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South Korea beat Angola in icy World Cup warm-up

Written by: Staff

SEOUL, March 1 (Reuters) A goal by Park Chu-young gave South Korea a 1-0 victory over Angola in a World Cup warm-up game today.

The 20-year-old striker fired a hard, low shot past Angola goalkeeper Joao Ricardo in the 23rd minute, making amends for an earlier miss when he had been set up by Park Ji-sung.

Angola, who had also been forced to clear off the line in the first minute, came close in the 12th minute after South Korea failed to clear a free kick. Flavio also missed from close range after an inviting cross in the first half.

Otherwise the Africans, who were without influential midfielder Figueiredo due to injury, struggled for rhythm on a freezing night with flurries of snow in the Seoul World Cup Stadium and were frequently carved apart by the home side.

''I think the first half was very good, the way we played in difficult circumstances,'' South Korea coach Dick Advocaat told a post-match news conference, referring to the freezing conditions.

''The pitch was very difficult...but the way we played, passing, moving, defensively (was) excellent. Only one problem, we just scored one goal.'' Park Ji-sung found a lot of space to exploit in midfield and came close just after the half-hour mark with a fine effort, while Lee Young-pyo playing on the right also caused Angola problems.

TRICKY CONDITIONS South Korea had wanted the match to prepare for African opposition in the form of Togo in their World Cup group. They will also face France and Switzerland in Group G in the World Cup in Germany starting on June 9.

''Today we played a very strong side,'' Angola coach Luis Oliveira Goncalves said.

''We've just qualified for our first World Cup, but step by step we're improving,'' he added.

Angola are in Group D with Portugal, Mexico and Iran.

Goncalves stressed the weather was not to blame for the defeat but said the conditions and a number of key injuries did not help.

''Today we had two opponents, first Korea and second the snow,'' he said.


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