Son's late free-kick secures S. Korean draw against Costa Rica

Son's late free-kick secures S. Korean draw against Costa Rica

South Korea salvaged a draw against Costa Rica in their World Cup tune-up match on Friday
South Korea salvaged a draw against Costa Rica in their World Cup tune-up match on Friday. Photo: Jung Yeon-je / AFP
Source: AFP

Son Heung-min scored a late free-kick to secure South Korea's 2-2 draw against 10-man Costa Rica in their World Cup tune-up match on Friday.

Costa Rica went down a man in the 81st when goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado was sent off for grabbing the ball outside the box to prevent a South Korean opportunity.

Son converted the ensuing free-kick, salvaging a draw for the home team before about 37,000 fans at Goyang Stadium, northwest of Seoul.

But South Korea coach Paulo Bento said the final result was not reflective of the quality of his squad's performance.

"I think that we made a good game... we controlled most of the first half," he said.

"But in the second half, we were not so consistent in our defensive transitions in some moments. In general, the performance was good, and in my opinion, the result is not fair."

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Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Hwang Hee-chan put South Korea ahead with a left-footed strike in the 28th, only to see Jewison Bennette score the equaliser in the 41st and then the go-ahead goal in the 65th.

South Korea nearly pulled even in the 68th, with Hwang Ui-jo striking the bottom of the crossbar from close range.

Korea controlled the run of play in the early moments, sending opposing defenders scrambling in their own box with quick passes and speedy off-ball movements.

Their early dominance paid off in Hwang Hee-chan's goal, after Yoon Jong-gyu's pass found him alone outside the centre of the box.

Bennette responded for Costa Rica, heading in his first international goal after Gerson Torres's cross from the right side floated over scrambling South Korean defenders.

Later, Bennette put Costa Rica ahead when he scored off a rebound following Anthony Contreras's shot.

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After the match, Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suarez was upbeat about his team's performance.

"We scored two goals despite some early problems and I think we played a good match overall," he said.

"Our goal was to hold steady on defence over the first 20 minutes and then try to swing the pendulum in our direction the rest of the way. The fact that we scored twice is really important."

Costa Rica came within 10 minutes of an upset, before Alvarado's costly mistake -- and Son's ensuing goal -- dashed their hopes.

Source: AFP