SEOUL (AFP) - Seongnam Ilhwa of South Korea's domestic K-League held English Premiership side Bolton to a 1-1 draw in the opening game of the Peace Cup on Thursday.
Bolton took the lead late in the match when skipper Kevin Nolan turned Park Jae-Young inside the box and his shot banged in off the far post in the 78th minute.
Just nine minutes later a partisan crowd of 48,000 at Seoul's World Cup Stadium erupted when substitute Nam Gi-Il scored the equaliser after a sweet pass from Park Kwang-Min.
A minute earlier Nam had forced the Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to make a diving stop off his left foot.
Bolton played most of the second half a man short following the sending off of defender Nicolas Hunt in the 53rd minute.
After colliding with Seongnam's Itamar and falling in front of the Seongnam bench, Hunt swung his arm at Itamar as he got back to his feet. Referee Pezdac Simon promptly issued a red card.
"It was a very competitive game," said Bolton manager Sammy Lee. "We knew it was going to be. We knew how good Seongnam were."
Lee's counterpart Kim Hak-Beom was unperturbed. "If we had pushed harder after the tying goal, we could have won the match," he said.
Bolton's striker Nicolas Anelka, who appeared to be heading back to Arsenal before deciding to stay put, was not in the lineup. Playmaker and two-time African Player of the Year El-Hadji Diouf was also unavailable.
Lee said he never planned to play them in the competition's first game because the players only joined the team near the end of last week and were not physically prepared.
In their absence Nolan filled in up front but missed two scoring chances in the first half, including in the 30th minute when he fell over facing a wide open net.
"I was disappointed to miss the first two chances in the first half," Nolan said, but adding: "Four shots, two on target: I'd take that ration every game as long as one of them is a goal."
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