As we continue our countdown to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil here at PST, each day from now until the tournament begins we will look back at a memorable moment from years gone by.
Here is number 3.
PST’s Top 20 World Cup moments – No. 3:
South Korea has played in the World Cup consistently. In fact, they are one of only a handful of teams to have appeared in each of the last eight tournaments.
But what they did on their home soil in 2002 was special, and how they did it was even more remarkable.
Defeating Poland and Portugal while drawing the US to win Group D was special for the South Koreans, who shared hosting duties with Japan, but how they got by Italy in the quarters was out of this world.
RELATED: Countdown, World Cup Top 20 moments
After the South Koreans were stymied on an early penalty by Gigi Buffon — one of two keepers to play incredible in the match (Lee Woon-Jae was fantastic as well) — Christian Vieri got it started with a headed goal to put Italy up, and the Italians looked set to defend to the death. But Ki Hyeon Sol picked up a loose ball in the box and buried it in the 88th minute to provide bonus soccer.
Francesco Totti was given his second yellow card in the 105th minute — for diving, a questionable call — and brought Italy down to 10 men.
And in the tournament of the Golden Goal, Ahn Jung-hwan headed home the winner in the 117th minute. South Korea would defeat Spain in kicks during the quarterfinal before falling to Germany in the semifinal and Turkey in the third-place game, but their mark was made against Italy.
Scott Nicholls and Otis Earle welcomed Bob Bradley
to their “Beyond The Pitch” podcast to discuss his time coaching the Chicago Fire, the Fire’s current squad, how MLS has evolved, the new generation of players coming into the USMNT and more.
Perhaps most interesting is Bradley talking about previous losses with stinging emotion that sounds like they happened yesterday, including the 2000 MLS Cup.
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Since being fired from Swansea City after less than 100 days, Bradley has been linked with the Norway national team gig as well as a return to Los Angeles. Keep up with the U.S. coach here, and check it out:
Every dog has its day, and the three lower-tier clubs remaining in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are hoping for a second.
Miami FC, Sacramento Republic, and FC Cincinnati enjoyed wins over Major League Soccer sides in the fourth round, and now get further MLS tests in this week’s fifth round.
[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]
Once FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids tangle on Tuesday, attention turns to the underdogs on Wednesday. Who has the best chance to advance?
- Miami FC vs. Atlanta United — Playing an MLS expansion side at Riccardo Silva Stadium will give Miami a bit of confidence, and this is also a side with some good experience in pressure spots. Whether it’s manager Alessandro Nesta or MLS vets Michel, Gabriel Farfan, and Michael Lahoud, MFC won’t shy away. Upset chance: Solid.
- FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire — The visitors are having a heck of a season in MLS and don’t have a group which will be worried by a huge crowd, but there’s no debating that 25,000-plus in Southern Ohio give FCC more than a puncher’s chance. Upset chance: Improbable, but possible
- LA Galaxy vs. Sacramento Republic — If LA puts something close to its best side out there, Sacramento will struggle to stop its attack. Upset chance: Long shot.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, New England hosts DC United, Philadelphia visits the Red Bulls, Seattle is off to San Jose, and Houston hosts Sporting KC.
Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.
Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.
Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.
Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.
Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.
Men In Blazers are back with their latest podcast, and the boys are hitting club soccer here and abroad as well as Bruce Arena’s men in the red, white, and blue.
Rog and Davo break down transfer window activity, rumored and real; get a heat check on the USMNT heading into the Gold Cup; and recap the (Ray) Hudson River Derby.
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