In a result that definitely will have caught the attention of U.S. Coach Bruce Arena, South Korea on Thursday overwhelmed Scotland, 4-1, before a crowd of 48,000 in Pusan, South Korea, to extend its unbeaten streak to six games.
Ahn Jung-Hwan scored twice after coming on as a second-half substitute, and Lee Chun-Soo and Yoon Jong-Hwan also scored against a young and inexperienced Scotland side, whose coach, Berti Vogts, was so displeased with the performance that he ordered his players back onto the field for a training session immediately after the match.
The U.S. plays South Korea on June 10 in what is likely to be a crucial second game for each in the first round of the World Cup.
Ireland's World Cup hopes took a dent, while Nigeria's rose accordingly, when the African team defeated the Irish, 2-1, in front of 35,000 in Dublin on Wednesday to end Ireland's two-year unbeaten streak at home.
Julius Aghahowa and Efe Sodie scored for the Super Eagles, while Shay Given got Ireland's lone goal.
Four days after losing, 2-1, to the U.S. in Washington, Uruguay defeated China, 2-0, in Shenyang, China, where Sebastian Abreu scored twice in the final 15 minutes in front of a rain-soaked crowd of 40,000.
More than 100,000 people, including Leonid Kuchma, Ukraine's president, paid their respects to former Ukraine national team coach Valeriy Lobanovsky as his coffin lay in state on the pitch of Dynamo Stadium, which will be renamed Valeriy Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium in honor of the coach who died this week at age 63.
Poland, which plays in the same first-round group as the U.S., lost a player to injury when midfielder Bartosz Karwan strained a right thigh muscle. The injury will keep him out of the tournament, and Coach Jerzy Engel called it a "major blow" to Poland's hopes.
Having failed in his bid to make Brazil's World Cup team, Romario is considering going to Japan anyway--as a player/coach in the J-League. The Japanese sports daily Hochi Shimbum said the 1994 World Cup winner, now 36 and playing for Vasco da Gama, is in talks with several league teams.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo, who did make Brazil's team, is rumored to be on the way out at Inter Milan and heading back to his old club, Barcelona, which has recalled former coach Louis Van Gaal and also is said to be chasing Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko from AC Milan. It could a double deal, with Ronaldo coming to Barcelona and then being sent back to Milan in exchange for Shevchenko.
Neither of Argentina's two brightest young stars, Barcelona striker Javier Saviola and Boca Juniors playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme, has been included in Coach Marcelo Bielsa's World Cup squad, which arrived in Japan Thursday.
The omission of Saviola is curious because he appeared in many of Argentina's qualifying matches after leading the country to the FIFA World Youth Championship in 2001.
The case of Riquelme, 23, has more ominous undertones. His younger brother, Cristian, was kidnapped in April and only released after the family paid $160,000 in ransom.
Riquelme fears his family will remain in danger and said he will no longer play in Argentina after this season and might quit the game altogether.
The Galaxy will play its third international exhibition of the year against River Platte of Argentina on June 26 at the Rose Bowl, it was announced Thursday.
River Platte won its country's Torneo Clausura this year.