South Korea scraped into the 2018 tournament, behind the play of Son Heung-min.
South Korea World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
South Korea qualified for the 2018 World Cup, but that is about the only positive thing that can be said about the final round of the campaign. In their 10 games the Taeguk Warriors won just four and picked up a single point in five games on the road. That they qualified says as much about the failings of others as it does about Korea.
Related: World Cup TV Schedule
Key Moments in Qualifying
Koo Ja-cheol scores with five minutes left to give Korea, smarting from defeat by Iran, a come-from-behind win against Uzbekistan.
There is massive pressure on coach Uli Stielike after Korea lose in China – a first competitive defeat against their neighbours.
Stielike is fired after Korea lose 3-2 to bottom team Qatar, in which serious injuries to Son Heung-min and Ki Sung-yeung make matters worse.
Under new coach Shin Tae-yong, Korea have to win in Uzbekistan, but they draw 0-0. The players wait on pitch for news that Syria haven’t won in Iran before the celebrations can begin.
South Korea World Cup Group
South Korea World Cup Friendlies
South Korea played several friendlies at the start of 2018. First, they beat Moldova, and then drew with Jamaica at the end of January. Then on the 3rd of February they beat Latvia. On March 24th they then lost to Northern Ireland 2-1, and Poland 3-2. Then in May and June they play Honduras, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bolivia, and then Senegal.
- 27th January – Moldova (won 1-0)
- 30th January – Jamaica (drew 2-2)
- 3rd February – Latvia (won 1-0)
- 24th March – Northern Ireland (lost 2-1)
- 28th March – Poland (lost 3-2)
- 28th May – Honduras
- 1st June – Bosnia-Herzegovina
- 7th June – Bolivia
- 11th June – Senegal
Related: World Cup Friendlies
South Korea World Cup Fixtures
Related: World Cup Fixtures
Shin Tae-yong, age 48 (11.04.69)
A tough-tackling midfielder who led Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma to victory in the 2010 Asian Champions League after retiring. In charge of Korea’s team at the 2016 Olympics and the 2017 Under-20 World Cup – tournaments that started well before ending in disappointment.
Son Heung-min is the focus of the team’s attacking efforts.
Approaching 100 caps, midfielder Ki Sung-yeung is a calming influence. Koo Ja-cheol offers aggression and goals from midfield when fit.
Lee Chung-yong didn’t appear in any qualifiers this year as a lack of playing time with Crystal Palace in England hurt his chances.
There are high hopes for busy striker Hwang Hee-chan who has settled into life in Europe with Red Bull Salzburg.
Related: World Cup Stadiums
South Korea World Cup Squad
Preliminary World Cup Squad –
Goalkeepers – Cho Hyun-woo, Kim Jin-hyeon, Kim Seung-gyu
Defenders – Choi Chul-soon, Hong Jeong-ho, Jang Hyun-soo, Kim Jin-su, Kim -Min-jae, Kim Min-woo, Lee Yong, Yun Young-sun
Forwards – Hwang Hee-chan, Kim Shin-wook, Lee Keun-ho, Son Heung-min
South Korea World Cup Injuries
We will update you with all the injuries here.
The Unanswered Questions
Who will be in charge?
Ever since qualification was achieved there have been rumours of Guus Hiddink making a return – and they have been favourably received by most of the public. The Dutchman is highly unlikely to return, but Shin Tae-yong will be under pressure if poor results continue.
Will the European-based players get more games with their club sides?
The likes of Lee Chung-yong at Crystal Palace and Ji Dong-won at Augsburg have not appeared much this season and they will need more playing time with their club sides if they are to make the plane to Russia.
Will Toni Grande make a difference?
With many thinking there was a need for some foreign knowhow, former Spain and Real Madrid number two Toni Grande was appointed as assistant in November. And he has much work to do.
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