Sunday, June 13, 2010

13 June 2006 - Togo Gets Taken Out

On 13 June 2006, South Korean World Cup hero Ahn Jung-Hwan, who scored the matchwinner against Italy in the 2002 tournament, again provided the winning goal in a World Cup match as the Koreans came from behind to beat Togo, 2-1. It was their first World Cup victory on foreign soil.

Playing before a crowd of 48,000 at the FIFA WM Stadion in Frankfurt, the Togolese took a first-half lead when forward Mohamed Kader broke through the Koreans' back line and sent a shot past the keeper and in off the far post in the 31st minute. Midfielder Junior Sènaya came close to extending the lead a few minutes later with a freekick, but Korean keeper Lee Woon-Jae got a hand to the ball and tipped it over the bar.

Eight minutes into the second half, Togo center back and captain Jean-Paul Abalo tripped Park Ji-Sung just outside the box, earning a second yellow card from referee Graham Poll. Midfielder Lee Chun-Soo took the 54th-minute free kick, blasting it over the wall and into the top left corner of the net for the equalizer.

Down to ten men, Togo continued to press, but were undone in the 72nd minute when Ahn ripped a shot into the goal from 20 yards out to seal the win for South Korea.

South Korean followed their performance with a 1-1 draw with France and a 2-0 loss to Switzerland that put them in third place and out of the tournament. Togo, meanwhile, failed to score another goal and finished at the bottom of the group without a single point.

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