So Japan failed to beat an undermanned South Korean unit, and their dominance of Asia is officially over. With the victory, South Korea earn an automatic berth for the 2011 event (to be hosted in Qatar – announced today!).
After an 0-0 scoreline, Japan failed to replicate the success they had against Australia, South Korea running out winners on penalties – 6-5.
Never any love lost between these two rivals, this game was no exception. Japan reached scoring distance many times, but failed to capitalize. South Korea were held at bay by yet again more excellent keeping from Kawaguchi, the Japanese skipper.
The rivalry hit it’s zenith when Kang Min-soo was sent off in the 57th minute (unfairly, as replays showed) for his second yellow card. South Korean coach Verbeek & his assistants went batshit on the referee, none more so than South Korean soccer legend Hong Myung Bo. The referee expelled all 3 coaches along with Kang from the arena. Hong tried to sneak back in during the rest period post the 90 minutes regulation time, and refused to leave – security ended up escorting him from the ground… right under the noses of FIFA president Sepp blatter and South Korea Football Association chief Chung Moon Joon.
Still, the Japanese team failed to make the extra man count. Verily, the South Koreans looked even more aggressive in attack. During the extra time, South Korean keeper Lee Woon Jae made some excellent saves… and the rest is history.
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