S Korea claw back to beat Togo 2-1
Jung-Hwan rifled home the winner after Togo had been reduced to ten men. Schedule | Teams | Interviews | Photosindia Updated: Jun 13, 2006 21:49 IST
Ahn Jung-Hwan scored the winning goal in the 72nd minute on Tuesday to give South Korea a 2-1 win over Togo and its first World Cup victory away from home.
Ahn, who also scored the winner against Italy four years ago to send the Koreans into the World Cup semifinals, sent a 25-meter shot past Togo goalkeeper Kossi Agassa.
The win gives South Korea three points in Group G, which also includes France and Switzerland.
Lee Chun-soo scored South Korea's equalizer in the 54th, after Mohamed Kader had given the African team the lead in the 31st with a shot from 14 metres.
Togo almost scored another in the first half when Yao Junior Senay's free kick was saved in the 41st.
South Korea started strong in the second half and captain Jean-Paul Abalo, who was booked in the first half for a foul, was sent off in the 53rd after receiving a second yellow for bringing down Park Ji-sung.
Abalo had stumbled while turning and Park was through on goal when he was fouled. It was a turning point in the game, with Lee scoring on the ensuing free kick. With the man advantage, South Korea dominated possession and outshot Togo 16-9.
Besides the two yellows to Abalo, English referee Graham Poll handed out six other cards - two to South Korea and four to Togo. In the 60th, Togo's Ludovic Assemoassa fell awkwardly and was carried off the field.
Togo played the match with coach Otto Pfister on the bench. The 68-year-old German resigned on Friday and agreed to come back on Monday.
South Korea is playing in its sixth straight World Cup. The Asian team made its debut in 1954 but had to wait 48 years for their first win - at home - in 2002. The Koreans defeated Portugal, Italy and Spain on their way to the semifinals.
South Korea will play its second group match on Sunday against France in Leipzig, while Togo will play Switzerland the following day in Dortmund.