South Korea 2, Canada 0 | International Friendly Match Recap
CHEONAN, South Korea – Kim Bo-kyung and Lee Jeong-hyeop scored in the first half as South Korea beat Canada 2-0 in a friendly that marked Canada’s last international match of the year.
Korea was using Friday’s game as a warmup for an important World Cup qualifier against Uzbekistan on Tuesday while Canada was wrapping up a year that saw the end of the road in World Cup qualifying that brought an end to Benito Floro’s time in charge as Canadian head coach.
On a cold, fall evening in Cheonan, about an hour’s drive south of the capital city of Seoul, Kim Bo-Kyung put Korea in front in the 10th minute after the hosts had enjoyed the lion’s share of possession from kickoff.
Kim was played in with plenty of space and had plenty of time to get the ball onto his right foot and dispatch a low shot that Canadian goalkeeper Simon Thomas could only reach with his fingertips.
Korea continued the one-way traffic and got a second in the 25th minute when Canada couldn’t properly clear a Korean foray forward and the ball landed right with Lee Jeong-hyeop, who found the back of the net from the edge of the penalty area.
After spotting Korea the two-goal lead, Canada slowly started to work its way into the game. Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Marcel de Jong had Canada’s best opportunity over the 90 minutes when his hard free kick was parried away by Kwoun Sun-Tae in the Korean goal.
It was a much more even second half with both sides creating opportunities and Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Marco Bustos showing some creativity in the midfield that could certainly be helpful for a Canadian team that has historically had difficulty crafting quality opportunities.
Canada had chances late when forward Marcus Haber had a high, looping header strike the top of the crossbar and ex-Philadelphia Union defender Steven Vitoria had a header off a Maxim Tissot hit the outside of the side-netting.
The second half also marked the international debuts of Canadian goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler and forward Carl Haworth.
Canada kept Korea largely to the outside flanks and while they managed a few shots, Leutwiler made a few quality saves in his 45 minutes of action.