Korean Republic 0-1 Bulgaria
Striker Vladimir Manchev scored a 19th-minute winner as Bulgaria began their warm-up campaign for UEFA EURO 2004™ by beating the Korean Republic 1-0 in Seoul.
Picked out by Velizar Dimitrov, Manchev fired a superb shot past Korean goalkeeper Woon-Jae Lee from 20 metres after a well-worked counterattack from the visitors. The goal sparked a determined fightback from the Koreans with playmaker Ji-Sung Park hitting the post and substitute Yong-Soo Choi also coming close in the second half.
Bulgaria hang on
However, Bulgaria, weakened by the absence of several injured first-team players, hung on for victory to the disappointment of the 38,000 crowd and Korea's Portuguese coach Humberto Coelho. Manchev and debutant Zdravko Lazarov were among the most impressive performers for the European side.
"We played very well in the first half," said Bulgaria coach Plamen Markov. "After the break I made some changes meaning some unexperienced players appeared on the pitch and our opponents put us under pressure. Korea are a very strong team and they proved that throughout the whole game.
"They reached the semi-finals at the World Cup and today they showed their worth," Markov added. "I am happy with the win as it is good for our confidence. I was impressed by Lazarov, who played very well on his debut. I am still sorry that several first-team players missed the game. But at least I had the chance to see several other players in action."
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