South Korea wrapped up their preparations for the AFC Asian Cup with a 2-1 win over Uzbekistan, courtesy of a first-half Cho Jae-jin brace.
Two goals in the opening 20 minutes from the striker staked his claim for a place in the starting XI next Wednesday when the two-time champions meet Saudi Arabia in their first game of Group D.
Uzbekistan battled back in a scrappy second half and scored through a Server Djeparov penalty.
After defeating Iraq 3-0 last Friday, Pim Verbeek’s men carried on where they left off by taking the lead after just five minutes at Seoul World Cup Stadium.
The goal was well-worked as, from 30 yards out, Choi Sung-kuk’s delightful through ball played with the outside of his right foot fell into the path of Cho Jae-jin.
Just outside the box, the Shimizu S-Pulse striker hit the ball first time, lashing it into the bottom left corner past Ignatiy Nesterov.
Cho then doubled the hosts’ advantage 14 minutes later with another simple but perfectly crafted goal.
Yeom Ki-hoon was given time to cross on the left and his deep looping ball picked out the head of Cho just outside the six yard box, with the striker heading down and into the net for the 10th goal of his international career.
Kim Jung-woo almost made it three after 34 minutes but his header was gathered on the line by Nesterov. The keeper was in action again four minutes before the break, beating away a shot on the turn from Yeom.
Below-par in the first half, the Central Asians improved after the restart and got back into the game on the hour.
Alexander Geynrikh was brought down by Son Dae-ho and captain Djeparov made no mistake with the resultant penalty.
Uzbekistan face Iran in their Asian Cup opener on July 11 in Kuala Lumpur before taking on Malaysia and China.
Verbeek said: "We played well in the first half, scored good goals, were well-organised. I was very pleased. In the second half we lost a little control."
"It is useless now to talk about a starting XI for next Wednesday against Saudi Arabia. We have 23 excellent players and that is good for me and good for Korea Republic. There will be 11 players on the field who can beat the Saudis.
"The Saudis will be tough with strong and skilful players and I am not thinking beyond that game at the moment.
"South Korea are one of the strongest teams in Asia but we tried our best," said Uzbek coach Rauf Inileev after the game.
"Tonight was a good test for us but things will be different at the AFC Asian Cup."