France held to 1-1 draw with Korea Republic in Group G
Sunday, June 18, 2006
For 80 minutes France barely broke sweat as they slowly coasted to a 1-0 win in what seemed to be dreary mismatch in Leipzig, Sunday.
On 81 minutes France were punished for their complacency by a Korea Republic team that had never given up and that ended the last minutes of a strange match arguably the stronger side.
For most of the game Korea Republic, in an almost luminous red outfit were not in the game. Their three forwards hardly got a touch; in fact they didn't have a single shot in the first half and had only two on target in 90 minutes.
By contrast the French had three times as many shots as the Koreans but managed only four accurate attempts on Lee Woon-Jae's goal - two more than the Koreans managed. A poor showing for a side so at ease it played mostly in its opposition's half of the pitch and did not concede a shot until the 54th minute.
All looked good when Henry had scored after nine minutes. The ball got through the defence via a deflection; and with a touch from his right foot the Arsenal striker put the ball into the perfect position to pass it in with his left.
With the great throng of red Koreans bouncing up and down and singing there was a great atmosphere in the Zentralstadion and it did not sound like their side were a goal down.
A Patrick Viera header followed from a corner and was saved by Lee Woon-Jae. There was no great French appeal but the television replay clearly showed the ball had crossed the line.
After half time the French kept to their slow passing game which made Dick Advocaat's hustling team exceptionally tired without killing them off. With ten minutes left the Korean game sprang to life and deckchairs were brought out to witness a mugging.
Eric Abidal brought down Lee Young-Pyo and got a yellow card. Quick Korean passes found their target and the French suddenly looked a little disorganised.
A cross from deep near the right corner flag from Seol Ki-Hyeon found Cho Jin-Jae. Beyond the far post, the substitute headed back into the path of Park Ji-sung who from five yards helped the ball over both Fabian Barthez and William Gallas.
The slowness by which the ball went over a grasping Barthez and the French centre half was tantalising and made the score seem more painful.
Now there was a ripping end-to-end contest. Three minutes later Thierry Henry got a chance to make it 2-1 but Lee Woon-Jae jammed his arm hard on the ground for a magnificent left-handed save. In the final minute Ahn Jung-Hwan screamed a free kick past Barthez's right post.
The result meant France, who still had not won a game since the 1998 World Cup final, probably had to win their last match against Togo for a chance to reach the knock-out stage of the 2006 World Cup. Their captain Zinedine Zidane, who got a caution in the game, would be ruled out for that tie.
Korea Republic now lead Group G with 4 points and would certainly advance as group winner if they won their last game against Switzerland.
|June 18, 2006
|Park Ji-Sung 81'||Henry 9'|
- 01 W Lee
- 02 Y Kim
- 03 D Kim 29'
- 04 J Choi
- 12 Y Lee
- 05 N Kim
- 07 J Park
- 13 E Lee (Substituted: 45' K Seol)
- 17 H Lee 11' (Substituted: 69' S Kim)
- 14 C Lee (Substituted: 72' J Ahn)
- 19 J Cho
- 16 F Barthez
- 03 E Abidal 79'
- 05 W Gallas
- 15 L Thuram
- 19 W Sagnol
- 07 F Malouda (Substituted: 88' V Dhorasoo)
- 04 P Vieira
- 06 C Makelele
- 10 Z Zidane 85' (Substituted: 90' D Trezeguet)
- 11 S Wiltord (Substituted: 60' F Ribery)
- 12 T Henry
Fifa World Cup Group G table June 18, 2006
- "Korean Republic 1-1 France" — , June 18, 2006
- "Fifa match report" — , June 18, 2006
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