Saturday, June 12, 2010 (All times Eastern)
South Korea (0-0-0) vs. Greece (0-0-0), 7:30 a.m.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Sports Network) - Greece will be searching for its first win in World Cup play on Saturday when it meets South Korea in the opening match in Group B for both teams at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
The Greeks are appearing in just their second-ever World Cup after losing all three games in the 1994 edition, while their opponents are trying to get off to a good start that will lead them into the knockout round for the second time in their history.
Greece manager Otto Rehhagel has been in charge of the team since 2001, but after winning the Euro 2004 championship in stunning fashion, Greece failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup and put on a disappointing display at Euro 2008.
Now, Rehhagel will try to reverse his team's fortunes with a good start against South Korea, while tough matches against Nigeria and Argentina will follow.
Striker Theofanis Gekas led all of Europe with 10 goals in qualifying, but this team is still very much defense-oriented and will count on strong play from Sotirios Kyrgiakos and Vassilis Torosidis in the back line.
South Korea has established itself as the most successful Asian team, but after it made a surprising run to the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup as co- hosts, it narrowly missed out on reaching the knockout round in 2006 after posting a 1-1-1 mark in group play.
The team is led by veteran Park Ji-Sung, who has plenty of big-game experience having played with Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven on the club level, while Bolton youngster Lee Chung-Yong will join Park in the midfield.
The work rate of South Korea has always been second to none, but it will still need striker Park Chu-Young to provide the goals after he tallied eight times for Monaco in Ligue 1 this past season.
Neither side is blessed with a ton of offensive talent and both teams play a defensive style, meaning that goals may be few and far between in this one.
06/11 15:06:39 ET