SAITAMA (Japan): Skipper Park Ji-Sung scored an early goal as South Korea beat local rival Japan 2-0 on Monday in a friendly.

Park needed only six minutes to open the scoring when the Manchester United midfielder fired home from the edge of the area.

Substitute forward Park Chu-Young added a penalty in second-half stoppage time to seal the win, with both teams hoping to avoid a repeat of four years ago, when they each crashed out in the group stages of the World Cup.

The pressure will now be firmly on Japan coach Takeshi Okada after this latest poor showing from his charges, who also lost to South Korea at home earlier in the year in the East Asian Championships.

In Osijek, Croatia beat Wales 2-0 in an international friendly played on Sunday. Rakitic (45th) and Gabric (82nd) were the scorers.

Scare for Gallas

In Tignes (France), Arsenal defender William Gallas walked away unscathed after crashing during a buggy race at a training camp with the French national team on Sunday. Gallas, according to a journalist from AFP, crashed while negotiating a bend, forcing the buggy onto its side. The race was immediately stopped and Gallas emerged shaking his left hand at teammates who were laughing after seeing the incident.

In Turin, Italy's World Cup squad was booed by fans here on Sunday upset that the players had refused to stop and sign autographs.

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