Kim Shin-wook scores twice, South Korea wins EAFF E-1 title
TOKYO (AP) — South Korea stunned Japan 4-1 on Saturday to win the East Asian Championship after Kim Shin-wook scored two goals.
“This was seen as a preparatory match for both sides ahead of the World Cup, so I am very happy we won,” South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong said.
“Even so, there is still room for improvement and I hope both sides can improve together moving toward the finals.”
Yu Kobayashi gave Japan the lead from the penalty spot after just three minutes, but South Korea scored 10 minutes later as Kim Shin-wook headed home a cross from Kim Jin-su on the left.
“We had to win here and as such there was pressure on us, which became even greater when we conceded from the penalty early on,” Shin said.
“The players worked very hard to come from behind and go for the win, though, and they deserve much praise for that.”
Jung Woo-young put South Korea in front with a free kick from 25 yards in the 23rd minute.
“To score from there with your right foot is exceptional,” Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic said of Jung’s goal. “That is World Cup quality.”
Kim Shin-wook added a third goal for South Korea in the 35th minute, converting after being found inside the area by Lee Jae-sung, and a free kick by Yeom Ki-hun in the 69th minute deflected into the goal off Kobayashi.
“I can’t say much about today’s match,” Halilhodzic said. “South Korea vastly outdid Japan. In terms of power and technique, the South Korean team amazed me with the way they managed to control the game.
“We scored the first goal, but after that we stopped playing and South Korea took control of the game. Tonight, they showed us a very high level of play.”
Earlier, Marcello Lippi’s China drew 1-1 with North Korea in the four-team round-robin tournament’s other game.