South Korea is in Group H of the 2014 Brazil World Cup. South Korea will be playing for its eighth consecutive World Cup finals. Since 1986, they have been playing in all the World Cup finals, with solid performance throughout. South Korea also ended up fourth in the 2002 World Cup finals in their home. South Korea has relied exclusively on the long ball for goal scoring opportunity in the qualifying stages, along with Algeria, their Group H rivals.
Korea Republic Team
South Korea also are the second team in all other teams qualifying to produce more number of goals through the left wing and they also are one of the teams which is good in close range scoring.
South Koreans are the second lowest ranked team in the tournament. They conceded 64% of their goals from the flanks, which is the highest for any team qualifying. They also conceded higher amount of their goals in the opening quarter of matches.
Coach Hong Myung-bo has a herculean task in front of him much like the Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, who led the South Korean team in the 2002 World Cup outing. Myung-bo has had the privilege to play under Hiddink and has cut his teeth in coaching alongside him. Hong, who was an sweeper during his days, has made South Korea face tougher oppositions and the team has in turn showed glimpses of their best under him.
The key players for South Korea would be forward Park Chu-Young, who has been a fixture since 2005. Park has a total of twenty four goals in sixty two matches; twelve of which have come in World Cup qualifiers. He has scored one goal in previous World Cup, which came against Nigeria in 2010. Midfielder Son Heung-min, who could turn out to be the team’s next icon, is also a great asset to the team and he has never played club football in home. Son, who has played forward in Bundesliga, was not impressive in his previous international outings but he has impressed under Hong. Son, who started for the national team in 2010, plays an attacking midfield position in the team where his pace and trickery would be useful. Forwards Koo Ja-Cheol , Lee Keun-Ho and midfielder Kim Bo-Kyung are also names to watch out for in the upcoming games.
This would be an young South Korean team, where most of their players are playing World Cup matches for the first time, and they need to be disciplined if they are to win this tough group. South Koreans’ habit of scoring late goals would come in handy against Belgium and Russia, both of whom have conceded late goals. However, Belgium and Algeria would exploit their set pieces and Russians’ knack for scoring early could prove disastrous for them.
South Korea, which has a good balanced team, would be playing Russia for their first group match in the 2014 Brazil World Cup. South Korea should win this match if they want to move on to the knockout stages of the tournament.