S. Korea wins in Jordan 1-0

November 14, 2014

Midfielder Han Kyo-wan’s diving header found the net. (Yonhap)

AMMAN, Jordan (Yonhap) — South Korea defeated Jordan 1-0 in a soccer friendly Friday, overcoming some shaky defense early to start its Middle East road trip with a victory.

Midfielder Han Kyo-wan headed in the winner just past the half-hour mark at King Abdullah Stadium, handing head coach Uli Stielike his second victory in his first three matches for South Korea.

This was South Korea’s first of two contests in the Middle East. The team will travel to Tehran to face Iran Tuesday.

The victory also extended South Korea’s undefeated streak against Jordan to five, with three wins and two draws.

Stielike’s starting lineup was without some usual suspects, such as midfielder Ki Sung-yueng and wingers Lee Chung-yong and Son Heung-min. And it was the unheralded Han, making just his fourth international appearance, who came through on offense.

Though South Korea dominated the ball in the opening moments, it was Jordan that had the first dangerous chance in the 10th minute, when Ahmad Hayel’s header went off the left post.

After taking a looping pass from midfield, Kaalil Bani Ateya broke free from defender Kim Young-gwon on the right wing and crossed for wide-open Hayel, whose header slammed off the post and out of the harm’s way.

Ateya set up another chance in the 19th minute as he crossed for Hassan Fattah, but the midfielder misfired on a bicycle kick that bounced into the arms of goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong.

Cho Young-cheol recorded South Korea’s first shot on net from the top of the box in the 27th minute, but diving goalkeeper Mutaz Yassin punched it out of play.

Yassin wasn’t so lucky seven minutes later. Right fullback Cha Du-ri controlled the ball on the right wing and sent a low cross toward the middle for Han Kyo-wan, who headed it in past the diving Jordanian keeper for his first international goal.

Forward Park Chu-young, making his first international appearance since the FIFA World Cup in June, tried to double the South Korean lead just three minutes into the second half, but bounced his mid-range shot past the far post.

For Jordan, Ala’a Shaqran jumped on a loose ball near the arc in the 52nd but Jung was up to the challenge in the South Korean net.

Jung made his best save of the game in the 74th. Hayel penetrated deep into the South Korean box on a breakaway and fired a low drive, forcing Jung to make a diving stop to his left.

For South Korea, dynamic playmaker Son Heung-min came off the bench at the 70th minute mark and immediately started wreaking havoc on defense, as he tried to jolt his team back to life.

In the 78th, Lee Chung-yong, another second-half sub, saw his header go off the left post following a free kick. It proved to be the final opportunity for South Korea, who held on for the narrow victory.

Han Guk-young, right, tries a bicycle kick. (Yonhap)

Han Gook-young, right, tries a bicycle kick. (Yonhap)