13 June, 2006

Wake Me Up Before You Togo: South Korea 2 Togo 1

Togo are the biggest underdogs of the tournament. They have the lowest FIFA ranking of any of the teams, 61st in the world. Their first challenge is to face South Korea, who reached the semi-finals on home turf last time round.

Again I attempt to do some work while the match is on, but by half time Mohamed Kader has put Togo ahead and my battle against the television is lost.

All looks good for Togo until seven minutes into the second half when centre half Jean-Paul Abalo receives a second yellow card for a poor challenge and is sent from the field. Lee Chun Soo scores a Beckham-style curler from the resultant free kick. Togolese woes increase when Ludovic Assemoassa is carried off on a stretcher.

With the extra man the Koreans have much more space and are able to put Togo under pressure. They are thwarted at first but a goal looks inevitable, and it comes on 72 minutes when Ahn puts one past the keeper. Togo fight on and make chances on the break and from long balls, but they are overrun and look frantic while the Koreans look calm.

For the last 10 minutes South Korea are mainly content to pass the ball around and maintain possession, coping easily with the Togo attack on the occasions when they give the ball away. The clock runs down and Korea get the win, but Togo will feel that the sending-off has cost them victory in their first ever World Cup game.


Baz said...

Face it, you've been waiting for weeks for that headline ...

Joe Williams said...

It's the only reason I agreed to do these reports.


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