South Korea lit the blue touch paper to the World Cup with an emphatic win over Poland in Busan.
The Korean team sent their country into raptures as goals from Hwang Sun-Hong and Yoo Sung-Chul capped off a superb performance from the co-hosts.
Fuelled by an almost fanatical support, Korea's pace and enthusiasm was too much for a plodding and pedestrian Poland.
Unlike previous games to date, there was nothing cagey about the opening exchanges of this Group D encounter.
Poland had two great chances to silence the crowd in the opening minutes.
First, Emmanuel Olisadebe slipped a pass to send Jacek Krzynowek clear, only for him to bury his shot into the side-netting.
Of course it's a famous win, but we cannot take time to
Then Piotr Swierczewski broke down the left and his cross just eluded Marek Kozminski's lunge six yards out.
South Korea's best chance of the opening exchanges fell to Seol Ki-Hyeon on nine minutes, when he escaped his marker at a corner, only to power his header into the ground, giving Jerzy Dudek an easy save.
Choi Jin-Cheul's great covering tackle denied Olisadebe an almost certain goal as the Polish striker pulled the trigger eight yards out.
Yoo Sang-Chul had the crowd off their feet on 19 minutes when he sent a raking 20 yard shot inches wide with Dudek beaten.
But on 26 minutes the stadium erupted as Hwang Sun-Hong swept Korea into the lead.
The 33-year-old who plays in Japan's J-League connected sweetly with Lee Eul-Yong's left-wing cross to volley his 50th international goal past Dudek from 12 yards.
If the goal lifted Korea, it deflated Poland who looked increasingly ragged as the first-half drew to a close.
Polish coach Jerzy Engel tried to inject some urgency into his side with the half-time introduction of striker Pawel Kryszalowicz.
But it was Korea who came out fired up for the second-half.
Within three minutes of the restart a corner was half-cleared to Park Ji-Sung whose volley was tipped over by Dudek.
Poland's ponderous defence looked increasingly creaky against the pacy Korean forwards and it was little surprise when the co-hosts stretched their lead on 53 minutes.
Sloppy play saw Tomasz Hajto lose the ball and Yoo Sung-Chul snapped up possession to fire in a rasping 20-yard shot which Dudek got both hands to, but was unable to keep out.
Even when Poland did mount a rare raid Hong Myung-Bo read the situation perfectly to nod Jacek Krzyowek's cross behind as Marcin Zewlakow closed in.
Poland's late attempts to salvage something from the game seemed to lack conviction and it needed a sharp save from Dudek to deny substitute Ahn Jung-Hwan a third goal.
South Korea: Woon-Jae Lee, Tae-Young Kim, Jin-Cheul Choi, Hong,
Nam-Il Kim, Yoo Sang-Chul (Chun-Soo Lee 61), Eul-Young Lee, Song Chong-Gug, Park Ji-Sung,
Seol Ki-Hyeon(Cha Doo-Ri 89), Hwang Sun-Hong (Ahn Jung-Hwan 50).
Subs not used: Choi Eun-Sung, Choi Sung-Young, Choi Tae-Uk, Choi Yong-Soo, Hyun Young-Min, Kim Byung-Ji, Lee Min-Sung, Lee Yong-Pyo,Yoon Jong-Hwan.
Booked: Park Ji-Sung, Cha Doo-Ri.
Goals: Hwang Sun-Hong 26, Yoo Sang-Chul 53.
Poland: Jerzy Dudek, Michal Zewlakow, Tomasz Hajto, Piotr
Swierczewski, Rodoslaw Kaluzny (Marcin Zewlakow 65), Emmanuel Olisadebe, Tomasz Waldoch
(capt), Jacek Krzynowek, Maciej Zurawski (Pawel Kryszalowicz 45), Jacek Bak (Tomasz Klos 51), Marek
Subs not used: Arkadiusz Bak, Glowacki, Kucharski, Majdan, Matysek, Murawski, Rzasa, Sibik, Zielinski.
Booked: Krzynowek, Hajto, Swierczewski.
Referee: O Ruiz (Columbia).
MATCH STATS |
| S Korea | Poland |
Corners (1st half) | 4 | 1 |
Corners (2nd half) | 6 | 1 |
Fouls committed | 14 | 20 |
Caught offside | 2 | 4 |
Shots on target | 9 | 4 |
Shots off target | 5 | 7 |
Hit woodwork (back into play) | 0 | 0 |
Yellow cards | 2 | 3 |
Red cards | 0 | 0 |
STOPPAGE TIME | |
First half - 2 mins | Second half - 3 mins |