SEOUL, June 22 (Reuters) - North and South Korea delivered a dull 0-0 draw in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
The two Koreas had already qualified for the next round and
the Group Three game lacked the same bite as their encounter in
March when North Korea refused to play the South's anthem or
raise its flag in Pyongyang.
That decision forced FIFA to change the venue to Shanghai.
North Korea had unsuccessfully demanded that Sunday's game be
moved from Seoul due to security concerns.
The governments of the two Koreas have yet to sign a peace
treaty to end their 1950-1953 war, each claiming to be the
rightful ruler of the entire peninsula.
With Park Ji-sung out through injury, South Korea coach Huh
Jung-moo opted for Kim Do-heon as his playmaker and the West
Bromwich midfielder was at the heart of his side's best moments.
After a dreary first 45 minutes, Kim brought the near 50,000
home fans to life with a shot that took a deflection and forced
North Korean keeper Ri Myong-guk to make a flying save.
Coach Huh was troubled by his side's inability to find the
net and said they would have to resolve the problem if they were
to progress to the finals in South Africa in 2010.
While Manchester United's Park continues to struggle with a
knee problem, Huh has also had to do without foreign-based
players such as Lee Young-pyo, Seol Ki-hyeon and Kim Dong-jin
due to injury and a lack of regular first-team action.
"Not being able to take advantage of good chances was very
disappointing and it's something that we need to work on," he
said in a news conference.
"There won't be any easy matches in the next round and we
have a very short time to prepare."
South Korean substitute Park Chu-young squandered the best
chance of the night in the 74th minute, ballooning the ball over
the crossbar from just outside the six-yard area when it looked
easier to score.
North Korea's dangerman Jong Tae-se had a quiet game and the
powerful Kawasaki Frontale forward failed to trouble the South's
His coach, Kim Jong-hun, said he was satisfied with the way
his team had played, however.
"I'm pretty happy. We've been using the same strategy with
the two forwards and that has worked pretty well so far," Kim
"We tried to look for a chance to score using the pace of
(strikers) Jong Tae-se and Hong Yong-jo. We didn't score but
there were some good chances."
South Korea finished top of the group with the North in