World Cup: Kim Chi-Woo Strikes Late To Give South Win In Korean Derby

Better late than never for South Korea...
Substitute Kim Chi-woo gave South Korea a 1-0 win over North Korea and top spot in Group Two in their 2010 World Cup qualifier in Seoul on Wednesday.

The match was heading for a 0-0 draw until Kim’s free-kick three minutes from time brought the fans at Seoul World Cup Stadium to their feet.

South Korea are now looking good with 11 points from five games while the visitors, suffered their first defeat of the campaign and slip into second with ten from six.

Compared to past encounters - four dull draws in 2008 -it was an absorbing match with both teams having chances, though the end result was deserved.

On a chilly evening in the capital, the hosts were almost caught cold. With less than 30 seconds gone, goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae had to fly through the air to stop a fierce Hong Yong Jo shot from flying into the top corner.

Lee didn’t have another save to make for the rest of the half as the game started to follow the pattern set by the pair in 2008 as they drew all four games.

The action moved up a gear in the second half. It started with Lee Woon-jae making another super save, this time to deny Jong Tae Se who thought he had scored with a powerful close range header.

Replays as to whether the ball had crossed the line were inconclusive.

Midway through the period, southern striker Lee Keun-ho had two good chances in quick succession but shot straight at Ri Myung Guk in goal.

 As full-time drew closer, the visitors seemed happy to take the point back to Pyongyang but they were denied just three minutes from time.

Kim’s floated free-kick from the right side didn’t seem so dangerous but it somehow cleared the massed ranks of players on the edge of the six-yard box and ended up in the back of the net.