SUWON, South Korea — Defending champion PSV Eindhoven was knocked out of contention for Sunday’s Peace Cup final in Seoul last night when French club Lyon tied the Dutch team 1-1 and won Group A on goal differential by one.
It was a sad night for PSV coach Guus Hiddink, who is deeply admired in South Korea after guiding the national team to the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup. His club is the most popular foreign team in South Korea, where he recruited defender Lee Young Pyo and midfielder Park Ji Sung, who is now with Manchester United.
“Not being defeated in this beautiful tournament and not being in the final is sad,” Hiddink said. “We would have loved to have played in the final of this prestigious event, but we didn’t make it because of one goal difference.”
In the 2003 tournament PSV defeated Lyon to take the $2 million prize money.
More than 70 Korean reporters and 56 photographers were on hand as Hiddink bid them an emotional farewell.
“I’ve learnt something from being in Korea,” Hiddink said. “We don’t say goodbye. We just say ‘until the next time.’ ”
The Koreans would love Hiddink, 59, to return as national team coach, but it’s almost certain he will be named the coach of Australia’s national team soon. If he is, Hiddink said, he will remain as coach of PSV and go to Australia on “FIFA game days,” at least until November.
Former coach Frank Farina stepped down after Australia’s poor performance at last month’s Confederations Cup in Germany, where it failed to win any of its three group games.
Australia recently was given permission by FIFA to move to the Asian Confederations from Oceania, meaning it will be competing against Japan, China and South Korea to reach the World Cup in 2010. Asia is allotted 41/2 places at the World Cup and Oceania only a half.
In another Peace Cup game last night, six-time Korean champion Seongnam Ilhwa lost to Colombia’s Once Caldas 1-0 in Group A.
Eight teams are competing in the Peace Cup, which was first staged in 2003 to capitalize on the stunning performance of the Koreans at the 2002 World Cup. The tournament is sponsored by the Sun Moon Soccer Foundation, founded by Rev. Sun Myung Moon.