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Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Hosts' delight as history repeats
Korean fans bring back happy memories of 1966
Italy lost to Korean opposition for a second time
BBC Sport Online's Stuart Roach

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Korea's rich summer harvest continues - just as they are preparing the rotten fruit and vegetables in Italy.

The last time the Italians lost to a Korean team in a World Cup was in England in 1966 and the Azzuri were greeted back home by a shower of abuse and fruit and veg.

"Again - 1966" promised the white cards held up in a sea of red behind one goal.

And they were right.

In 1966, tournament favourites Italy seriously underestimated their North Korean rivals.

They knew better against South Korea 36 years on, but respect was ultimately not enough.

Asian football is now at a new level and the co-hosts' achievements at this tournament have made the world sit up and take notice.

Korea had set themselves a target of qualifying for the last 16.

But the manner in which it was achieved - unbeaten, top of the group and having dispatched of Portugal - meant the goalposts had shifted come kick-off against Italy.

Now the talk was of the semi-finals and, suddenly it didn't seem such a daft idea.

Korean fans show who they are cheering for
It was a historic day for Korea

Inside four minutes, Francesco Coco had been booked for a foul on Park Ji-Sung and, from the free-kick, Christian Panucci's tug on Yoo Sang-Chul gifted Korea a penalty.

But Ahn Jung-Hwan, who plays his club football in Italy, saw his spot-kick brilliantly saved by Gianluigi Buffon and Korea's bubble seemed to have burst.

But the crowd - Korea's 12th man - did their bit as usual.

They kept the volume turned up almost throughout the 90 minutes, only Christian Vieri's near-post header evoking silence.

Even then, muffled cries of 'Italia, Italia' were drowned out by the home fans, whose pleas for an equaliser often bordered on the hysterical.

They were finally answered with seconds to spare, Seol Ki-Hyeon bundling home following Panucci's slip.

Then, with penalties looming, Ahn Jung-Hwan repeated his goal against America, flicking home a header to blow Daejon stadium apart.

Italy keeper Gianluigi Buffon is left distraught
Gianluigi Buffon sits in disbelief after the winner
Banners from clubs and countries around the world, from Polska to Colchester, introduced countless football tourists.

But each was backed by a wall of red as every non-Italian in the ground pledged allegiance to the Korean flag.

They didn't want to leave the party, and nor did the team, but all of them will bounce along to the next celebration and the next set of goody bags as this World Cup turns into one long Korean celebration.

Another giant banner unfurled by the buoyant crowd proclaimed this stadium to be the "Azzuri's grave".

For a while, it looked as though it was to be Korea's final resting place.

Instead, the Korean dream lives on.


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