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South Korea vs. Togo

Man, I miss Korean soccer fans. They're extremely vocal fans, and I would know, since I lived right in the middle of them during the last World Cup. I have yet to see a fan contingent as single-minded, as patriotic and as determined as the South Koreans. 40,000 Korean fans screaming, "Dai Han Ming Kwok!" is a lot of echoes.

Korea won this game, but it was still a weak game. They played appallingly in the first half, and slowly. Where the Japanese were bad about making attempts with the ball, they did at least have a solid plan for defense. I don't know what the Koreans were doing here, but it certainly didn't look like they had a strategy to begin with. Their passes were terrible, their attempts at the goal were feckless and though they did own at ball possession, they weren't great competition. Bringing on Ahn Jung Hwan (we remember him from 2002 as, "The only cute Korean player") in the second half produced a nice goal. The free kick leading to the first goal was also well-deserved, as was the red card that caused it. Time-wasting passes in the last few minutes weren't just stupid, they left too much room for attack (case study for 2006: England vs. Paraguay). The free kick that wasn't, courtesy of Lee Chun Soo, was awful, awful form. If they keep playing this way, chances of making it past this round could be grim.

Mohamed Kader had an excellent shot for Togo, well-deserved. Togo was very physical for most of the match, and easily outsizing their opponents, didn't seem to have much trouble flattening them either. The Togo side also enjoyed their bit of drama, falling on cue. Good on the referees to be pointing and laughing.

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