South Korea qualified for their
seventh consecutive World Cup finals on Saturday after beating
United Arab Emirates 2-0 in a Group Two qualifier.
First-half goals from Park Chu-young and Ki Sung-yueng were
enough to see the 2002 World Cup semi-finalists through to South
Africa in 2010.
They join Japan and Australia, who also booked their places
from Group One on Saturday.
South Korea top Group Two with 14 points from six matches.
North Korea are second on 11 points after a goalless draw with
Iran, with Saudi Arabia third on 10.
The top two in each group in Asian qualifying go through to
the finals, with the two third-place teams staying alive with a
South Korea were off the mark after only five minutes
against the already-eliminated UAE when Park chested down a
cross in a crowded area and coolly prodded home from six metres
with the keeper rooted to the ground.
They pressed for more goals in a heated affair marred by bad
tackles and a stack of yellow cards.
South Korea played fluid, attacking soccer throughout and
doubled their lead on 37 minutes after a bizarre goalkeeping
blunder by Majed Nasser.
The UAE keeper scrambled to keep a defensive pass from going
out for a corner but dived to the floor and pushed the ball into
the path of Ki, who dragged it back and slotted casually into an
UAE had their only real chance after the break when Mahmoud
Khamis's powerful goalbound drive deflected off an onrushing
defender into safety.
Lee Chung-yong could have made it three for South Korea with
18 minutes left when he fired an unchallenged bullet header wide
of the post.
Victory took South Korea through to a place at their eighth
World Cup finals in total.