South Korea delivered a competent performance in their 1-0 win at Jordan on Friday night.
The match at Amman International Stadium was an important tactical and personnel test for Uli Stielike as he prepares for the upcoming Asian Cup.
With a superior 2-2-0 record against the hosts, South Korea took an aggressive approach from the beginning of the match. However, Jordan’s tenacious defence prevented the visitors from generating any shots on goal.
It was Jordan who found a glorious opportunity to score the opener. Khalil Bani Attiah crossed the ball from open space behind Kim Young-gwon, who was slow to return from his overlapping run. The golden chance was wasted as Ahmad Hayel’s header hit the post in the 10th minute. Nine minutes later, Jordan again threatened with Abdel Fattah’s bicycle kick.
Korea soon settled into the game again, beginning to create chances after Nam Tae-hee moved into a playmaker position. Cho Young-cheol produced the team’s first shot in the 28th minute, which was saved by Jordanian goalkeeper Mutaz Yasin.
Six minutes later, Cha Du-ri sent in a fantastic cross that Han Kyo-won met for a diving header goal. The Jeonbuk Motors striker’s first international score put the Taeguk Warriors in high spirits, but the first half ended without an additional goal.
South Korea started the second half with with a number of substitutions, with Stielike bringing on Jang Hyun-soo, Yun Suk-young and Kim Chang-soo. Jordan attempted to turn the tide by substituting Saleh Al Jawhary, but the leaders responded with usual starters Lee Chung-yong and Son Heung-min.
Jordan could manage little more than counterattacks against their aggressive opponents, with a good chance by Attiah going disappointingly wide. Despite several more opportunities for the visitors to expand their lead, they were content to walk off the pitch with a narrow win after 90 minutes.
With less than two months remaining before their Asian Cup opener against Oman, South Korea will play one more friendly on Tuesday against Iran in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium. Jordan, who are in Group D with Palestine, Iraq, and defending champions Japan, will face Estonia on the same day.