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S. Korea defeats Haiti in football friendly

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

INCHEON, Sept. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea defeated Haiti 4-1 in their football friendly on Friday, aided by three unanswered goals in the second half.

In a rare display of offensive onslaught at Incheon Football Stadium, west of Seoul, Son Heung-min of Bayer Leverkusen scored twice and South Korea converted two second-half penalties, giving head coach Hong Myung-bo his first win with the national team.

Since Hong took over the national team in June, South Korea had previously managed three draws and one loss, while scoring just once.

The last time South Korea scored at least four goals was June last year, when it defeated Qatar 4-1 in a World Cup qualifying match.

South Korea will next face Croatia next Tuesday at Jeonju World Cup Stadium, about 240 kilometers south of Seoul.

South Korea entered Friday's match ranked 56th in the world, 18 spots ahead of Haiti in the FIFA rankings. Hong had the services of Europe-based stars for the first time since getting the coaching job, and they responded with a convincing performance on both ends.

The teams traded a goal apiece in the first half. Son put the home side on board in the 21st minute, undressing the defender Jean-Jacques Pierre as he cut toward the middle and unleashed a low shot from the top of the arc.

Haiti drew even in the 45th minute, when forward Kervens Belfort sneaked in between two South Korean defenders before heading in a cross by Yves Desmarets.

South Korea regained the lead just four minutes after halftime. Midfielder Lee Chung-yong, who came off the bench to begin the second half, drew the foul in a collision with Mechack Jerome. Koo Ja-cheol calmly converted the ensuing penalty.

Eight minutes later, Lee drew another penalty, as Kevin Lafrance took down the shifty South Korean with a hard tackle. This time, Lee Keun-ho stepped up to the spot and made it a 3-1 game.

Son put the match further out of reach of the visitors in the 72nd minute, scoring on a breakaway chance set up by Lee Keun-ho's nifty back heel pass that stunned the Haiti defense.

Son almost had a hat trick in the 87th, but Placide denied him with a diving save on a low shot from just inside the box.

Lee Chung-yong was on the receiving end of a sharp cross by Son in the final moments of the game, but his shot from near the penalty spot went off the right post.

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