AFC Asian Cup 2019: Hwang Ui-jo's deft finish powers South Korea to victory in opening fixture against Philippines

  • Prolific goal-scorer Hwang Ui-jo snatched a second-half winner as South Korea beat Sven-Goran Eriksson's Philippines 1-0 at the Asian Cup

  • The Koreans, looking to end 59 years of hurt after failing to win the title since 1960, soaked up considerable pressure in their opening Group C fixture

  • South Korea, who will be boosted by the arrival of Tottenham star Son Heung-min after their first two games, joined China on three points at the top of their group

Dubai: Prolific goal-scorer Hwang Ui-jo snatched a second-half winner as South Korea beat Sven-Goran Eriksson's Philippines 1-0 at the Asian Cup on Monday.

 AFC Asian Cup 2019: Hwang Ui-jos deft finish powers South Korea to victory in opening fixture against Philippines

Hwang Ui-jo celebrates scoring against the Philippines. AFP

The Koreans, looking to end 59 years of hurt after failing to win the title since 1960, soaked up considerable pressure in their opening Group C fixture before Hwang broke the deadlock after 67 minutes in the United Arab Emirates.

The Japan-based striker swivelled and smashed home from close range in Dubai to settle his side's nerves after Newcastle midfielder Ki Sung-yueng limped off with a suspected hamstring injury.

South Korea, who will be boosted by the arrival of Tottenham star Son Heung-min after their first two games, joined China on three points at the top of their group after Marcello Lippi's side squeezed past Kyrgyzstan 2-1 earlier in the day in Al Ain.

The Koreans, runners-up to hosts Australia four years ago, endured a nervous wait for their breakthrough goal against the Asian Cup first-timers. They were indebted to goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu, who plunged to his right to deny Javier Patino in the 54th minute.

But Hwang, whose tournament-high nine goals helped South Korea win last year's Asian Games title, came to the rescue with a piece of magic in the box and was unlucky not to add further goals as the competition favourites finished strongly.

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Updated Date: Jan 07, 2019 22:13:16 IST