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World Cup Group F team profile South Korea: How they qualified, star man, World Cup record, fixtures

World Cup Group F team profile: South Korea
By Eurosport

06/06/2018 at 12:44Updated 06/06/2018 at 16:02

After a disappointing result four years ago, South Korea are on a mission to make the knockout stages of the World Cup once again. With stars of the Premier League and Bundesliga in their ranks, their hopes are high.

  • Best result: World Cup semi-finals 2002
  • FIFA Ranking: 61

HOW THEY QUALIFIED

Qualification became a nail-biter for South Korea.

Their dream appeared to have died when they could only draw 0-0 with Uzbekistan on the final day, but rivals Syria also failed to score in a goalless draw against Iran.

In the end, 15 points from 10 games was enough to qualify behind Iran.

THE SQUAD

STAR MAN - Son Heung-min

Team unity is one of South Korea's strengths but even so, they do possess one player who stands out above all others.

Son is the top Asian scorer in Premier League history with 30 goals for Tottenham - and 47 in 139 games in all competitions for the North Londoners.

For the national team he often starts on the left wing before coming into the centre.

NEXT BIG THING - Hwang Hee-chan

Hwang Hee-Chan of South Korea competes for the ball with Edin Visca of Bosnia & Herzegovina

Hwang Hee-Chan of South Korea competes for the ball with Edin Visca of Bosnia & HerzegovinaGetty Images

Hwang is the only player in the squad who comes close to having Son's talent.

The 22-year-old plays for Red Bull Salzburg and has made a big impression in Austrian football as well as the Europa League.

Similiar positionally to Son, Hwang is looking to make his name on the biggest stage of all.

THE COACH - Shin Tae-yong

A former player with Seongnam FC and Brisbane Roar, Shin started his career in management with the Australian team as he was named assistant manager.

After a spell with Seongnam as a manager, he joined the Korean national set-up in 2014, firstly as a caretaker boss and then in the country's youth teams.

He took the senior job in 2017 and has instilled a compact and defensive style of play.

WORLD CUP HISTORY

Ahn Jung-hwan

Ahn Jung-hwanEurosport

This is South Korea's 10th appearance at the World Cup finals with the undoubted highlight their performance on home turf in 2002.

With the help of some dubious refereeing decisions, South Korea defeated Spain and Italy to make the semi-finals, where they finally fell to Germany.

Either side of 2002, though, they have only managed to win two of their 24 World Cup matches.

REASONS FOR OPTIMISM

South Korea have an experienced team and a strong defence in particular.

In addition, in the shape of Son and Hwang they have two talented forwards so battling for second place in the group doesn't seem beyond them.

FIXTURES

  • June 18th: Sweden
  • June 23rd: Mexico
  • June 27th: Germany
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