Chung-Yong Lee became the first Bolton Wanderers player to feature in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, as he played the full 90 minutes in the group H draw between Russia and South Korea that ended 1-1. Chungy made history last night as he became the first Bolton player to feature in two consecutive World Cups whilst being contracted to the club.
Lee officially started the game in central midfield, however, his position varied after the opening 45 minutes was spent valiantly battling in the middle of the park. The first half was a very cagey affair, with neither side showing any flair or confidence going forward with the ball. Lee put in a very solid display in the first half in Cuiabá, and according to Squarka had a 100% pass accuracy during the first half.
Both teams came out and played with purpose and intent in the second half after a presumably stern team-talk by former England and current Russia manager, Fabio Capello. It was evident that the game would be very tight and would eventually be swayed by a moment of magic, or a mistake, and that happened on the 68th minute. After an adventures run from midfield, Korea substitute Lee Keun-Ho had a speculative shot from 30 yards out, which should have been a routine save for the CSKA Moscow goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev. However, the 28-year-old had a different idea and spectacularly managed to fumble the ball and, in a nutshell, throw the ball into his own net to the disbelief of manager, Fabio Capello who felt deja vu from Rob Green's blunder in South Africa.
This clanger acted as a catalyst and managed to liven up what was a very dull contest. The Russians reacted positively to this, and levelled against Chung-Yong's men soon after. In the 74th minute Russia's substitutes combined to great effect as they levelled the score. After the tricky Russian winger Dzagoev had wriggled his way into space, he tried his luck from a very acute angle. His shot was well-saved by the Korean keeper, however after an unfortunate game of pin-ball in the Korean penalty area the ball fell kindly to Kerzhakov, who gratefully slotted home from 3 yards out. Amidst the chaos in the Korean penalty area there was a strong appeal for handball from the Korean defenders although the referee, Néstor Pitana, waved away the protests.
Lee looked very composed whilst in possession in the first half. However, the Korean had a fairly quiet game in his unusual central midfield role. Despite the positives from South Korea, the game will undoubtedly be overshadowed by the horrific mistake from Igor Akinfeev, he was making his 70th national team appearance, and maybe his last.
Chung-Yong, who is Korea's vice captain, put in a solid first half display although he deteriorated due to the heat and humidity in Brazil during the second half. The Bolton winger was supported online, as social media went mad for our number 27 as he was trending in the north west on twitter.
This is a vital competition for Chung-Yong, as he has been in the centre of lots of transfer speculation recently regarding his future. BBC commentator added fuel to the fire, having stated how,
'Lee, who is expected to leave Bolton this summer'
With Hull reported being interested in the 25 year old this tournament is massive for him, as many scouts will be scrutinising his every move whilst in Brazil. Chung Yong is one of the higher earners at the Macron Stadium, so he may find his position in jeopardy due to the club's poor financial state. Manager Dougie Freedman would be looking to have the £2.2m that was reported paid for him reimbursed.
This result sets up group H nicely, as South Korea sit in second place after their 1-1 draw. Belgium are currently leading the way after they overcame a 2 goal deficit to defeat Tottenham's Nabil Bentaleb's Algeria.