S. Korea defeats Al Jazira before Asian Cup
Midfielders Lee Chung-yong and Ki Sung-yueng scored a goal apiece as the South Korean men's football team blanked Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Football League 2-0 on Tuesday, local time. It was South Korea's second and final tune-up match ahead of the Jan. 7-29 Asian Cup in Qatar.
South Korea had edged Syria 1-0 in its previous game on Dec. 30. The team is scheduled to arrive in Qatar on Thursday.
Lee, who plays for Bolton Wanderers in the English Premier League, put South Korea on board in the 35th minute, scoring on a cross from Lee Young-pyo. Three minutes later, Lee drew a foul inside the box after a pass from Koo Ja-cheol set up a one-on-one chance with the opposing goalkeeper. Ki, a midfielder for Celtic FC in the Scottish Premier League, converted the ensuing penalty.
Since Al Jazira is a professional club, this was not recorded as an official international match. In an international setting, a team is only permitted six substitutions each. Against Al Jazira, South Korean head coach Cho Kwang-rae was free to juggle with his lineup and made seven changes to start the latter half.
South Korea is paired with Australia, Bahrain and India in Group C, and the first match is against Bahrain on Jan. 10.
South Korea is seeking to win its first Asian Cup since 1960. (Yonhap News)