World Cup Profiles – Group H: South Korea

15 Jun

krAs captain (and sweeper) of the South Korea national team Hong Myung-Bo led his country to a historic 4th place finish in the 2002 World Cup. Now he is their coach. Can he lead them past the group stage?

South Korea have qualified for their 9th World Cup. Their first World Cup qualification came in 1954. They didn’t qualify again until 1986 but have made it to every World Cup since.

In 2002, South Korea found their way into the semi-finals, and a 4th place finish, where they were knocked out by Germany. They remain the first and only Asian team to ever make it to the semi-finals of the World Cup. That was also the World Cup where South Korea claimed their first ever World Cup win, beating Poland 2-0.

They’ll look to beat their 2010 run, where they were knocked out of the Round of 16 and, since they are hugely talented, will expect to at least make it out of Group H. They finished second to Iran in their qualifying despite being widely considered the best in Asia. Head coach Hong Myung-bo only took over last June and that may hinder this side. It’s always difficult to deal with a new coach in a big tournament (though Mexico probably wins this sad story).

They’ve got quality all around. Goals were scored by 11 different players, including 5 scored by striker Lee Keun-Ho. In their two qualifying rounds they scored 27 goals while their opponents only scored 11.

South Korea used 45 different players during qualifying, which has more to do with difficulty jelling with the former than coach than anything. They may not have found the right lineup yet and this could hinder them. They could lack the cohesiveness to take them further into the tournament.

Park Chu-Young may have struggled to make the Arsenal first team (he signed in 2011) but he’s been a star for his national team. He scored 6 goals in 7 games. He’s a shoo-in for this tournament.

South Korea squad

Head Coach: Hong Myung-Bo (South Korean)

Goalkeepers: Jung Sung-ryeong (Suwon Bluewings), Kim Seung-gyu (Ulsan Horang-i), Lee Bum-young (Busan I’Park)

Defenders: Yun Suk-young (QPR), Kim Young-kwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Hwang Seok-ho (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Hong Jeong-ho (Augsburg), Kwak Tae-hwi (Al Hilal), Lee Yong (Ulsan Horang-i), Kim Chang-soo (Kashiwa Reysol), Park Joo-ho (Mainz)

Midfielders: Ki Seung-yueng (Sunderland, on loan from Swansea), Ha Dae-sung (Beijing Guoan), Han Kook-young (Kashiwa Reysol), Park Jung-woo (Guangzhou R&F), Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen), Kim Bo-kyung (Cardiff City), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton Wanderers), Ji Dong-won (Augsburg)

Forwards: Koo Ja-cheol (Mainz), Lee Keun-ho (Sangju Sangmu), Park Chu-young (Arsenal), Kim Shin-wook (Ulsan Horang-i)

For additional information on South Korea, including World Cup 2014 match schedule & history check out these links.

– mygypsyspirit

One Response to “World Cup Profiles – Group H: South Korea”

  1. hopechaser June 15, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    As a tiger, I approve of their crest. 🙂

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