Associated Press, July 21, 2003
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Former national coach Guus Hiddink is back in South Korea, but this time he hopes to lead PSV Eindhoven to a win against French champion Olympique Lyon in Tuesday’s US$2 million Peace Cup final.
Although he doesn’t have South Korea’s World Cup team at his resources, Hiddink still has South Korean striker Park Ji-sung and defender Lee Young-pyo on his side for the championship match to be played at the World Cup Stadium in Seoul.
Park, who has already scored two goals during the Peace Cup, and Lee Young-pyo followed Hiddink to Eindhoven after the Dutchman had guided the South Koreans to the 2002 World Cup semifinals in South Korea and Japan.
The inaugural Peace Cup kicked off last week, with high-profile clubs from five continents participating.
PSV Eindhoven topped Group B, comprising German club 1860 Munich, Los Angeles Galaxy and Uruguay’s Nacional.
Lyon finished equal on points with local team Seongnam Ilhwa in Group A, but advanced to the final on goal differentials. Turkish club Besiktas and South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs were also in Group A.
At the World Cup stadiums where Eindhoven has already played, South Korean fans made sure that Hiddink was not forgotten since his post-World Cup departure.
South Korea became the first Asian nation to reach the semifinals at the sport’s quadrennial showcase event.
Soccer fans hung large pictures of Hiddink in the bleachers, and encouraged the coach with many welcoming words.
The winner of Tuesday’s final will collect US$2 million and the runner-up is guaranteed US$500,000.
The inaugural Peace Cup is hosted by Sunmoon Peace Football Foundation, an affiliate of Rev. Moon Sun-myung’s Unification Church.
The tournament, which was established with the purpose of fostering world peace through soccer games, is expected to be staged biannually, with profits going to childrens charities.