Korea Republic vs. Uzbekistan  4 - 2

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International friendly: South Korea 4 Uzbekistan 2

25 February 2012 09:10

Lee Dong-Gook and Kim Chi-Woo both hit braces as South Korea defeated Uzbekistan 4-2 in an international friendly in Jeonju on Saturday.

Choi Kang-Hee celebrated his first game in charge of the Taeguk Warriors, with the ex-Jeonbuk coach's star man Lee firing in a first-half double to get them off to a flying start.

Uzbekistan rallied late in the second half to pull it back to 3-2, but Kim Chi-Woo rounded out the scoring after Komoliddin Tadjiev was sent off.

Lee gave South Korea the lead on 19 minutes assisted by Kim Do-Heon and doubled his personal tally on the stroke of half-time after Lee Keun-Ho's ball.

Kim Jung-Woo made it 3-0 minutes after the break, with the home side looking in slick form ahead of their vital 2014 World Cup qualifier against Kuwait on Wednesday.

However, the White Wolves, who are preparing for their own qualifier against Japan on Wednesday, responded with Ibrahim Rahimov's strike on 74 minutes after Ildar Magdeev's assist.

Uzbekistan pulled another back on 83 minutes when Stanislav Andreev coolly netted from the spot sending Kim Young-Kwang the wrong way.

The visitors' hopes of a comeback were ended when Tadjiev was sent off for a second booking, before Kim Jung-Woo scored from the resultant free-kick.

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South Korea stick to ´home´ players

10 February 2012 05:29

Arsenal's Park Chu-Young is one of only three non-K-League players in South Korea's squad.

Manager Choi Kang-Hee named first national team squad for this month's friendly against Uzbekistan and vital World Cup qualifier against Kuwait on Friday.

South Korea are level with Lebanon in Group B with 10 points apiece but lead on goal difference. They will need at least a draw against Kuwait to guarantee a spot in the final round of qualifiers, which begin in June.

Choi, who last year managed K-League champions and Asian Champions League runners-up Jeonbuk Motors, reluctantly took over the Taeguk Warriors after previous coach Cho Kwang-Rae was dismissed for poor results, including a shock 2-1 loss to Lebanon.

Aside from Park, Al Sadd's Lee Jung-Soo and Celtic's Ki Sung-Yueng were the only overseas-based players who made Choi's roster, while five players among those called up came from his former Jeonbuk Motors squad.

Though Park has failed to find a spot in Arsene Wenger's lineup, it seems that Choi could not resist including the veteran despite expressing doubts earlier this week.

"We've brought together players that can come through in the clutch, in situations like this," Choi said at a press conference announcing the roster. "We wanted experience and veteran presence."

He also elaborated on the increase in K-League players at the expense of Europe-based stars.

"There's no doubting their talent and abilities, since they went directly from K-League to European leagues," the former South Korea international explained in referring to Korean players in Europe.

"It's just that they're dealing with injuries and a lack of playing opportunities.

"We're only focused on this Kuwait game this time, and rather than looking at the big picture, we wanted players that can help the team win that one game."

South Korea hosts Uzbekistan in a friendly on February 25 before welcoming Kuwait four days later in Seoul's World Cup Stadium.

South Korea squad:

Goalkeeper: Jung Sung-ryong, Kim Young-gwang, Kwon Soon-tae

Defender: Park Won-jae, Cho Sung-hwan, Kwak Tae-hwi, Choi How-jin, Oh Bum-seok, Lee Jung-soo, Hong Jung-ho, Kim Hyung-il, Kim Chang-soo

Midfielder: Han Sang-woon, Kim Jung-woo, Kim Sang-sik, Lee Keun-ho, Choi Tae-wook, Ki Sung-yong, Kim Chi-woo, Ha Dae-sung, Shin Hyung-min, Kim Doo-hyeon, Km Jae-sung

Strikers: Lee Dong-gook, Park Ju-Young, Kim Sin-wook