Lebanon stunned Asian heavyweights
South Korea 2-1 in Beirut on Tuesday to leave them on the brink
of advancing to the fourth round of World Cup qualifying.
A 31st minute penalty by forward Abas Atwi proved the
difference as the 146th FIFA-ranked side produced a resolute
defensive display to hold off their more illustrious opponents.
Fans ran on to the pitch at the Camille Chamoun Sports City
Stadium at the sound of the final whistle with some Lebanese
players in tears after recording their first win over the former
The two sides are locked on 10 points from five matches in
Group B of the third round of Asian World Cup qualifiers with
Kuwait third on eight after they came from behind to beat United
Arab Emirates 2-1 on Tuesday.
The top two sides in the group will reach the 10-team fourth
round stage with South Korea hosting Kuwait in the final round
of matches in February and Lebanon travelling to the UAE, who
have lost all five games.
South Korea had beaten Lebanon 6-0 at home in September but
they struggled to establish their normal high-tempo slick
passing on the bumpy, hard pitch with the blustery wind also
proving a factor.
Without their suspended captain and leading striker Park
Chu-young, the Koreans fell behind after five minutes when Ali
Al Saadi lashed home an unstoppable drive from six yards after
he had blocked his team-mate Roda Antar's shot.
The creative Koo Ja-cheol soon brought the Koreans level
from the spot but his clumsy waist-high challenge on Mahmoud El
Ali gave away the penalty that resulted in the winning goal,
much to the delight of the 40,000 noisy home fans.
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