DURBAN, South Africa, June 22 (Xinhua) -- A 2-2 draw against Nigerian sent South Korea into the last 16 of World Cup finals on Tuesday in the South African port city of Durban.
It was the first time for South Koreans to sail into top 16 of World Cup on foreign soil. They were among the top four in 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Japan and South Korea.
Prior to the duel, the South Korean team have accumulated a total of three points in their two group matches: a 2-0 victory against Greece and a 4-1 defeat by World Cup favorites Argentina. The draw gave the Asian team the second place in Group B of the tournament.
The other berth of the group to march into the knockout stage went to Argentina which beat Greece 2-0 in another match in Polokwane, the north of the host country.
The ball fell to midfielder Kalu Uche in the 12th minute from Chidi Odiah on the very right edge of the pitch. Uche netted the ball in when South Korean players failed to take proper defending measures.
South Korea scored an equalizer in the 38th minute as Lee Jung-Soo transferred a free-kick of his teammate, talented midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng to a successful header by using the porous defense of the Super Eagles.
After the interval, South Korean forward Park Chu-Young rolled the ball into the far corner, passing the extended arm of Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, stunning spectators in the 49th minute.
Nigerian forward Yakubu Aiyegbeni wasted a precious chance in the 66th minute when the ball fell into his path. The striker finished his move with a surprising blunder and slotted wide just in front of the net.
Aiyegbeni made up his mistake three minutes later with a penalty by sending the South Korean goalkeeper into the wrong way.
Mexico and Uruguay have secured their berths in top 16 earlier in Group A matches.