John YeonJoon Baik
2016 April 10th
Portugal vs. South Korea. It was the World Cup match held in 2002 that people in Korea believe it was a myth to them. The next two World Cups were a reminder of unprecedented events in Korean Soccer History.
Already excited by improved team, which had shown excellent plays against England and France a month before, South Korea was hoping this time would be different. Leading by SH Hwang, the team scored and won the match against Poland. It was the first victory to Koreans among all previous plays during World Cup event. Bringing positive energy to the next game, making tie game with United States, the Korean national team met Portugal on the field on June, 14th.
Overall score for Portugal was 1 win and 1 lose. South Korea made 1 win and 1 tie. Meanwhile, United States, also 1 win and 1 lose, was playing against Poland, 2 loses, hoping to earn the ticket to 16th by winning the match. If U.S. wins the game and make 2 win and 1 lose, Portugal and Korea would have only one option to the next round, winning, and go to 16th with U.S. In contrast, if Poland wins, Portugal and Korea could go with tie game and go 16th together.
The match began. Korea and Portugal tried several shootings and brought up more tension. However, the Korean team took more percentage of keeping balls and actually made a foul goal, which was threaten to the Portuguese team. Many mistakes, including two red cards, made by Portugal advantaged Korea. Addition to these, Poland and U.S. finished their match, 3 to 1. From then, Korea, which already earned enough point, just needed not to lose point. Finally, at 20mintues of the second half, JiSung Park scored for Korea and won the game by score 1:0. The moment Jisung Park made a goal, people in Korea could assure the 16th is right around the corner.
Besides the ticket to 16th for the first time, it was changing his career life, Jisung Park, for himself. Especially, he had raised his fame by making one score each during the game with England and France, therefore, Park’s another score brought some attention from soccer leagues. After the World Cup, Hindink, a Korean national team coach in 2002, brought Jisung Park to PVC, the Netherland league team, with him.
If you look at the score the match with England and France, it was 1 to 1 and 2 to 3; Korea could not win these strong teams, eventually. Although South Korea took the victory at the game with Poland, it was quite not enough to be reliable to people for believing another victory against strong country, like Portugal. Along with great game, Jisung Park’s score demonstrated the possibility of survival in World Cup Tournament.