Sunday, June 18, 2006

The story of this match writes itself. Until a couple of weeks ago, you could get good odds, betting on South Korea in this game. Today Korea is on top of the group, France is hanging on with one point. A game between a giant and an underdog, but who is who? If I was a bookie, I keep the door closed.
Dick, the Dutch coach of South Korea, is making his mother proud.
The story of the match starts slow, but France is the leading character of the second paragraph. Henry, for France, can take a shot on goal from only four meters, it is blocked by the back of a Korean defender.
France takes control of the game and the plot of our story twists. In the eight minute, Henry accepts a pass on the dot of the penalty. Thanks to bad positioning of three defenders, he can take a shot as if it was a penalty.


Korea awakes, they fight themselves back in the game.
"The goal has changed the game a lot, for Korea," says the commentator while Korea tries to build an attack.
France is not sitting back, every time they counter, they invent attacks that are more creative. In the thirty-first minute, the Korean goalkeeper stumbles backwards into the goal, while the palm of his right hand punches the ball off the goal line. Or was it behind? The referee did not think so, but since none of the cameras gets a clean shot, the discussion will live fore ever.
The game continues the second half as heated as it left the first one.
In the opening of the second half, France gives Korea enough space to build on their attacks. France lays low, waiting for the counter. Therefore, the first strike on target is from France. A long shot, too long, even for France.
Meanwhile the red supporting army from Korea on the stands seems to outnumber the fans of France, the neighbors of host-country Germany.
"The support from Korea is unbelievable," says the commentator.
For a while, Korea looks as if they are going to to score an equalizer, changing the story again.
In the sixty-second minute, France let know it does not want another twist.
Two French strikers dribble, in turn, in and out of the penalty box. A third goes all the way, minus one Korean foot. The Korean foot that blocked the shot.
However, the message was clear, no give-aways at the world cup.
"France is playing a very dangerous game here," the commentator says moments later, while France lays low again, hawking a counter like a tiger in the jungle.
Too low, the tiger is tricked, the story twisted.
A Korean heads a high cross, from the far deep left, back into the penalty box. Another Korean lobs it over the keeper to the far post. The ball bounces into the French goal.


The Korean fans are rewarded, and they let the world know.
"An unbelievable electric crowd." says the commentator.
France chances for the second round remain slim, while Korea is looking good.
South Korea does it again, Dickie does it again.