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Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Lagerback unhappy with time wasting

Soccernet staff

Lars Lagerback was unhappy with what he perceived to be South Korea's time wasting as Huh Jung-Moo's side reached the second round of the World Cup at Nigeria's expense.

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With Greece falling to a 2-0 defeat to Argentina, Nigeria would have become the first country to lose their opening two group games and still qualify had they beaten South Korea in Durban.

Though the Super Eagles took an early lead through Kalu Uche, goals from Lee Jung-Soo and Park Chu-Young put South Korea in control and a penalty from Yakubu Aiyegbeni was not enough for Nigeria to become the first African side to reach the second round.

Victor Obinna had a number of chances to snatch a win in the dying minutes though, and Lagerback subsequently condemned South Korea for gamesmanship in the final stages of the tie.

"I was a little bit sorry about all the time wasting," Lagerback said. "I don't think it's fair play. It's very disappointing and I think the [Nigeria] players have done really well.

"Mostly I feel disappointed and sad. It's the results that count so there is not much to say, I can only congratulate the South Koreans.

"I am convinced that we deserved better in the World Cup. When they were ahead we continued to battle and we equalised. But it wasn't good enough."

South Korea have reached the second round for the first time on foreign soil, having also made the semi-finals when they were joint hosts of the 2002 tournament. Coach Huh Jung-Moo praised his players for the achievement.

"It was a difficult game and I am very happy that we have reached the next stage of the competition," Huh said. "During the match we conceded the first goal and we thought that then Nigeria struck the post. But our players managed to maintain their cool and equalise.

"When we were leading the game, we allowed the penalty which we should have avoided. Those were the critical moments.

"The merit goes to the players and to the coaching staff, not to me. The players and the staff really became one and worked together very hard to get our goal of reaching this stage. I am very proud of my players. They were not intimidated and they played to their full potential. I am very pleased."

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