JAKARTA, July 18 (Reuters) - South Korea scraped into the Asian Cup quarter-finals with a fraught 1-0 win over Indonesia in their final Group D game on Wednesday.
The victory, coupled with Saudi Arabia's 4-0 hammering of
Bahrain, sent the 2002 World Cup semi-finalists into last eight
after going into the last round of matches bottom of the
Kim Jung-woo scored the priceless goal for South Korea in
the 34th minute, but they were made to sweat in a torrid second
half as Indonesia threw everything into attack.
'We spoke to the players before the game and told them that
every game from now on would be like a final,' Korea coach Pim
Verbeek told reporters.
'I'm happy. We were in control and we're ready for the next
South Korea were the stronger team throughout at a hostile
Gelora Bung Karno Stadium but failed once again to kill the
game off. The Koreans had surrendered one-goal leads to Saudi
Arabia and Bahrain through defensive lapses in earlier group
'The chance we gave away at the end of the first half shows
that we still haven't learned from previous games,' added
Verbeek. 'This time we were lucky.'
Indonesia failed to create any real clear-cut chances but
gave a good account of themselves against what coach Ivan Kolev
said was one of the strongest teams in Asia.
'I am disappointed because we didn't quality, but also
proud as my players as they fought to the death,' Kolev said.
'From the very first match they played at their best, even
though we knew that our opponents were all very strong.'
With so much at stake it was always going to be a ferocious
contest. The 90,000 fans inside the cavernous stadium in the
Indonesian capital let their feeling show too, tearing down a
banner reading 'Korea Indonesia Friendship'.
South Korea had the best of the early exchanges, but
Indonesia's counterattacks were posing a problem and Elie Aiboy
should have done better than curl the ball over the bar on the
The co-hosts were made to pay when Korea took the lead four
Lee Chun-soo floated past three half-hearted challenges and
laid the ball off to midfielder Kim. His crisp shot from the
edge of the area took the slightest of deflections on the way
past goalkeeper Muhammad Ridwan.
South Korea maintained possession well in the second half,
creating and squandering a host of chances.
Indonesia threw everything into attack, leaving gaps at the
back for Korea to exploit, but neither team were able to find
South Korea face Group C winners Iran in the quarter-finals
in Malaysia on Sunday.