Koreans send French to the brink

South Korea’s late equaliser in Leipzig has extended France’s run of World Cup games without victory to five.

    Park Ji Sung: The happiest man on the park

    Manchester United’s Park Ji Sung prevailed in a goal mouth scramble after Cho Jae Jin had headed a ball into the six yard box.

    Despite a desperate palm by France’s Fabien Barthez the ball found its way into the back of net to send an already vocal set of Koreans fans into overdrive.

    France only had themselves to blame for the late equaliser after they had retreated further and further down the park as the match wore on and they looked to cling to striker Thierry Henry’s opening goal.

    In the eighth minute Arsenal striker Henry took a deflected shot from fellow striker Sylvain Wiltord and sent it into the back after a controlling touch.

    It all seemed too easy

    It was his side’s first World Cup goal since the final in 1998 and was just reward for plenty of early endeavour.

    The French dominated from that moment and they were unlucky to lead by more at the break.

    Henry found himself in the box and seemed set to score on 28 minutes, but the defence successfully crowded him and in the tangle of legs the ball rolled away from danger.


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    The 1998 champions came very close to doubling their lead when a Patrick Viera header was cleared off the line.

    Replays suggested it was strange there wasn’t more of an appeal from the attacking side.

    No doubt given the final score more will be made of it in the wash up.

    Cue French calls for decisions to be made using television replays.

    The goal from the Taeguk Warriors prompted a frenzied final minutes as France looked for an equaliser.

    Five minutes from time French captain Zinedine Zidane put Henry through on goal with only keeper Lee Woon Jae to beat, but the Suwon Bluewings stopper was up to the task.

    The following action may have greater repercussions when Zidane was booked for an incident following the pass and will miss the next match.

    The French legend was later substituted for striker David Trezeguet and with his side walking a tightrope into the last 16, it may been his last involvement for his country.

    The French face Togo in their final group game and need to win to keep their hopes alive.

    South Korea will face Switzerland and will pay close attention to the Switzerland v Togo match on Monday with the Asian side cheering on a draw or an African victory.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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