picked up the man-of-the-match award.

Ki justified the faith placed in him by Korean boss Huh Jung-Moo by setting up the opening goal for Lee Yung-soo in the seventh minute.

A finely delivered inswining free-lick from the left hand side caught the Greek defence cold with Yung-soo powering the ball into the net from close range and setting the tone for the rest of the match.

The Greek defence was repeatedly caught out by the Korean’s fast passing game and could well have found themselves further behind before the break.

Seven minutes into the second half Park Ji-sung took advantage of a slack pass across the Greek defence, skipped past two defenders then drilled a confident low shot into the net.

On the hour mark Georgios Samaras was substituted but the Greeks never looked like playing their way back into the match with South Korea threatening to extend their lead with every break.

Ki was replaced with 16 minutes left to play, seeing how he adapts to facing an Argentian midfield containing Javier Mascharano and Juan Sebastian Veron will make for interesting viewing.

Korean coach Huh said: “We were determined to do well. We rehearsed lots of set-pieces in particular, and looked to put them under pressure down the left. It wasn’t a perfect performance but we met the expectations placed on us.

“We knew Greece would drop back even further if they went ahead, so scoring first was so important. Another key factor was that we carried on attacking in an attempt to add a second.

“Argentina are up next and we’ll give it our best shot, because my players can only grow in stature against opponents of their calibre. Argentina are among the favourites but we have good players, too. In football the lesser teams are always capable of beating the bigger ones.”

Ki certainly impresses with every passing performance, when he returns to Celtic next month he’ll have had five months of acclimatisation in Scotland to mix with the priceless experience of having played in the World Cup and Olympic games.

It may not have been picked up yet in the hysteria down south but the two European sides that have played so far in the World Cup, France and Greece, have looked distinctly stale and unimpressive.

Perhaps England will change that later today, maybe they won’t…

BBC highlights of South Korea-Greece

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  • Max says:

    I think you can safely add Engurland to that “distinctly stale and unimpressive” list!!

  • Joe McHugh says:

    France, Greece, England and Serbia have been poor, only Slovenia, population 2,000,000 have won a game out of the Europeans.

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