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Match preview for 10 June
KOREA REP. vs. UNITED STATES,
TUNISIA vs. BELGIUM,
PORTUGAL vs. POLAND
"Hiddink make our dreams come true" was written on a banner in the stadium in Busan when Korea Republic beat Poland 2-0 on Tuesday, to claim their first ever victory in a FIFA World Cup. Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, who reached the semi-finals of France '98 as coach of the Netherlands, has been in charge of the Korean team since December 2000 and has been preparing his side for the 2002 finals in Korea and Japan ever since. Their aim is pretty simple: qualify for the second round. After their win against Poland, Korea are well on their way to making their supporters' dreams come true, but in the USA they meet a tough opponent on Monday. The Americans stunned the football world by beating Portugal 3-2 on Wednesday, their first FIFA World Cup win since 22 June 1994, when they beat Colombia 2-1 in the group phase. Korea Republic and USA have met twice recently. In December 2001, the Koreans defeated the United States 1-0 in a friendly when Sang-Chul Yoo scored the only goal of the match. The same player also scored in the 2-0 victory over Poland. During the 2002 Gold Cup in January, the two teams also faced each other. USA won that encounter 2-1, through goals by Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley. Chong-Gug Song scored for Korea.
The other Group D match on Monday will be a do or die match between Portugal and Poland, who are fighting for their last chance of qualifying for the second round after their defeats against the USA and Korea Republic respectively. The two countries also faced each other during the 1986 FIFA World Cup, which was also the last time that either nation was present at the FIFA World Cup. In Mexico, Wlodzimierz Smolarek's goal gave Poland a 1-0 win.
Also on Monday, Tunisia and Belgium will meet for the second time in their history. Their previous encounter was a friendly in 1992, which the North Africans won 2-1.