Defender Lee Jung-soo scored early in the first half, Kim Jung-woo added one in the 43rd minute, and Park Chu-yong and Lee Keun-ho added two to secure Korea’s 4-0 victory over Honduras on Friday night at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.
Korea had its first shot on goal in the 7th minute. Lee Chung-yong unleashed a low drive from just inside the box after receiving a neat pass from Park Chu-young, but it was blocked by the Honduran goalkeeper.
The Bolton Wanderers midfielder missed another chance three minutes later, when his shot from just outside the box rolled wide of the post.
Striker Park Chu-yong celebrates after scoring a goal against Honduras at Seoul World Cup Stadium, Friday. (Yonhap News)
Four minutes later, the Central American side had its first chance. Defender Hwang Jae-won only half-cleared the ball to the edge of Korea’s own half, and Georgie Welcome’s first time shot forced a superb save from goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong.
Korea broke the deadlock in the 28th minute.
Ki Sung-Yueng’s curling corner skidded through the defenders, and Lee Jung-soo tucked the loose ball into the corner of the net.
Two minutes before the end of the first half, AS Monaco striker Park Chu-young sent the ball into the path of Kim Jung-woo inside the box who unleashed a well-angled right-footed shot into the far corner of the net.
After the break, Korea was much more in sync, as Park Chu–Young and substitute Lee Keun-ho led the attack. Gamba Osaka striker Lee was introduced after 55 minutes, and was immediately in the thick of the action. Lee’s 61st minute bicycle kick went just wide of the bar.
In the 77th minute, substitute Ji Dong-won made a nice curling cross from the edge of the box, and the AS Monaco striker Park headed it into the net.
Just before the end of the final whistle Lee added another goal with a thumping header to kill the game.
Despite the cold weather, the Koreans showed tenacity and a lively attitude, taking more ball possession through out the game.
For Friday’s friendly, Cho called on 10 foreign-based players, including AS Monaco striker Park Chu-young and Lee Chung-yong of Bolton Wanderers.
The 56-year-old manager also picked five uncapped K-league players, including forward Park Gi-dong of Gwangju FC, Pohang Steelers midfielder Cho Chan-ho, Seongnam Ilwha’s Kim Sung-hwan and Ha Kang-jin and Kim Tae-hwan of FC Seoul.
The former Gyeongnam FC manager took up the post after the 2010 World Cup. His initial goal was to win the Asian Cup title and end the country’s 51-year title drought. But he failed to do so after losing in a penalty shootout to archrival Japan in the semifinals.
Not content with a third-place finish at the Asian Cup in January, Cho stressed that he would look beyond the past and focus on the World Cup qualifier in September.
And, perhaps, Friday night’s result and performance against the Hondurans will give him a bit of confidence ahead of September’s World Cup qualifiers.
By Oh Kyu-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org)