Odds South Korea Will Win World Cup
South Korea have enjoyed success at recent World Cups. As host nation in 2002, South Korea reached the semifinals, where they lost to Germany and eventually settled for fourth place. The squad also qualified for the Round of 16 in 2010, posting a 2-0 win over Greece and tying Nigeria in Group Stage play before eventually falling to Uruguay in the Knockout Stage. Few expect the same success from the Koreans at Brazil 2014, where they are +750 longshots to win Group H and 300/1 to win the tourney.
Despite drawing into a relatively weak Group H, South Korea has a tall order to fill to advance beyond the Group Stage. Owners of a quality offense, South Korea demonstrate superior ball control and are excellent tacticians on the pitch. But after using over 40 players throughout the Qualification Stages, questions exist as to how close and cohesive a group this South Korean team is, and whether they are prepared to go into battle with each other.
Early World Cup Pick
Considered by many to be the best team in Asia, South Korea failed to prove it during the qualification stage, leaving them as a lower seed, but fortunate to draw into Group H. The Koreans open their Group Stage schedule against Russia; the team they likely have to beat to have a chance at advancing to the Round of 16. Their match with Russia will be a classic showdown between South Korea’s highly efficient and technical offense, and Russia’s vaunted defense, which allowed just five goals total during qualifying. South Korea should be able to beat the longshot Algerians before facing group and tournament favorites Belgium in the Group Stage finale.
South Korea Qualifying Results - How they got to the World Cup
South Korea finished a poor second in Asian qualifying Group A, trailing Iran, who enter the World Cup with the worst odds of any squad, and edging out lightweights Uzbekistan on goal differential.
15/11/11 Lebanon 2 - 1 Korea Republic
29/02/12 Korea Republic 2 – 0 Kuwait
08/06/12 Qatar 1 - 4 Korea Republic
12/06/12 Korea Republic 3 – 0 Lebanon
11/09/12 Uzbekistan 2 - 2 Korea Republic
16/10/12 Iran 1 - 0 Korea Republic
26/03/12 Korea Republic 2 – 1 Qatar
04/06/13 Lebanon 1 – 1 Korea Republic
11/06/13 Korea Republic 1 – 0 Uzbekistan
18/06/13 Korea Republic 0 – 1 Iran
South Korea World Cup Group Play Schedule
17/6/14 Russia vs. South Korea - Arena Pantanal
22/6/14 South Korea vs. Algeria - Estadio Beira-Rio
26/6/14 South Korea vs. Belgium - Arena Corinthians
South Korea Key Players
Heung-Min Son FW Bayer Leverkusen – The 21 year-old striker is extremely dangerous in front of the goal, and is expected to be one of South Korea’s top offensive weapons.
Jung Sung-Ryong GK Suwon Bluewings – An extremely talented goalkeeper, Jung is also prone to costly mistakes, which led to a recent benching. However, he has looked good in recent matches.
Park Chu-Young FW Watford – Captain of the South Korean squad, Park struggled during a brief stay with Arsenal, but was outstanding at the 2012 Olympics leading South Korea to a bronze medal.