Swiss bliss

Switzerland have defeated South Korea 2-0 in Hanover and in the process topped Group G and kept their third straight clean sheet, the only side in the group stages to do so.

Philippe Senderos: Ahead by a nose
Philippe Senderos: Ahead by a nose

For South Korea, semi finalists in 2002, their tournament ends now after they were leap frogged by the French who won their final game against Togo.

As was expected both teams started with the intent to attack as they knew a victory would make the French result irrelevant.

The opener though came on 23 minutes when Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos powered home a header after connecting with a free kick.

He had the scars to show for his commitment after clashing heads with Korean defender Jin Chul Choi milliseconds after connecting with the ball.

The joy of the goal though clearly dulled any pain as he rushed to the sidelines to celebrate before being patched up.

News of France’s two goal advantage against Togo had filtered through when Rennes striker Alexander Frei taught the Korean defence a valuable lesson, always play to the whistle.

A Swiss pass had been deflected off a Korean defender and found Frei in open space, and as he rounded keeper Young Kwang Kim the linesman raised his flag.

The Korean defence then froze as Frei slotted his 21st international goal into the back of the net, but the Asians quickly began to protest as referee Horacio Elizondo correctly overruled the man on the sidelines and awarded the goal.

To their credit the Koreans continued to press forward as they had done all game, however the Swiss defence was not to be breached.

Dog days for Koreans

Dog days for Koreans

Dynamic midfielder Chun Soo Lee was his side’s best with an energetic performance.

The Ulsan Horang-i midfielder may well follow in the footsteps of England based Ji Sung Park and Young Pyo Lee after a number of eye catching performances.

The Swiss though deservedly top their group and with their defence the most miserly in Germany they might just be able to surprise a few bigger named opponents in the knockout stages.

The midfield drive of Tranquillo Barnetta has proven the catalyst for much of what is good from Kobi Kuhn’s side.

However, striker Frei will need to improve his conversion rate if they are to extend their stay in Germany by much longer.

Switzerland will play Ukraine in the round of 16 in Cologne on Monday.

Source : Al Jazeera

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