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
South Korea 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.
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.
3 players to watch out for
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.
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.