Header Ads Widget

Azkals fall gallantly to mighty SoKor in Asian Cup debut

Hwang Ui-Jo gets high-fives from his teammates after his goal that eventually gives South Korea a tough victory at the expense of the gritty Azkals. AFC
By Kevin Estrada

Making their debut in the AFC Asian Cup, the Philippines went toe-to-toe with South Korea before the two-time titlists eke out a close 1-0 win Monday evening at Dubai's Al-Maktoum.

It took the Taeguk Warriors of Paulo Bento more than an hour to solve Sven-Göran Eriksson's defensive puzzle as Hwang Ui-jo found the back of the net to give them the hard-fought win against a side that is 63 places above them.

Despite dominating in all aspects of their tie, the former World Cup semifinalists had a hard time breaking down the fortress of the Azkals, with Javier Patiño causing a huge scare to Kim Seung-Gyu in the Korean goal when his volley was stopped by the Vissel Kobe shot-stopper five minutes before half time.
Javier Patiño had given South Korea the biggest scare, with his two chances only ended up in Kim Seung-Gyu's palms. AFC
South Korea broke the ice in the 66th minute, when Hwang Hee-Chan found Ui-jo, who made no mistake from just outside the six-yard box by blasting the ball past a stonewall Michael Falkesgaard.

China leads Group C after coming from behind to beat Kyrgyzstan 2-1 in the group's opener.

South Korea: Kim Seung-Gyu (GK), Kim Jin Su, Lee Yong, Kim Young-Gwon (C), Kim Min-Jae, Lee Jae Sung (Ju Se-Jong 86'), Koo Ja-Cheol (Lee Chung-Yong 64'), Hwang Hee Chan, Jung Woo-Young, Ki Sung-Yueng (Hwang In-Beom 58'), Hwang Ui-Jo

Philippines: Falkesgaad (GK), Alvaro Silva, Strauss (Phil YH 89'), Woodland, Manny Ott (Tull 78'), Sato, Palla, Ingreso (Ramsay 75'), Schrock (C), Reichelt, Patiño

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada