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FIFA World Cup 2018 team profile: South Korea aim to overachieve

South Korea will be looking to get rid of their ‘underdog’ tag when they start their campaign at the FIFA World Cup 2018.

football Updated: Jun 11, 2018 21:58 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
FIFA World Cup 2018 team profile,South Korea FIFA World Cup 2018,South Korea team profile
South Korea will start their campaign as underdogs at the FIFA World Cup 2018. (REUTERS)

Head coach: Shin Tae-Yong

World Cup history: Qualified nine times; best- 4th place (2002)

Qualifying route: Won Group G in the second round of AFC qualifying – Finished second in Group A of the third round of qualifying

Squad: Goalkeepers: Kim Seung-gyu, Kim Jin-hyeon, Cho Hyun-woo; Defenders: Kim young-gwon, Jang Hyun-soo, Jung Seung-hyun, Yun Yong-sun, Oh Ban-suk, Kim Min-woo, Park Joo-ho, Hong Chul, Go Yo-han, Lee Yong; Midfielders: Ki Sung-yueng, Jung Woo-young, Ju Se-jong, Koo Ja-cheol, Lee Jae-sung, Lee Seung-woo, Moon Seon-min; Forwards: Kim Shin-wook, Son Heung-min, Hwang Hee-chan.

South Korea go into the FIFA World Cup 2018 as the weakest team in a challenging Group F. They registered just four wins from 10 games in their Asian qualification route, eventually securing a berth second to Iran after other teams failed.

Their coach Uli Stielike was fired with two games remaining. Shin Tae-Yong’s appointment has bought some fluidity in attack, with the team securing a win over Honduras in a recent warm-up game. The Taeguk Warriors though, lost to Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-1 and drew against Bolivia in following games.

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Most of South Korea’s hopes will be on Tottenham Hotspur star Heung-min Son, more so with injuries ruling Lee Keun-ho and Kwon Chang-hoon. Their best World Cup tournament until date was a fourth place finish in 2002.

Heung-min Son: After a fairly successful season with Tottenham Hotspur, the attacking midfielder will be tasked with leading all of South Korea’s attacks. The biggest question for Tae-Yong, will be whether to deploy Son as lone striker or play him on the left-wing.

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Hwang Hee-chan: The 22-year-old goes into the World Cup after season at Austrian club RB Salzburg. Hee-chan scored 13 goals in 2017/18 season including two goals in Salzburg’s semifinal run in the Europa League.

Park Joo-ho: One of the most experienced players in South Korean team, Joo-ho turned out for Borussia Dortmund but made a name for himself at Mainz and Basel. He was part of the Basel team that stopped Manchester United from advancing beyond the group stage of the Champions League in 2011.

First Published: Jun 11, 2018 21:58 IST