South Korea kept their 100 per cent record in the second round of AFC World Cup qualifying alive as they snatched a 1-0 win over Lebanon in Ansan.
Substitute Lee Jeong-hyeop struck in the 93rd minute to break Lebanese hearts and give Uli Stielike something to celebrate on the sidelines.
The home side had already secured their place in the third round, having won all six Group G matches without conceding a goal and they rarely moved out of second gear against a side anxious to avoid defeat in order to keep their own campaign alive.
Korea controlled possession without making any real inroads in the Lebanon defence during a flat first half, with Hwang Ui-jo coming closest to opening the scoring with a well-struck volley.
Kim Kee-hee’s header early in the second period was well saved by the impressive Mehdi Khalil and Hwang was denied by a block with the goal gaping.
The game looked destined to finish goalless until Lee struck with almost the last kick of the match to give Korea the win and leave Lebanon behind Kuwait in the Group G table.
Lebanon were happy to sit deep, but the methodical approach from Stielike’s much-changed side had offered little threat in the first 45 minutes.
Their best chance came moments before the break when Jang Hyun-soo turned a corner back across goal and Hwang flashed a volley goalwards from just inside the area, only for Khalil to react superbly to keep the ball out.
Kee-hee planted a firm header towards the corner just after half-time but Khali sprung to his left to parry as Korea tried to pick up the tempo to force a breakthrough, though Lebanon twice threatened on the counter-attack as first Hassan Maatouk dragged a low shot wide before Mohamed Zein Tahan shot past the far post when through on goal.
Korea continued to push late on and their pressure finally told in injury time. Ki Sung-yueng burst down the left before cutting the ball back to Lee, who side-footed past the despairing Khalil to send the home fans into raptures.
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