Korea Republic have joined Mexico at the top of Group B after a lively and thoroughly deserved 2-1 win over Switzerland at the City of Coventry Stadium. Park Chuyoung and Kim Bokyung scored the Taeguk Warriors’ goals as they moved on to four points, while the beaten Swiss – for whom Innocent Emeghara was on target – remain level with Gabon on one.
The first-half was completely dominated by the South Koreans, and ultimately boiled down to a personal duel between Park and Diego Benaglio. Indeed, it was only the fact that the Swiss keeper came out on top, initially at least – pushing away a close-range header and then blocking a deflected effort – that ensured his team survived the first half unscathed.
The Wolfsburg No1 couldn’t keep up his resistance indefinitely though, and on 57 minutes he was finally beaten, when Park dived in to meet Nam Taehee’s inviting cross and head beyond his nemesis. The goal was no more than Korea Republic deserved, although their lead was to last just three minutes before parity was restored. Switzerland’s equaliser followed a very similar pattern too, with Ricardo Rodriguez delivering a superb cross into the heart of the box and Emeghara sneaking between two defenders to bullet home a precise header.
Having worked so hard to establish an advantage only to see it eroded in a flash, the South Koreans might have been demoralised. As it was, they continued to press forward undeterred, and retook the lead just four minutes later, with Kim volleying in left-footed from a deflected Koo Jacheol cross. They now face Gabon in their final match needing just a point to advance, while Switzerland know that only maximum points will do in their Cardiff showdown with Mexico.