Two early goals and a late header from Seol Ki-Hyeon handed Korea Republic a deserved victory over Australia in Seoul today.
The hosts raced into a two-goal lead through Park Chu-Young and Lee Jung-Soo before a 33rd-minute header from Leeds United defender Patrick Kisnorbo gave Australia a foothold in the game. Australia were second best for much of the contest. The visitors improved after the break, but Seol's late header sealed the home team's win at Seoul's FIFA World Cup Stadium.
In the first meeting between the sides since Australia's entry into the Asian Football Confederation, the hosts opened the scoring with their first meaningful attack after just five minutes. A slip from North Queensland Fury left-back Shane Stefanutto allowed Bolton midfielder Lee Chung-Yong to run at the Australian defence a play a simple pass into the path of Monaco's Park Chu-Young, who beat Mark Schwarzer with a first-time shot from the edge of the six-yard area.
Korea Republic continued to press and added a second after 20 minutes as Ki Sung-Yong's free-kick was turned back across the face of goal by Park Chu-Young for Kyoto Sanga defender Lee Jang-Soo to brush the ball home from close range to open his international account. Australia, ranked number one in Asia ahead of fellow FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers Japan and Korea Republic, looked short of ideas but reduced the deficit before half-time.
Palermo midfielder Mark Bresciano swung in a perfect free-kick and Kisborno beat goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae to an attempted punch to head home from close range. The visitors came more into the contest as the minutes ticked by and both substitute Nick Carle and Bresciano forced fine saves from Lee Woon-Jae with long-range efforts.
But with just four minutes remaining, Korea Republic sealed the win as Seol beat Fulham team-mate Schwarzer from Park Ji-Sung's inviting cross despite a despairing dive from the veteran goalkeeper.