|March 12th, 2010|
|36||Final 5-6||8:30pm||KOR - ESP||0 - 2 (0 - 2)||Final|
The winner of the last match of the day for 5th-6th place would also earn a berth for the 2010 Champions Trophy in Monchengladbach, alongside the already qualified teams Australia, England, Germany, New Zealand and The Netherlands. The match started with a bang, Pol AMAT diving full length to deflect out of reach of the Korean goalkeeper a deep pass by Alex FABREGAS. The goal was scored after... 18 seconds of play, a new record for World Cup action!
Interestingly, the statistics showed that the three teams that scored a goal in the first minute of play in this competition ended up losing the match (Canada lost to New Zealand 2-3, New Zealand lost to The Netherlands 1-3 and Netherlands lost to Korea 1-2) but the Spaniards did not seem bothered by the numbers and kept attacking, progressing very fast up the field with their positive passes while the Koreans were taking their time to build their moves, passing patiently laterally until they found a way to break forward at blistering speed.
Spain earned a penalty-corner after a referral to the video-umpire but Pau QUEMADA powerful flick crashed on the crossbar and was cleared by a defender. The game settled in midfield for a while, Spain looking confident and dangerous each time they were getting within shooting distance, while Francisco CORTES in their goal was seldom called into action.
Spain were at their best in first period, and one had to wonder how Pakistan managed to beat them to push them out of semi-final action, but they could not capitalize on their domination, leaving the door open for Korea to come back in the game. The Asian Champions nearly did that in the final minutes of the period, first forcing a penalty-corner in a rare circle penetration then on a shoot from close range that went just inches wide. This was enough of a warning for Spain and Pol AMAT added a second goal in the 32nd minute, left facing an empty net after David ALEGRE attracted the Korean keeper and managed a diving pass.
The Koreans switched on high gear as soon as play resumed and took control of the tempo. Spain showed poise to hold tight facing wave after wave of attack. They conceded a penalty-corner, shot wide by Seung Il LEE, but the Spanish defense did not leave much space or time to the Korean attackers. They also showed their experience, choosing when not to contest balls that they had little chance to win, in order to preserve energy for the end of the game. Korea scrambled another penalty-corner chance. With time passing, their efforts became more and more intense, but so was also the Spaniards’ resolve to hang on to their lead.
No more goals were scored and Spain finished this World Cup at a very respectable 5th place.
Match Facts (Korea v. Spain):
> Spain beat Korea to claim fifth place at the World Cup and more importantly, Spain qualify for the 2010 Champions Trophy.
> With four European teams qualified and two from Oceania, the 2010 CT tournament in Monchengladbach will be the first Men’s Champions Trophy without an Asian team present.
> This is the first World Cup match to see two goals from Pol Amat (ESP). His previous 8 WC goals were all scored in 8 different matches.
> Pol Amat’s opening goal after only 18 seconds is the fastest of the Deli 2010 tournament.
> Korea have now conceded the two fastest goals at Delhi 2010. Ronald Brouwer (NED) scored after 25 seconds against Korea in the pool match.
> Spain have now won all four of their World Cup Final 5-6 matches, beating England (3-0) in 1973, India (2-0) in 1978, Argentina (3-2) in 1986 and Korea (2-0) in 2010.