South Korea prepared for their opening 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier with a routine 3-0 win over United Arab Emirates on Thursday.
Uli Stielike’s men start their qualifying campaign away in Myanmar next Tuesday and should head into that game in high spirits following a comfortable victory at the Shah Alam Stadium in Selangor, Malaysia.
Midfielder Yeom Ki-hun opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time with a well-taken free-kick.
Debutant striker Lee Yong-jae then effectively made sure of the triumph in the 60th minute as he capitalised on shaky defending from the UAE to open his account for the senior national side.
A straightforward success was rounded off when substitute Lee Jung-hyub added a late third.
South Korea unsurprisingly dictated proceedings in the first half and were almost gifted a goal as an error from UAE goalkeeper Khalid Essa presented Lee Jae-sung with a clear run at goal, only for Mohanad Salem to clear his shot off the line.
Lee Yong-jae then went close for South Korea in the 39th minute, with his close range effort superbly turned over the bar by Essa.
But the shot-stopper could do nothing to prevent Yeom from finding the bottom left-corner with a low curling free-kick from the edge of the area.
Stielike’s side never looked like losing control of the contest, goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu rarely tested by a blunt UAE attack.
And South Korea’s lead was doubled on the hour mark as Lee Yong-jae latched on to a long throw from Kim Jin-su and confidently fired underneath Essa.
Perhaps with one eye on their respective opening qualifiers, both sides took their foot off the gas in the closing stages of the encounter.
The UAE – who take on Timor Leste on Tuesday – were unable to create anything of note and South Korea gave their small contingent of fans more reason to celebrate in the 90th minute as Lee Jung-hyub tapped tapped in from point-blank range.
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