S. Korea loses 0-1 to Spain in World Cup tune-up
In the friendly held at the Tivoli-Neu Stadium in Innsbruck, the two teams failed to score throughout most of the match, but Spanish midfielder
Jesus Navas brought his team the victory goal in the 86th minute.
Supported by loud fans, South Korea pulled off strong attacks but failed to turn them into goals. In the 13th minute, Kim Jung-woo launched a long-range shot that nearly scored.
Ki Sung-yueng drilled a close shot in the 67th minute, but teammate Park Chu-young accidentally headed the ball away.
Korean captain and Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung missed the game over a slight ache in his right thigh.
In the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, South Korea defeated the current FIFA-ranked No. 2 Spain on spot kicks in the quarterfinal match. But officially it was recorded as a draw.
Thursday's exhibition was the first match for South Korea after it fixed its final 23-man World Cup roster, and was intended as a test of the players' preparedness against Argentina, which they will face in the group competition along with Greece and Nigeria.
"The match against Spain gave us a good experience. Mostly on the defense, we sought for a counteroffensive but failed to produce a chance," coach Huh Jung-moo said at a post-game news conference, adding he was satisfied with his players' performance despite the loss.
The South Koreans will travel to South Africa on Saturday. [Yonhap]