Their quickness and energy caused problems for the Poles all night. Korea will try to secure their place in the knock-out phase when they take on the U.S. on 10 June. Poland will try to right their FIFA World Cup ship against the difficult Portuguese. Poland missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring just after kick-off. Emmanuel Olisadebe sent a pass through to Jacek Krzynowek, who was in free on the Korean goal, but his poorly struck shot went wide of the near post (2’). After some early jitters, Korea began to apply pressure on the Poland end, coming back with a good chance minutes later. Seol Ki-Hyeon elevated above the defence to meet a corner kick, but his downward header was stopped well by Poland goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek (10’), and then Yoo Sang-Chul fired a shot from 25 metres that went wide of the right post (20’). The co-hosts did not have to wait long for their enthusiasm in the attack to bear fruit. They got their first goal of the tournament when Lee Eul-Yong sent in a low cross from the left side and Hwang Sun-Hong swept the ball into the net with his first touch from 10 metres, bringing a roar from the crowd that seemed to engulf the entire country (1:0, 26’).
Korea went looking for more, and they thought they had it when Park Ji-Sung received a pass in the area and struck a low shot into the far-side netting, but the goal was disallowed for offside. The crowd let the disapproval be known, and they would have to be content with a one-goal lead at the interval.
Korea started the second half right where they left off. They wasted no time getting their first shot on goal, as Park hit a volley from a corner-kick at the near post, and Dudek could only slap it over the bar for another corner.
It wasn’t long before Korea were celebrating their second goal, which came from Yoo Sang-Chul. He won the ball from the Polish defence and quickly fired a shot from 20 metres that curled away from Dudek, who reached the ball as he dived to his right but failed to keep it out of the net (2:0, 53’).
Again, the crowd roared with delight as they started to catch the scent of their first-ever finals win.
Poland had no shortage of effort, but frustration started to show as players began trying to take several defenders on by themselves rather than play the team game that got them through qualifying. A 20-metre free kick by Michal Zewlakow that sailed over the crossbar was Poland’s first truly dangerous moment of the half.
The Poles began throwing more and more men forward as the final quarter-hour ticked away, and the Koreans, who refused to stop attacking and protect their lead, were dangerous exploiting the holes in the Polish defence. The chances did not produce a third goal, but the Korean fans already had enough reason to celebrate.