Reuters, Tuesday, June 24, 2008 2 PM
North played South Korea in Seoul in a World Cup qualifier at the weekend, but with both teams already qualified for the next round, there was nothing at stake and the game ended 0-0. Perhaps more
importantly, there were no diplomatic incidents.
North Korea's striker Jong Tae-Se, christened the 'North Korean Wayne Rooney' by local media, was moved by the atmosphere at the
game. "The South Korean people were so enthusiastic," he said, "and so many came to the stadium. It really made an impression on me." The North's players were given a "genuinely warm welcome" by
the Seoul fans, according to the news agency, and showed "the utmost respect" during the North's national anthem.
The two teams finished level on points in Group Three, with South
Korea ahead on goal difference. They join eight other Asian teams -- Australia, Qatar, Japan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Uzbekistan, and the United Arab Emirates -- in stage four of qualifying,
which will consist of two groups of five. The top two teams in each group go direct to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, while the two third-placed teams play off against each other, with the
winner fighting for a place in the World Cup against the winner of the Oceania region.
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