Korea Republic v Switzerland
29 Jul 2012
Over 30,000 fans were treated to a superb day of football at the City of Coventry Stadium as the Republic of Korea triumphed 2-1 over Switzerland in the second match of the day at the venue.
Republic of Korea 2 Switzerland 1 - Result
The game started with an unsavoury incident as a tough aerial challenge from Switzerland’s and Fulham’s Pajtim Kasami resulted in a yellow card and Korea’s Sungyeung Ki being stretchered off.
Fortunately the midfielder, who plays for Scottish giants Celtic, was able to rejoin the action after treatment on the sidelines.
Korea did not look like a side which had failed to muster a single shot on target in their last match against Mexico and as they pilled early pressure on the Swiss.
First Chuyoung Park, who plies his trade with Arsenal, pulled his 25-yard effort from outside the area wide on eight minutes, before clever interplay between Park and Bokyung Kim carved open the Swiss defence but came to nothing.
Chuyoung Park was again at the centre of the action in the 13th minute when he met Ki’s in-swinging corner at the far post, only to be denied from close range by Diego Benaglio in the Swiss goal.
Captain Jacheol Koo was inches away from sending the hoards of vociferous Korean supporters into celebration after sliding desperately to connect with Bokyung Kim’s cross in the 25th minute but failing to make contact inside the six-yard box.
Korea’s best chance of the half came in the 37th minute when Koo played in Chuyoung Park with a slide-rule pass down the centre only for him to be denied, by the outstretched left arm of the advancing Benaglio, when he looked certain to score.
It took until added time for Switzerland to create their first, and only, chance of the half when striker Steven Zuber weaved his way into the box before firing a powerful effort at Korea keeper Sungryong Jung.
Korea started the second half as they ended the first - in complete control. There first effort of note came in the 49th minute when a clever lay-off at the top of the area from Koo saw Ki strike the ball from the centre wide of the right-hand post.
But the pressure finally told in the 57th minute Taehee Zam crossed perfectly for Chuyoung Park to place a diving header at the far post past Benaglio.
However, the Korean celebrations were short-lived as Switzerland equalised within three minutes. A superb curling cross from Ricardo Rodriguez found Innocent Emeghara who jumped well to finish with a powerful header.
Switzerland were fired-up by the goal and nearly took the lead just a minute later as Kasami fired a 30-yard effort just wide of the Korean goal.
But it was Korea who had cause to celebrate next on 64 minutes when a deflected chip into the box by Koo fell perfectly for Bokyung Kim who finished from an acute angle with a left-footed volley at the left-hand post.
Korea had two chances to extend their lead within 60 seconds as Dongwong Ji’s drive across goal was deflected over the bar from inside the six yard box by Switzerland’s Tim Klose before Bokyung Kim rattled the crossbar with a 20-yard effort from the corner of the area.
Switzerland could have pulled themselves level in the 77th minute but Josip Drmic’s free header inside the area from Michel Morganella’s left-wing cross lacked accuracy and sailed past the post.
Captain Koo was again at the heart of the action in the 81st minute when Bokyung Kim’s mazy run saw him tee up the midfielder who skimmed the crossbar with his effort from the top of the penalty area.
In the 87th minute Admir Mehmedi was presented with a clear chance on the right inside the box after good work from Fabian Frei – but the striker, who plays for Dynamo Kiev, blasted his effort over the bar.
One final chance for Switzerland came during stoppage time as the Korean defence struggled to clear a Morganella cross from the right. The ball fell to Emeghara but his effort from the top of the box skipped inches wide of Jung’s right-hand post.