GOYANG, South Korea // A hat trick by new Arsenal signing Park Chu-young lifted South Korea to a 6-0 win over Lebanon in their World Cup qualifier Friday.
Ji Dong-won of Sunderland also scored twice as Korea outclassed the visitors from start to finish to atop Group B with Kuwait, who were 3-2 winners over the UAE.
South Korea are looking to qualify for an eighth successive World Cup and the three points were never in doubt.. Lebanon rarely threatened and were reduced mainly to speculative attempts from long-distance, and the floodgates opened when Ji made it 3-0 in the 66th minute."We won because all the players created space and showed great movement," Park told reporters after the match. "We all did what we were supposed to and in the end, it was a straightforward win."
South Korea travel to Kuwait for the second round of games on Tuesday, before hosting the UAE on October 11.
"The away games will be much more difficult but we have what it takes to get a result," added the captain.
After a 3-0 friendly loss to Japan last month, coach Cho Kwang-rae was pleased with how his team bounced back.
"It was a return to our old selves," said Cho. "There were a lot of positives from the match but there is a long way to go. Kuwait is a better team technically than Lebanon and we now have to focus on that match and try to collect the points."
Lebanon coach Theo Bucker admitted that he had been more concerned with getting points against the Emirates on Tuesday than the unlikely task of avoiding defeat in Korea on Friday.
"More than coming here to win, we came to prepare for the next game," said the German. "Korea has some good players and I was impressed with the teamwork and the way in which the team moved the ball around.
"If Korea plays like this against Kuwait next week, it will be enough to win."