(Saturday, June 12th)
Final Score: South Korea 2, Greece 0
Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Sports Network) - Lee Jung-Soo and Park Ji-Sung scored and South Korea opened FIFA World Cup Group B play Saturday with a 2-0 win over Greece at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Lee Jung-Soo scored in the seventh minute and Park Ji-Sung added the clincher seven minutes after halftime, helping South Korea take a huge step toward the knockout stage.
South Korea last advanced to the knockout stage in 2002 when it co-hosted the World Cup with Japan. South Korea finished third eight years ago.
South Korea opened the scoring inside 10 minutes off a free kick from Ki Sung- Yeung from near the left corner flag. Ki's cross glanced off Greece midfielder Konstantinos Katsouranis' head inside the six-yard box and sailed to the back post to Lee Jung-Soo.
Lee Jung-Soo, a central defender, ran onto the pass and redirected it inside the right post from a few yards out for his third international goal.
Lee Chung-Yong had a chance to double South Korea's lead in the 15th minute but couldn't finish from the right edge of the six-yard area after slicing between a pair of defenders.
Park Ji-Sung created another chance for South Korea just before the half-hour mark with a perfectly weighted pass to put Park Chu-Young in alone on Greece goalie Alexandros Tzorvas. Park Chu-Young drove into the penalty area and shot toward the right post, but Tzorvas deflected the ball with his foot.
Manchester United's Park Ji-Sung created his own goal early in the second half to put South Korea in control. Park Ji-Sung stole the ball on the edge of the area, slipped between Greece's Avraam Papadopoulos and Loukas Vyntra - who turned the ball over - and shot just over Tzorvas' outstretched leg to the right.
Park Chu-Young had another good chance for the Koreans minutes later, but he turned a perfect cross from Cha Doo-Ri over the crossbar.
Greece, which had just one shot in the opening 67 minutes, finally started to attack in the final 20 minutes.
Theofanis Gekas, the top scorer in European qualifying with 10 goals, got his first good chance in the 68th when he tried a bicycle but couldn't convert.
Dimitris Salpigidis' header forced South Korea goalie Jung Sung-Ryong to make his first save in the 70th, Pantelis Kapetanos fired high seconds later, then Salpigidis shot wide right on the third of three quick chances for Greece.
Katsouranis had another shot for Greece in the 75th, then Gekas was denied on the best chance of the match for the Greeks. Gekas unleashed a blast from the top of the area in the 81st, but he fired right at Jung, who pushed the ball over the crossbar.
Lee Chung-Yong nearly sealed South Korea's victory in the 86th when he latched onto a deflection and hit a low shot toward the bottom-right corner, but Tzorvas dove to touch the ball wide.
Greece had no response in the closing minutes and faces a battle to reach the knockout stage with matches against Argentina and Nigeria remaining.
Group B resumes on June 17, when Argentina plays South Korea and Greece plays Nigeria.
06/12 09:32:19 ET