South Korea 2, Togo 1 (77 minutes)
It’s been a chippy afternoon in Frankfurt, or perhaps choppy or crunchy would be more appropriate given the frenzy of shin-slicing on display. Togo’s 1-0 lead evaporated after their capatain Jean-Paul Abalo hauled down down Korea’s Park Ji-Sung in the 52nd minute. Chun Soo expertly converted the resulting free kick, a nice touch given his corners until this point have been rather poor.
Togo’s Assemoassa was stretchered off following a harsh challenge from Lee Eul-Yong close to the hour mark. About ten minutes later, Jung Hawn Ahn fired the ball into the upper lefthand corner of the Togo goal from just outside the penalty area — again, to repeat a horrible joke, easily the best goal we’ll see before 11am EST. Ahn, you might recall, was cut loose by Perugia after scoring against Italy in South Korea’s highly controversial round-of-16 win in 2002.
For those clinging to the delusion the U.S. might manage a tie and a win their final 2 group matches against Italy and Ghana, yesterday’s match between those two national sides revealed the expected gulf in class — if Italy are the Bret Saberhagen of world football, let’s pretend this is an odd year.
The Telegraph’s David Bond reports that two independent medical specialists monitoring the status of Wayne Rooney’s broken foot, have categorically denied an England appeal to allow the striker to partipate in Thursday’s match with Trinidad & Tobago. Curiously, there’s also some fear that the young rocket scientist-turned-goal scoring sensation might be a danger to others, as well as himself.
It also emerged yesterday that there are growing concerns inside the England camp at Rooney’s exuberance in training.
It is understood he has been told to calm down amid fears that in his determination to prove his fitness, he could injure himself or his team-mates.
Apparently, that horrible Nike commercial that features Wayne playing goalkeeper and striker at once might not be far off the mark.