Korea Republic skipper Park Ji-Sung is plotting a major 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ shock when he leads his side into battle with Argentina in Johannesburg on Thursday. The 29-year-old Manchester United midfielder was on target as Huh Jung-Moo's side kicked off their Group B campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over Greece to set themselves up perfectly for their clash with Diego Maradona's men, who themselves secured an opening game win, beating Nigeria 1-0.
Park said: "Argentina is, of course, the strongest team in our group and people are saying they could make the final. They have a lot of top international players. Before the World Cup, we played a friendly against Spain and we thought about Argentina as we were playing that game. Of course, there is a lot of difference between the two teams, but the unexpected can happen in this World Cup, and that is what we are looking to do."
Of course, there is a lot of difference between the two teams, but the unexpected can happen in this World Cup, and that is what we are looking to do.
Korea Republic took the lead at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth after just seven minutes, when central defender Lee Jung-Soo volleyed home Ki Sung-Yueng's free-kick, and they never looked like relinquishing their advantage as Greece toiled in their search for an equaliser. Park's 52nd-minute strike, after he capitalised on an error by defender Avraam Papadopoulos, secured the points on an afternoon when the Asian side's movement and pace won out over Greece's more direct approach.
Huh Jung-moo, who became the first Korean Republic-born coach to lead his country to a FIFA World Cup finals victory, said: "The first game of any tournament is difficult, but my players really played very well, so I am very grateful. But we are just at the beginning now. We have more matches to play and we have to prepare for those games just as well."
Greece boss Otto Rehhagel admitted that his team had been second-best on the day. He said: "We were unlucky in a couple of situations towards the end of the match, but it was a deserved victory for South Korea."