Asian Cup Qualifying
02/09/2006 | 06/09/2006
> Seol Ki-Hyeon (South Korea) - Iran and Chinese Taipei
South Korea 1-1 Iran
Seol Ki-Hyeon '45 (K), Vahid Hashemian '90 (Iran)
Iran striker Vahid Hashemian scored with virtually the last kick of the game to earn his side a 1-1 draw against Korea Republic in a dramatic AFC Asian Cup 2007 qualifier on Saturday.
Reading striker Seol Ki-hyeon had put the hosts ahead just before the break and the goal looked set to give the two-time continental champions a deserved win.
Instead Hashemian took advantage of a defensive mix-up to chip the ball into the net to the horror of the vast majority of a near sell-out crowd at Seoul World Cup Stadium.
Both coaches fielded strong line-ups but it was Pim Verbeek, making his first home appearance as Korea Republic head coach, who saw his team start at a high tempo against the visitors who were content to defend in numbers and look for counter-attacking opportunities.
Despite the hosts’ early free-kicks and corners, it was not until the 17th minute that they seriously threatened. Kim Do-heon robbed Javad Nekounam to feed Park Ji-sung only for the Manchester United star’s touch to fail him as he entered the penalty area.
Eight minutes later the visitors almost took the lead. Ali Karimi picked up a loose ball 25 metres out and glided past Kim Sang-sik and into the left side of the area. Despite the relatively tight angle, the 2004 AFC Player of the Year will be disappointed at screwing his shot wide of Kim Young-kwang’s left goalpost.
The deadlock was finally broken on the stroke of half-time when Kim Do-heon fired a right-sided free-kick into the box and Seol Ki-hyeon rose above the Iranian defence to head the ball in the bottom right corner of Ebrahim Mirzapour’s net.
Amir Ghalenoei’s team showed more attacking ambition in the second half but rarely troubled Kim, selected ahead of World Cup captain Lee Woon-jae, as the Korea Republic keeper had few saves to make.
Kim’s opposite number Mirzapour, however, was having a busier evening than his Korean counterpart.
In the 70th minute he had to scramble to reach a spectacular overhead kick from the edge of the box from Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Lee Ho that was just inches wide of the post before the Iranian’s hands were stung seven minutes later as he beat out a fierce shot from Cho Jae-jin.
With only a one-goal cushion the tension began to mount for the Koreans and in the 84th minute Karimi just failed to connect with an inviting low cross from Farhad Majidi from the edge of the six-yard box.
And as full-time approached a lack of communication between Kim Sang-sik and Kim Young-kwang led to Hashemian robbing the defender on the edge of the area and deftly lobbing the ball over the stranded keeper and into the back of the net to earn Iran a share of the spoils.
Korea Republic now have seven points from the first three games in Group B but still head the group with Iran in second, two points behind.
South Korea 8 - 0 Chinese Taipei
Seol Ki-Hyeon 3, 43, Jung Jo-Gook 4, 44, 88, Cho Jae-Jin 64, 83 - pen, Kim Do-heon 77
Jung Jo-gook scored a hat-trick as Korea Republic moved to within a point of booking their place at the AFC 2007 Asian Cup after thrashing Chinese Taipei 8-0 at Suwon World Cup Stadium.
It was an easy victory for the two-time continental champions who had too much class and power for Group B’s bottom-placed team. In addition to Jung’s three goals, Seol Ki-hyeon
and Cho Jae-jin scored twice each with Kim Do-heon managing one.
Pim Verbeek’s team are sitting pretty at the top of Group B with 10 points and just need to avoid defeat against Syria in October or in Iran a month later to qualify for the competition that will be held in Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia next summer.
The hosts fielded a strong line-up, making just one change to the team that drew 1-1 with Iran four days previously with midfielder Lee Ho replaced by striker Jung.
It took Korea Republic just three minutes to take the lead. Kim Nam-il’s long ball found Seol, who ran into the area from the right and lashed the ball past Lu Kun-Chi in the Chinese Taipei net.
The second came a minute later as Song Chung-guk marauded down the right and his cross was headed home from close range by Jung.
Chinese Taipei had their first shot on target after 25 minutes when Chiang Shih-Lu fired well over from outside the penalty area.
Two minutes before the break, Seol claimed his second and his team’s third in a similar fashion to his goal against Iran four days earlier as the former Wolverhampton Wanderers striker rose above the defence to head home a Kim Do-heon free-kick.
And there was still enough time in the opening period for Jung to head home Kim Do-heon’s corner to put the hosts 4-0 ahead at half-time.
The score line stayed the same until the 64th minute when Seol fired in a low cross from the right that Cho hit home from just inside the six yard box.
Kim Do-heon scored the best of the lot 13 minutes later, a magnificent half-volley that flew into the net from outside the area.
Cho took his tally to two in the 83rd minute, slotting the ball from the spot after substitute Choi Sung-kuk was brought down in the box.
Jung completed the rout and his hat-trick with two minutes remaining, the FC Seoul striker firing home from 12 yards.