Out in Africa. First Cameroon, then the hosts, now Nigeria. With Ghana, Ivory Coast and Algeria still with a lot to do, Africa is in danger of going missing from its own party.
Nigeria led, trailed and rallied, but were unable to secure the win they needed. Instead South Korea go through to a second- round tie against Uruguay in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Kim Jung-woo had saluted the flag during the anthems – his team-mates merely put hand to heart – but his patriotism meant little when he allowed Chidi Odiah to muscle past him and cross the ball Kalu Uche stabbed into the net to open the scoring.
Had Uche's 35th-minute drive gone in, not out, off the post, Nigeria may have gone on to win, but two minutes later Lee Jung-soo stole in behind Danny Shittu to scramble in a free-kick from Celtic's Ki Sung-yeung. Nigeria are a big team physically, but several players are not particularly mobile and the nimble Koreans had drawn an increasing number of fouls. Lessons were not learnt, for three minutes into the second period Nigeria conceded another set piece. Vincent Enyeama mad a false first step and Park Chu-young curled the ball around the wall and past him.
After Enyeama redeemed himself with a save from Park Chu-young to keep Nigeria in the game, Yakubu missed a 66th-minute open goal from three yards from Yussuf Ayila's cross. Two minutes later he was on the spot again, 12 yards out after Kim Nam-il tripped Obasi. The Everton striker, showing considerable sangfroid, rolled in the penalty. Nigeria pressed, but a winner eluded them.
Nigeria (4-4-2): Enyeama; Odiah, Yobo (Echiejile, h/t), Shittu, Afolabi; Obasi, Ayila, Etuhu, Uche; Kanu (Martins, 57), Yakubu (Obinna, 70).
South Korea (4-4-1-1): Jung; Cha, Cho, J-S Lee, Y-P Lee; C-Y Lee, Ki (J-S Kim, 86), J-W Kim, J-S Park; Yeom (N-I Kim, 63); C-Y Park (D-J Kim, 90+3).
Referee O Benquerenca (Portugal).
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