South Korea rallies late to draw Lebanon

Lebanese player Hassan Maatouk, left, fights for the ball against South Korean player Kim Chiwoo, center, during their 2014 World Cup Asian Qualifying soccer match, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday June 4, 2013. Lebanon and South Korea drew 1-1. (AP/Hussein Malla)

BEIRUT — South Korea needed an equalizer in the seventh minute of injury time to earn a 1-1 draw with 10-man Lebanon in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

Hassan Maatouk put the hosts ahead in the 12th minute after some poor defending allowed the forward to collect the ball before firing low and hard past goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong.

South Korea soon went on the attack and the 2002 World Cup co-host was denied on several occasions in an inspired performance by goalkeeper Abbas Hassan.

In the second half, South Korea came close to equalizing with 18 minutes remaining as a header from defender Kwak Tae-hwi hit the post. Nine minutes later, the visitors hit the woodwork again as Lee Dong-gook followed up after Lebanon goalkeeper Hassan had denied Kim Shin-wook.

Finally, deep into injury time, Kim Chi-woo earned South Korea a vital point with a deflected free kick that wrong-footed Hassan.

A minute later, Walid Ismail was sent off for a second bookable offence.

The draw leaves South Korea top of Group A, level on 11 points with second-place Uzbekistan. Lebanon remains bottom of the group on five points.

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