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25 June 1998 Group E Paris - Parc de Princes
Belgium Korea Republic
Coach for the day, Kim Pyong Sok, may have secured the South Korea job for a little longer following his side's deserved draw with Belgium, which, along with Mexico's draw with Holland, dashed the Belgian's hopes of progressing to the last sixteen. Pyong Sok, whose only previous coaching experience was with South Korea's womens side, replaced Cha Bum Kun after heavy defeats in their two previous group games but pride was restored with an outstanding performance in a game which South Korea could and should have won. One tactical change which served South Korea well, was the decision by Pyong Sok to switch from a man marking system employed in their two defeats, to a flat back four which comfortably contained Belgium's lack of attacking intent. Belgian counterpart, Georges Leekens, gave a vote of confidence to under-fire strikers Luis Oliveria and Luc Nilis by charging both with the responsibility of firing his side into the second phase, and Nilis appeared to have repaid his manager's faith with in the seventh minute when he opened the scoring. But thereafter Belgium decended into monotony and instead of pressing home their early advantage, the Red Devils allowed South Korea the greater possession and territory. Indeed, the Koreans were unfortunate not to equalise on 22 minutes when they beat the off-side trap but Jung Wan Seo's first touch allowed 'keeper Vande Walle to collect and clear the danger. South Korea could consider themselves desperately unlucky not to be on level terms at half-time and far from suggesting that Belgium could increase their lead, a lack of ideas and imagination when coming forward saw the Europeans leave the field to a chorus of whistles and boos from a support expecting much more from their side. First half goalscorer Nilis tried to provide that spark of excitement six minutes after the break when, following some superb close control on the edge of the box, he beat two defenders before smacking the bar with the 'keeper well beaten. They were left to rue the missed chance as South Korea equalised with a brilliantly executed free-kick, converted at the back post by the sliding Sang-Chul Yoo. In the last quarter, striker Yong-Soo Choi had three golden chances to give South Korea their first Finals victory in fourteen attempts. He headed over twice when unmarked close-in and then ten miunutes from time, they again beat Belgium's attempts to play off-side but Choi fired wide with only the 'keeper to beat. In reality, Mexico's draw with Holland meant that Belgium needed not only to win, but to win by three clear goals, a task which was clearly beyond them this afternoon.

(1-0) Nilis (7). Ver Kerckhoven flicked on a corner at the near post, Vidovic, at the far post then had his header cleared off the line by Do-Keun Kim and Nilis, running on to the breaking ball, hammered home a right-foot shot between the 'keeper and the Kim on the post from ten yards.

(1-1) Yoo, SC (71). Ha sent over a left foot free-kick from the left, Sang Chul Yoo got beyond the defence and stretched at the far post to reach the ball and turn it into the net from three yards.

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