From left, South Korea's Kim Jung-woo, South Korea's Kim Dong-jin,...

From left, South Korea's Kim Jung-woo, South Korea's Kim Dong-jin, South Korea's Kim Jae-sung, and South Korea's Lee Young-pyo, celebrate following the game. (June 22, 2010) Credit: AP

South Korea reached the second round of the World Cup on Tuesday by holding Nigeria to a 2-2 draw in a thrilling match.

Lee Jung-soo and Park Chu-young scored for South Korea after Kalu Uche had given Nigeria the lead in the 12th minute. Ayegbeni Yakubu netted a 69th-minute penalty kick to draw Nigeria level again — moments after Yakubu missed a wide open net.

Argentina won Group B by beating Greece 2-0 and South Korea reached the World Cup knockout stage away from home for the first time. The only other time South Korea got beyond the group stage was when the team surged to the semifinals in 2002 on home soil as tournament co-host with Japan.

Argentina plays Mexico on Sunday at Johannesburg, while South Korea plays Uruguay on Saturday at Port Elizabeth.

Nigeria was the second African team to fall out of the first World Cup held on the continent. Host South Africa was eliminated earlier Tuesday.

The Korean substitutes sprinted onto the field and hugged their teammates at the final whistle, then danced in front of a small group of flag-waving fans.

South Korea had slightly more of the possession in the first half, but it was Nigeria that took the lead in the 12th minute. Chidi Odiah beat two defenders on the right wing and sent in a low cross for Uche, who slipped in front of his defender, Cha Du-ri, to fire home from close range.

But amid the Nigerian pressure, defender Lee made it 1-1 in the 38th minute with his second goal of the tournament. Ki Sung-yong floated a free kick to the far post and Lee stooped to head the ball, missed it and stuck his right foot out to volley it past goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

Park made it 2-1 just four minutes after the break when he curled a free kick around the wall and into the far corner of Enyeama’s goal — one of the rare free kicks to produce a goal at this World Cup.

Five minutes later he nearly did it again, but his powerful free kick went just wide.

Yakubu missed a golden chance in the 66th, then made amends three minutes later, showing more composure in front of the goal by putting in a penalty kick after Kim Nam-il had fouled Chinedu Obasi.

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