Spain breeze past Korea, enter knockout
KOCHI: Two instances of play at opposite ends close to half-time gave away
the gulf in quality between the teams involved. First North Korea’s talisman
Kim Pom Hyok found himself in a nice position outside the Spanish penalty
area with just one defender near him. He took the right decision and tried to
curl the ball around in search of the top-right corner. However, his strike was
so weak and awful that the ball was rolling by the time it reached the corner
flag. A few minutes later, Spain’s Ferran Torres caught the Koreans off-guard
with a curling shot from the right and hit the post, with the crowd gasping in
appreciation of the skill involved.
In the end, it was all about skill and North Korea were not a match for Spain in
any area of play in a largely one-sided affair which the La Rojita won by 2-0 in
Group D at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday night.
Mohammed Moukhliss and Cesar Gelabert scored for the winners
who finished second behind Brazil in Group D and advanced to the pre-quarterfinals. They will play the winners of Group E in Guwahati on October
17. North Korea will be heading back home having lost all their matches.
Spain controlled the ball and had whopping 72% possession to show for in the
first half and peppered the Koreans with shots in the first half. The goal came
as early as in the sixth minute through a link-up play between Cesar
Gelabert and Mohammed Moukhliss who got onto the end of a delightful chip
by the former to put Spain ahead. Gelabert was a constant fixture in Spain's
attacks throughout the half as he fired in at least five shots, all missing by
small margins. Gelabert, however, got his due in the second half, latching
onto a low cross from the right wing by substitute Jose Lara to make it 2- 0.
This was the second goal of the campaign for the highly impressive Real
Paek Kwang Min of North Korea was sent off in the 84th minute to add to their