World Cup Preview from The Sports Network|
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
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
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